Monday, June 25, 2012

There Are No Unskilled Jobs: The Bike Shop

I pushed my old beater-bike into the bikeshop he other day and asked the guy with the wrench if he had any rubber handlebar grips.
--Oh sure, they're right over there.
I found a wall of grips.  Flailing wildly, I picked something that looked plausible and took it back to the counter.
--Okay, you want me to install that, or will you?

 --Way above my paygrade.  You do it.

--It'll be five bucks extra.  I'm sure you could do it yourself.

--No, that's all right, you do it.
The techie rolled the bike into the backshop and deftly removed the old handles.
--You know, these new ones you picked, they're actually a bit long for your frame. I could cut them off, but I can just sell you the smaller size.  It'll be five bucks cheaper.
--Uh, sure, I'll take the smaller size.
 He switched products.  Then I watched him spray the bars with glass cleaner.  Then he pulled out a different spray can and administered a dose of something I didn't recognize.
--Special formula?

--Secret formula!
 He showed me the can.  Hairspray.  He told me it nicely seals the grips to the bars.

So he (a) corrected my mistake in product choice; (b) cleaned the bars (I wouldn't have thought to do that; and (c) sealed the grips to the bar (I didn't even know  you could do that).

And charged me five bucks.  And saved me five bucks.

There are no unskilled jobs.


Jimbo said...

I don't think there ever were actual unskilled jobs. Even agricultural laborers have all kinds of tricks that save backbreaking, unnecessary work and still get the job done at the right pace and quality. Skills are all relative.

Taxmom said...

Jimbo has a point. Just watch the shopping cart wranglers in the parking lot the week before Christmas. They have it down to an art. As for your story, compare my recent experience at an unnamed chain electronics store: I go in with my kid to buy a mildly obscure gadget. It does not occur to the clerk (or he does not care) that he could increase customer satisfaction and could boost the sale by asking if I had the (mildly obscure) battery to go with said gadget.