Friday, May 07, 2010

Strange Day Indeed

My day was not normal but it worked out ok in the end.

I got a call, blasting me awake, at 6:30 a.m., from the Stayton trailer park. The woman had two more females. I was proud of her. Off I went.

I knew I had to do something about my grinding grabbing lurching brakes, too.

I picked up the two girls at the trailer park. Now that is one Poppa success story. The woman needs a trap of her own and I'm going to make sure she gets one somehow.

She's dedicated and proud of already catching ten cats and getting things under control there rapidly.

They're really grateful to Poppa Inc., too.

I loaded the two females and headed to the clinic. From there, I called a brake shop in Tigard I had located online before I left. $88 brake job. How do you beat that?

I made an appointment for 10:30. Before leaving Wilsonville, I slipped by the Chevron with my filthy car. I was embarrassed it was so dirty. I went through the $6 car wash. I'd never been through one before. I always wash my own car. It felt like a bubble bath--luxury living!

I said, "What do I do?" The attendant said, "Put your car in neutral, sit back, relax, be happy and I'll do the work." So that's exactly what I did.

Then I vaccuumed it out and headed off to the brake shop. It was supposed to be like an hour to get the drum brakes done.

Four and a half long hours later I was still sitting in that shop lobby, highly worried by this time.

I walked around awhile. I went to Value Village, a thrift shop that's better than Goodwill. That's because if you take a small bag of donated items, you get 20% off anything you buy there. I bought a pair of L.L. Bean brown jeans for $6!

I was back at the brake shop then, waiting and waiting. They had said two more hours, but it had been over that now. I watched about four guys surrounding one rear axle of my car, for about an hour. I watched them fumble with the brake shoes, then take them off, try again, over and over.

I finally walked out and stood nearby and said "What's going on here, is something wrong?" They said nothing was wrong. None of them spoke English well. There was one pure white guy in the shop, pestering the boss constantly to get off work early or have tomorrow off.

I thought "You're giving whites a bad name there, fella."

I became increasingly worried they would not be able to do the job in time for me to even pick up the cats at the clinic before they closed. And what if they did not get it done by the time they closed?

I called my brother and asked him to call them. I had seen them take off one part and take it to a machine and grind on it. I thought "Ok, they're machining the new parts to fit? That doesn't seem right." By this time, the boss had decided to come do the job, shoving aside his workers.

My brother told me they were bending a part that sometimes gets twisted. Something.

Finally they wanted me to pay the bill and they took some off for the lengthy wait. Yet still, the car was not ready. I took a look at the receipt, proof for warranty and the mileage they listed for my car. The brakes they put on are warranteed for 24,000 miles. And yet, they had listed my mileage 20,000 shy of reality. I pointed that out, and he quickly changed it to reflect the truth.

Was this an innocent mistake or a deliberate misrepresentation? If I hadn't noticed it, those brakes would officially have been warranteed for only 4000 miles! I hope it was an innocent mistake.

I finally get my car. But the window, rolled up when I handed the car over, is now down and won't roll up. I think I can work the magic, by rolling the passenger one up and down but not this time. The clip to work the electric window is broken. They didn't tell me they did that. At last, in Wilsonville, I was able to get it working and the window up.

While at the brake shop, I noticed my back hatch website sign, which I made by buying magnetic vent covers, cutting them into strips and adding stick on letters, was mostly missing. The sign is in several pieces that I stick onto the car in a neat little row to compose the letters of my petfinder site: However, all that was left was one piece that read: "etfinder."

The car wash, I thought! The pieces are in the car wash.

Once back in Wilsonville, I went directly to the car wash and walked through it with two of the guys. We found the pieces! I cleaned them off and stuck them back on the car.

Brakes were done. Window now in the up position. Website sign back on my rear hatch. Now, to pick up the girls and deliver them back to the trailer park. And I did so. Now I'm home. Yay.

Strange day.

It all worked out in the end.

Would I recommend Brake Team? Sure, you can't beat the price and the brake seems just fine. Just watch the mileage listed on your warranty. Make sure it matches.


  1. I feel like these shops often take advantage of women. Not that this was necessarily the case in your experience. But the times I've practically been patted on the head and told "don't worry about it, sweetie" or something...well, anyway. And I'm big enough (huge, really) that you wouldn't think it would happen to me. But it does.

    ANYWAY... oh, about signs! I found some really cheap magnetic signs a while back. I don't know if you feel like doing your own design on your computer but they were like 10 dollars for 2 of them. They lasted about a year for me. And I had cool graphics. :)

  2. Hello Strayer,

    My name is Micah and I work for the Brake Team. I love your blog, and cats! Thank you for still recommending us to your readers, even though it sounds like your experience with Brake Team could have been better. We have a page on our site to leave formal reviews and recommendations. We would love to hear more from you about how we could have made your experience a better one. We take these reviews very seriously and use them to help improve every aspect of the way we do business. We are obviously not perfect, problems and hiccups do arise, but we are working hard on listening to our customers to try and help keep these to a minimum. Please visit and let us know your thoughts if you have a chance. We value you as a customer Strayer and we would love a chance to prove that to you! Thank you again for the recommendation, keep up the blogging, we have a special pace in our hearts for our "tech-savy" customers :)