An Open Letter to the Mechanic with a Gender Tax
This oil change was on July 20th - since then I've had to bring my car in because the check engine light was on and the car was stalling (that happened the day after), this week I realized I have an oil leak, AND, this morning I turned the car on to this message:
I've had navigation since the day I bought the car in 2016 - what gives?
I openly admit regularly during my radio show that I'm not very good at adulting, and I'm definitely not handy at all. In my house, my daughter and I get by ok, but, when bigger things need to be done, I definitely have to hire someone. When it comes to car maintenance I leave it to the experts, but today, something happened, and it wasn't the first time, and it has me pretty ticked off.
Quickie Oil Change Locations Are Different Than Your Regular Mechanic
I've been going to the same mechanic since the day I got my license, but sometimes it can be tricky to get an appointment, so if I'm in a bind, I'll swing by one of the local quickie places to get an oil change.
My daughter and I are planning a last minute beach weekend in Delaware, so I wanted to get an oil change and inspection before we hit the road, so I stopped by one of the local quick spots to get that done. The last time I went to one of these, I think it was two summers ago, they told me I needed all sorts of services and replacement filters, and I totally fell for it and dropped a ton of unnecessary money.
This time I was prepared to say no to anything other than an oil change, planning in my head all the different ways I was going to say no to the extras.
Did The Guy Doing My Oil Change Try To Play Me?
My daughter and I were sitting in the waiting area with three other people, all men, who were having their cars worked on. Each time one of the employees would come in, they would briefly touch base with the customer about the type of oil, show the oil level, and off they went. When my car went into the bay, I was just sitting, watching, and waiting.
I saw them remove the cabin filter from the glove compartment area, and then I noticed the employee had a second filter in his hand as he headed into the waiting area and made a beeline towards me.
Can you come with me to the computer so I can show you what we need to do?
Cabin filter replacement, $50+, the other filter isn't thaaaaat bad but would definitely be due to be changed at your next visit, plus we think you should have the $99 yearly flush of your.... whatever he was talking about as I tuned him out wondering why he didn't try to get the guys in the waiting area to fall for these tricks....
The total cost started adding up on the computer screen and was approaching the $300 mark when I asked 'did my car pass inspection?' and was told yes, but...
Just the oil change and inspection is fine for today.
I then flashed my million dollar RBF-esque smile and went back to my seat while all sorts of other NSFW phrases went through my head.
Have You Ever Experienced A 'Gender Tax' Situation Before?
Was it because it was just me and my daughter that you tried to add on all the unnecessary extras? Were you looking at the fact that I fell for the crap sales pitch the last time I was there that prompted you to try and add almost $200 of work onto my routine oil change and inspection? How is it possible that none of the men who were there during the same time as me needed anything other than oil changes but I needed the works?
I may not be the best at adulting, but I'm certainly not going to fall for this type of nonsense, not this girl.