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Was I wrong? And either way, now what?

 
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amother




Bisque


Post  Mon, Jan 02 2017, 1:33 am
I was going to try to keep this short but it would be hard to understand without background.

I park my car in a garage that used to be self-service but recently switched to valet and there have been "growing pains." I try not to take it out on them but it's frustrating when you're used to being able to use your car independently.

Recently my car developed an issue, a piece got loose that causes a noise and with time would probably also cause damage. Because I needed the car at the time I duct-taped it into place and made a mental note to call a mechanic after the holidays. The duct-tape solution was imperfect but for the moment it worked.

Today I needed the car for an appointment. The way this garage works is that if they know you'll need the car they just park it right near the front, then you can go straight to it. My car was right there but I see a bunch of my duct tape has been scraped off, apparently not too gently, and there's a screwdriver on the floor next to it.

I tend to jump to conclusions too quickly. I got upset. I called over the guy and said what's going on? I had this tape situation working fine and I need to get to an appointment and what are you doing with a screwdriver on my car anyway?! The guy says this thing came loose and was making a noise... and I'm like, I know! That's why I taped it! And he's like no, but the tape broke. I said so I'll re-tape it, and what about the other 80% of the tape that's peeled off all over the floor here? (the tape actually also broke while I was driving, I was able to temporarily patch it by taking a piece off another of the pieces of tape... OK this sounds so klutzy now but it worked on the fly on a holiday weekend and that's all I needed for now) So he starts to explain that he was trying to fix it - with this screwdriver and a wire hanger and I don't even know. And I said that's nice but nobody told you to fix my car, I'll call my mechanic and he'll figure out what to do with it. At around this point his supervisor came over and said the same thing, while the first guy stormed off. He (supervisor) was like "What's wrong? He was trying to help you!" and again I said I did not request this help. If my car is in your garage and you see it has a problem, then you should call me and ask how I want to deal with it. You can offer to try to fix it but you don't just go at it with a screwdriver and a wire hanger without even asking me!

These people seemed to think I was nuts for thinking that they should ask my permission before "helping" fix my car. Meanwhile, I had an appointment to get to, my duct tape was gone (I should have left the roll of extra tape in the car in the first place) and the guy who thought he could fix it was now offended and also gone (his fixing wouldn't have helped in time for my appointment either!) I said so now that you tinkered without my permission, you're just going to leave it like this? And supe said "Well, you insulted the man who was trying to help you!" I did feel sorry for insulting him and not being more gracious about realizing he meant well - which should have been obvious to me if I'd thought for a minute about why he'd be using tools on my car in any case, but I was too busy being annoyed about the whole thing.

In the end, I said "I'm sorry I offended you/your worker, but in the future please let me know if there are any issues with my car." and I went back to my apartment, got the duct tape, back to the car, put back the duct tape the way it was before, and drove off - didn't see either of them again because I'd taken my keys with me (which you're really not supposed to do with valet, but it was just for 5 minutes...)

When I got back the attendants were all busy with other cars and I had one very tired sick DC with me so I just left the car with key at the dropoff spot and went home. So I haven't seen either of these guys since.

I feel like we were both in the wrong here - they were wrong for tinkering with my car without checking with me, and I was wrong for getting upset about it. But in the end I just have some inconvenience and hopefully no damage on my car, while the valet guy is actually offended, so I feel worse about the whole thing. But now what? How do I correct it at this point? What's the appropriate way to apologize, for something that was only wrong in style and not in content, to a person who works in your garage, is offended by you, and possibly limited in English?

And would you talk to the management about this?
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baby12x









  


Post  Mon, Jan 02 2017, 4:26 am
I don't think you were wrong at all
They should not have touched your car without your permission
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myself









  


Post  Mon, Jan 02 2017, 4:31 am
I don't think you were wrong, but since you will be continuing to use their service it makes sense to patch things up so that you're on good terms.
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Liba









  


Post  Mon, Jan 02 2017, 4:44 am
I agree, I don't think you were wrong, but a pan of brownies might help.
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amother




Coffee


Post  Mon, Jan 02 2017, 7:30 am
You were right and you need to take this management. Valet parkers should not be attempting to fix cars. His "help" could have caused serious and costly damage. Whoever manages these people needs to tell them that they cannot ever attempt to fix a car even if it looks simple.
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jewish613









  


Post  Mon, Jan 02 2017, 7:48 am
I like the brownies idea as that crosses all language barriers. When you give them you can say "I'm sorry for getting so upset at you when you were trying to help me." Then maybe say to the manager/superviser the same thing. With the addition of "I'd appreciate if next time you check with me first".

