From time to time I make bold sweeping statements based on specious or spurious thinking. One is slightly different than the other; I can never remember which is which because they are spelled too much alike. At other times I make opinionated comments that are just plain wrong. Annoying. Stupid. Take your pick. This entry is no exception.
The upshot of my diva moment yesterday is that I headed for the
business that pissed me off still pretty annoyed, but, as it turned
out, I didn't have the confrontation I planned on when I got
there. Nobody's head rolled.
After my previous post, many of you may have assumed that I would be
heading to the place loaded for bear [a term I use without fully
understanding its meaning]. Frankly, when I got there,
enough time had passed that I decided just to let things go, unless
somebody got smarty pants with me. People over sixty
sometimes forget what they were mad about if too much times passes.
That may have been part of it.
In the interest of full disclosure about the "business" I called
up [see previous post] let's just say it rhymes with "SEARS."
After a couple of failed attempts, I was finally getting new front
rear brakes at the Auto Center. I was tired of downshifting to
slow the car and coasting to a stop with my feet dragging. Bloody toes
look so unattractive in sandals.
When I had called the "business" earlier in the day, I just wanted to know how late
they would be open and whether or not I could wait while the work got done.
Sears is usually
open until nine and most times they will finish while you wait, two important considerations
for me. That was the information I was after before I got all hot and bothered by getting put on hold.
Like I said, driving over to the mall on a lovely evening with the sun roof open, all the steam slowly leaked out of my boiler.
I pulled into a bay and a very nice guy stopped what he was doing,
told me to leave the car with the keys in it and go see another guy at
the front desk to get a work order.
Here began a lesson in stereotyping. I was still prepared to have
a toe to toe with the poopy pants who dissed me if he started up again.
Originally I figured I was going up
against a Latino, based on the voice I heard on the phone. As you will see, I may need a crash
course in diversity by the time this is all over.
Instead of one snarly Latino guy there were four
Indian/Pakistani folks at the counter answering the phone and handling
all the requests for service. "Jello!" "Jello!"
Apparently I couldn't tell a Latino from a Pakstani/Indian person
on the phone. For sure, I wasn't going to be able to tell which one of
these four had left me on hold listening to Yanni this afternoon.
"May I yelp you?" The head guy came over to where I was standing.
I can't type accents very well, but he sounded like one of my brothers
when he leaves me a message from Abu the cabdriver. That was a little
disconcerting. [Some day I will get to
hear how minorities imitate white people. Maybe on my way to Hell.
Actually, Jamie Foxx and Eddie Murray can do an east coast Causasian
country club snotnose pretty well.]
The head tech from Indian/Pakistan was very polite and solitious.
While I waited, he encouraged me to partake
of the extensive repast found in the two large and well stocked vending
positioned right next to the large Sony television. They were across
from a number of comfortable chairs, where I could spend the
evening watching re-runs of Seinfeld and The Simpsons, eating Cheetos
and drinking Pepsi.
As I watched my car rising on the hydraulic lift, I noticed that all
the mechanics in this Sears Auto Center were black. There were seven of
Let's see, all the guys at the desk were from Pakistan or India. All the
guys fixing the cars were African American. Is this a reflection
of the paradigm shift in social dynamics among working people?
Where were the fat white guys with tattoos I was used to at the places
I usually went? The ones missing a few teeth with really oily hands who
hadn't read anything but the men's room sign since getting kicked out
of school. Then I remembered the guy who usually works on my car is
Korean, the honorable Mr. Moon who bows when he hands me my bill. Wait a minute, I thought all Koreans owned 7-11s.
What next? At some point the waiting room was empty except for the
person waiting for her brakes to be finished. I was reading a magazine.
The TV was just white noise in the background. The next thing I know
the superviser from the front desk came in and changed the
channel. To a PBS episode of NOVA on String Theory. We
began talking about womenin science, the Fermilab acclerator, and
quantum theory. Every time he spoke, I kept hearing my brother's voice
doing Abu the cabdriver.
Fascinated by his sing song speech, I let him do all the talking.
I was just listening. Then the guy who wrote up my work order came in
and began watching the program with us.
The two of them, wearing their crisp, navy blue uniforms with the Auto
Center logos began to explain things for me. Two Pakistani or Indian guys who work in the automotive
department at Sears were breaking down String Theory into its component
parts. They discussed gravitrons and how
the line is being blurred between science and philosophy. They were
also talking about a lot of stuff I just didn't understand, frankly.
I mentioned that they might be the two most overeducated guys selling
new tires and batteries. They just looked at each other and
laughed. All Indians and Pakistanis are educated I
began to think. Ooops there I go again creating yet another stereotype.
Then, in an attempt to put the shoe on the other foot, I got to
thinking they might be looking at me and wondering if I had cats.
The good news is that they gave me an extra discount on the brake service.