On a less seething note, I got to spend a few hours today at my mechanics garage. It is always a pleasure. He is a small, South American guy who loves women, cars & motorcycles. He is the mechanic for my whole family. He is beyond honest, beyond reasonably priced. He takes hours with each client, not only fixing whatever is wrong but giving a lesson in auto mechanics. He gives a guided tour under the hood, making sure you can identify all the major parts. Then he shows you how to do what is being done. Today was a tune-up and a transmission flush. Granted, I could never flush the trany, I don't have the tools. But I can do a tune-up, all by myself. He made sure of that. He insists that you help him fix whatever needs done. That way, you don't get stranded or overcharged down the road. He also does no more than is absolutely necessary. My tune up today didn't include new cables because I didn't need new cables. I will next time. It's not a drop off your car, pick it up later kind of place...It's much more personal than that. He doesn't advertise, not at all. He works soley on a referral basis, and I have enjoyed watching his business blossom over the past 6 years or so I have been going to him.
My oldest son came with today (home sick with the flu) and Robert tried to involve him in the goings-on under the hood. He was a little too queasy for that, so to keep him occupied Robert took him to the chalk board and gave him two math problems to solve. They were tough enough that he couldn't get the answers while we were there, but he certainly did enjoy trying. I guess it comes down to this...Not only is he kind, he is fair and respectful. He would never, ever, rip me off. He would never treat me or my children poorly. And I will never have another mechanic.