Posted by tim in Work Sucks on September 12, 2006

This afternoon I got a phone call from the shop. It was the guy who is in charge when I'm not there (Charles), and he wanted to know if I could come help with a stubborn drain plug on a car.

When I got there, I saw how bad this drain plug was. The head had been completely rounded off, and the guys had already attempted extraction by means of vise grips. I noticed that they had also already attempted what I was going to: Smacking the outer edge of the drain plug with a hammer and punch to force it to spin.

Well, I tried what they tried and got nowhere, so I reached for the square punch that we have for these such occasions. After about 5 minutes of smacking it a little hard, the drain plug spun itself right out.

While I was finishing up with the drain plug, another car pulled in. The car was a Mitsubishi of some sort, but it didn't have the original engine in it. The customer said that the power steering belt had snapped and came off, and she handed it to one of the guys there. Charles ended up coming down in the pit where I was with the other car and asked me what to do about it, since we most likely didn't have the right belt in stock. I instructed him to call the parts store to see if they could run one over. Well, that was fine, but they didn't have anyone around to deliver it. So I hopped in my car and went to get the new belt.

Upon arriving at the parts store, nobody knew what I was there for. I told them that someone from the shop had just called about a belt and that I was there to pick it up. The facial expressions they directed my way were that of a deer standing in the middle of the road, illuminated by the headlights of a car speeding towards it at 70 miles per hour.

I finally got the new belt and got back to the shop. When one of the guys helped me start puting it on, he said, "Tim, we've got a problem here... There's a bolt missing from the alternator, which is why the belt came off." So from there, I had to figure out what I needed to secure the alternator, make a trip to the hardware store, then back to the shop. We got the thing anchored back down, got the belt put back on, and the customer was ready to roll.

When Charles told the customer how much the service was, she said, "You've got to be kidding me..." I thought she was going to complain about the price being too much, but she then said, "That's dirt cheap!" She ended up leaving a $5 tip, which everyone forced me to take since I was working on my day off, and I left.

So there. That's my day off. Seems nice, eh?

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