Btw-I really admire how you presented the situation here and took responsibility for your part in it and are trying to make it better. Kudos!
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amother




Bisque


Post  Mon, Jan 02 2017, 7:47 pm
So maybe brownies or cookies. Thanks.

I told DH about this just now and he got all upset at me for telling the guy he should have asked before touching the car! He said I'm too critical and I should have just thanked him for his help. He thinks that even thinking of this as wrong on the garage guy's part is crazy of me. So now I'm upset at DH too for always making everything into something bad about me. I may have handled the situation in the moment incorrectly, but I know I'm not wrong in theory!

It happens to be that the loose piece is something that had been fixed before, apparently ineffectively. I was going to call back the person who fixed it the first time and tell him it came right back out again and is now worse, and I hoped that he would re-fix it for free or cheap since I already paid for the supposed repair that wasn't. I got nervous that if someone else tinkered with it in between then he'd say he wasn't responsible and charge us all over again. This is just one reason why you should ask someone before "fixing" their stuff! I wasn't really afraid of serious damage to my car because it wasn't in a sensitive place and obviously that part was already damaged. But seriously, I have no idea what this person's car-fixing qualifications are.

I'm not crazy, right?

I even (probably foolishly) told DH that I took a reality check on here and the other ladies also thought it was crazy that they tried to fix the car without telling us first. Of course now he thinks we're all crazy and I'd better get away from this toxic website Rolling Eyes
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amother




Seagreen


Post  Mon, Jan 02 2017, 8:21 pm
my dh is a guy so it's not just women Wink - people helping without asking is a huge hangup for him. he gets really really annoyed.
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Squishy









  


Post  Mon, Jan 02 2017, 9:07 pm
OP I know exactly how you feel and it is frustrating. I get this constant help also from people of a certain ethnicity. They try to be helpful without waiting for instructions or me even wanting the help, and I then have to undo it or live with the results.

It is part of their cultural norm.
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amother




Coffee


Post  Mon, Jan 02 2017, 9:14 pm
Op, you can tell him my dh (who is such a manly man he actually knows a lot about cars) said this was not ok and said if a valet did that to his car, he would try to get the guy fired.
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amother




Blonde


Post  Mon, Jan 02 2017, 9:18 pm
He probably got fired or for sure got a yelling.
He has no right touching your car. I dont blame you for getting upset. But it still was sweet of him that he tried. I just hope they weren't trying to steal a part from your car. Like valet people do.
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momwifedaughter









  


Post  Mon, Jan 02 2017, 9:34 pm
E/O knows the daying, dont be right be smart!
You may need help some time with a flat tire and no one will be there for u knowing that u can burst out on them... Although u were right! Special when its clear that the guy only wanted to help!... He probably thought he's the best person on earth for doing it..
In any case. Bursting out on spmeone is never the right approach even when u have all the right to.
I would advice to beg for hes forgiveness {ALTHOUGH U WERE NOT WRONG AT ALL} with a chocklet bar at the side... I assume he will say... No dont worry I am the one who sld apllgs... Dont know what I was thinking... Anyway good luck!
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amother




Bisque


Post  Mon, Jan 02 2017, 9:35 pm
Definitely not trying to steal anything, and I feel pretty secure with this place in general. There are cameras, a supervisor, and multiple staff members at any given time. And their jobs are worth more than anything in my car.

Now I don't know what to do - do you really think they'd fire someone over this? I was going to tell the management but I really don't want to get anyone fired. I just think they need to learn that this is not OK. At least no damage was done so they have a chance to learn the easy way.

Now I'm thinking that if I tell management then they'll for sure know it was me and then they'll have even harder feelings. I really don't want the people handling my car to be upset at me! For practical reasons more than for peacekeeping - I need their service and probably should have thought of that before telling them off in the first place.
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amother




Bisque


Post  Mon, Jan 02 2017, 9:37 pm
momwifedaughter wrote:
E/O knows the daying, dont be right be smart!
You may need help some time with a flat tire and no one will be there for u knowing that u can burst out on them... Although u were right! Special when its clear that the guy only wanted to help!... He probably thought he's the best person on earth for doing it..
In any case. Bursting out on spmeone is never the right approach even when u have all the right to.
I would advice to beg for hes forgiveness {ALTHOUGH U WERE NOT WRONG AT ALL} with a chocklet bar at the side... I assume he will say... No dont worry I am the one who sld apllgs... Dont know what I was thinking... Anyway good luck!

If I had a flat tire I would want the same thing that I wanted now - a phone call saying "Good morning, your car seems to have developed a flat. Would you like some help changing it?" and I would probably say "Oh yes, thank you so much!" But no I would not want to arrive to the garage to find out that they'd done it for me without asking.
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