Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Do they think I'm completely stupid?

So yesterday Ian asked the driver to take the car to have its oil changed.

That confused the driver. "Sir, here we just fill it when it's low."
Yes, and here you use lawnmower engines to power your "road worthy" rickshaws. Let's not compare, OK?
So he took the car to motorpool. And came back with an "estimate." For an oil change, top off on coolant and an engine wash - Rs 4590. That's right, over $100.
Did I mention that we provided the oil filter from our stash? And that the driver said they were going to put in 15L of oil at Rs285 per liter (the exchange has dropped to Rs40=$1, so that's $7/L)? Oh, and I didn't ask for an engine wash, though I guess the coolant would be a good (and cheap) idea.
Back up a second... 15 LITERS of oil. Quick math... more than 4 GALLONS of oil. I know we have a big car, but what kind of idiot do these folks think I am? Quick check through the manual (cause, OK, I'll be honest, I don't really know how much oil a car typically takes but I'm pretty sure it's not enough to bathe in) and we find for our Sequoia: 6L for a complete oil change.
So today, the driver went off with 1/2 the amount of cash "estimated," a note with how much oil the car really takes, and directions to bring back change from the $60+.
How we miss Jiffy Lube.
FOLLOW-UP: So at 2 p.m. I returned from being "out." There was no car in the driveway, the car that had been gone since 9:30 this morning. But the driver had just returned from... somewhere. So I asked...
Where's the car?
It's at the service station, madame. And here are the bills for the oil change, coolant top-off and labor. Total equalled Rs2200, 7L of oil. Woohoo! Change! (that was me, not him)
But where's the car?
[The following is an abbreviated version of a much much longer discussion involving much confusion and repetition]
A cleaning, madame.
I didn't ask for a cleaning, what kind of cleaning?
Undercarriage wash and oil spray, another Rs500, madame. Salty air, madame.
I didn't ask for that, and I don't have Rs500 to give you for that.
But it's standard for all work vehicles, madame.
No, I don't think so, it's not what I asked for.
{add in additional back and forth as I learn the service work is not done at the Consulate but at a nearby service station, the car is still there, up on a platform and having its underbelly sprayed}
*call Ian*
*explain to Ian as I understood everything*
*hear Ian rant*
Would you like to talk to him?
No, I really don't want to, says Ian.
Ok, so can I pass the phone to him now?
OK, fine, says Ian.
*hear driver explain all again to Ian*
*phone gets passed back to me*
I'll go get the car, madame.
Thank you.

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