When busy becomes too busy

(....or life in a tire depot after the first snow of the season in Belgium)

She's in the middle of a phone conversation when I walk in the office :

"Yes sir...no no there is no possibility anymore before Dec 30th.  Yes Dec ...Yes that is a 3 and 0 ...No we are really fully booked sir, maybe you have to hear elsewhere if you can be served earlier...Yes, have a nice day."

Before she can even breathe or we can move a step closer to the desk to announce our arrival for our appointment, she's picking up the next phone call.

"Which size sir? " [ticking in the computer ]  "I'm afraid we don't have them in stock, maybe you should hear elsewhere...No, we don't have any delivery time known, they are sold-out, we have no idea if we'll be able to order some more this winter...No I can't tell you when or if they'll be delivered again....Yes sold-out ... Ok no problem, goodbye."

"Hello this is ...   For winter tires today? And you don't have an appointment?"  
Her shoulders sink a bit deeper.
"No I'm afraid that is impossible, we are fully fully booked...Belief me sir, it's very very busy here and we have appointments booked for the weeks ah...  Well, we might not even have your tires in stock anym...  No sir, there is no way that we can serve you today. "   

Her face stares in despair at her screen while she's shaking her head.
In the mean time there's 4 of us waiting already trying to pass on our keys for our appointment.  While she finally puts down the receiver, she gives us an apologising look and I move a step closer but the phone rings again.

"I'll ask my colleague whether your cars been towed here"  (within 10 seconds a man with black hands and an almost finished sigarette opens the door with a portable phone at his ear)
"A Ford, yes"
"Is it a Ford sir? ...Yes it's here but ... what, you'd like winter tyres now sir? Well, we might be able to replace your flat tire, but you must understand that replacing 4 tires or just one makes a big difference. "
The man in the door opening is putting his finger at his head
"Well, we could do our best for that one tire "  
"Euh yeah right at 9 PM maybe"  he grumbles in disagreement
"Well, the towing company has not informed us at all and we really can't take you in for 4 winter tires without appointment here, you must belief that we drown in work.... yes, yes I understand, bu... well of course...Yes you can have your car removed again and bring it to another garage, that would be no problem to us. "    

She's got her one hand in her hair now while she's avoiding our looks.  
"We would love to help you if we were able to but it's impossible today...No no 4 tires really takes a lot more time than 1 and this hasn't been scheduled. ....yes it's fine if you phone the towing company to come and get your car again. "

By the time it was my turn I felt totally drained myself but I tried to give her my best patient and understanding smile while at the same time I quickly deposit my keys for my appointment which I have made already a month ago.  "Everyone has woken up by the snow I guess? "  She didn't really get the time to answer that but her look was clear.


Autumn Leaf said…
Heb zelf al een paar bandencentra gebeld zonder resultaat. Allemaal volgeboekt de eerstvolgende weken. Ik hoop dat ik toch nog ergens winterbanden kan laten zetten voor we richting Zwitserland vertrekken...
jokemijn said…
oh jee, wij hebben ze vanmorgen laten leggen, geen probleem maar de afspraak was dan ook al lang lang geleden gemaakt :)
Goofball said…
@Autumn Leaf: 'k vrees er een beetje voor

@jokemijn: ja mijn afspraak lag ook al een hele tijd vast en ik ben ferm opgelucht dat ze er nu opliggen. Amai wat een verschil. Dinsdag ben ik nog mooi naar huis gegleden in minder sneeuw en vandaag heel propere remafstanden gehad en stabiliteit.
Brian Miller said…
nice write goofball...

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