Every few thousand miles or so, I find myself in a grimy, hole-in-the-wall waiting room, while those more mechanically inclined than I change fluids under the hood of ye olde family jeep. It’s not an arduous process, but a bit of an interruption in a fast-paced life. I stand still and watch a talk show on the tv in the lobby, careful not to brush against a wall or counter — oil stains have ruined many a pair of pants.
Today was different.
I remembered seeing a lube shop on ponce. It was a texaco, so I figured it must be reputable. I lined up the jeep in front of an open bay and was met at my door by a smiling technician. Pricing was posted just over her shoulder, and she explained their maintenance packages to me. After I had made my selection, she mentioned a man by name, and told me that he “had the door for me”. As if I were walking into the ritz. Odd, I thought, but I walked toward a smiling gentleman who, indeed, was holding open the door to the waiting area. Nice touch.
The waiting area was clean. Not immaculate — I wouldn’t have performed surgery in there, or eaten off the floor, but care had obviously been taken to provide a clean and comfortable environment. I sat in a chair and watched the last few minutes of a recently released dvd.
I hadn’t been seated long — it certainly couldn’t have been more than fifteen minutes — when a service tech came and sat beside me, clipboard in hand. I wondered what he’d tell me they found, that needed to be replaced. Classic upsell. It didn’t happen. He deftly explained the service performed on my vehicle. The oil. Belts checked. Tire pressure corrected. He made me aware of services that would be due soon. And he directed me to the counter.
The cashier logged me into the system, got my contact information, and informed me that they would keep a record of every service they perform on my vehicle, as a courtesy to me. Nice. In case I lose the envelope in my glove compartment stuffed with every piece of paper a mechanic has ever handed me since I bought the vehicle. She then told me that JJ had the door for me. I turned and, sure enough, the service tech was holding the front door open, my jeep five feet from the door, with my driver’s door open. He wished me well, and I went on my way, but was enamored with the level of service I had just been provided.
From my first encounter until I was buckled in again, I never questioned my next step. Never wondered what was taking so long. I’ve paid other people to maintain my vehicles since I could drive. This was by far the most unique vehicle service experience i’ve had. The crew operated in such a coordinated effort to make my experience a positive one, and performed, a little like my Jeep, pardon the pun, like a well-oiled machine.
Great job to the crew at Texaco xPress Lube, 566 Ponce de leon in Atlanta. I’ll see you in another few thousand miles, and i’m actually looking forward to it.