Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Everyday annoyances

I went to Wal-Mart yesterday morning for some groceries and an oil change. That's a weird sentence, isn't it? Only at Wal-Mart.

I dropped off my car, and set about shopping. They were still out of the brand-x Claritin, and the ink cartridges for my printer cost a little more than they do at Target. Before I made it all the way across the store to the grocery aisles, though, I heard my name on the intercom. Upon returning to the auto center, I was told that they were out of the oil filter needed for my car. Or maybe they didn't carry it anymore — the mechanic wasn't sure. This was information I needed cleared up, I said, because I wanted to know if I should bring my car back in a few days or if I just needed to go somewhere else. Another mechanic piped in and said that Wal-Mart doesn't carry that filter anymore. "So there's no point in me coming here anymore to get my oil changed?" I asked, to be clear. "The only place I know of that you could go would be the dealership," mechanic #2 offered.

Really? No one carries filters for a 2003 VW Jetta anymore? Well that makes sense since I only see about 50 of them on the road on my way to and from work each day.

If this mechanic is right, I'm going to have to start changing my own oil. There's no way I'm paying dealership prices to get that sort of work done. Of course, I'd still have to pay dealership prices for a filter. I'm betting, though, that if I go to any other place in town (including another Wal-Mart (and probably including the same Wal-Mart a week later)) they'll have the filter.

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