Something awful has happened. The garage where I work is owned by a family - Father, son and daughter. Our families are very close and I am therefore subbing for the daughter while she is on maternity leave. The son (who was also the head mechanic, and a sweet young man) died this week in a motorcycle accident.
There aren't words to describe the depth of the tragedy and its impact on, well EVERYTHING relating to the lives involved, not to mention the future of the business.
As I made dozens of phone calls with the sad news, and called customers with cars still at the shop, I felt like compiling a hit list of assholes with big fat stupid mouths who shouldn't be breathing the same air as the wonderful people I work for.
Me: "I'm sorry we couldn't complete the additional work you requested, but your brakes are finished and your car is ready for pickup"
Him: "You really didn't fix the door?"
Me: "No sir. Yours was the last car (the son) worked on on Friday (the day he died) and he just didn't get to it."
Him: "I thought he said it was a quick fix that would only take a minute."
Me: PAUSE (Really? Am I ACTUALLY having this conversation?) "That may well be, but he just didn't get to it." (You know. Before he DIED.)
Him: "Well, are you going to be getting a NEW mechanic?"
Me: PAUSE. PAUSE. PAUSE. (Stay professional. This is their business. Be respectful for them.) "COME PICK UP YOUR CAR" *Click*
I'll couch this by saying that MOST people were extremely sorry, understanding and sympathetic. (One guy whose appointment I canceled said sheepishly "Geez, that sure puts my stupid air-conditioning problem in perspective") But they sure make the jerks stand out like sore, retarded asshole thumbs.
And the details. The pushing and pressing for details. "What happened? HOW did it happen?"
Why? Why, oh why? Does it matter what happened (aside from - perhaps - the concern that no one else was injured)? A 25-year-old kid has died. A friend of mine. The part owner of the business, son of the dear old man beloved to everyone who meets him. Brother of the sweet, beautiful girl who runs the shop. IS THIS IMPORTANT?
Here's a question asked to me repeatedly at the funeral home: "Why is the casket closed?"
Why the fuck do you think it is, you insensitive prick?
One person started to speculate about the circumstances of the death and just how that would affect the head, face and body of this kind, hard-working kid. And not subtly. I saw my other coworker's nostrils flare at this comment and I said to the man quickly "Stop talking. Right now."
At the very least, I hope that fielding the questions of these moronic douchebags spared the family from having to hear and answer them.
I'm not sure when the shop will open again, or even IF it will. I don't know if my boss can face working next to his son's empty garage bay every day, or if his daughter will be able to go back to work in the same place where she and her brother grew up together working on cars.
But I know one thing: I SURE AM SORRY we didn't get to fix that door for you. Prick.