Thursday, 28 March 2013

If it looks too good to be true . . Car Wash

Then it possibly is!

many years ago when the earth was much younger and greener, my Father (who was at that time a Divisional Officer in the London Fire Brigade) was invited to a function at one of the local hospitals; something that gave him the opportunity to drive his nice new car (rather than be driven). So he arrives at the hospital to find that it's one of the old style asylums, replete with towers and gates and the like.

As he turns of the main road, through the gates and into the car park where he is greeted by a 'workman' in overalls who shows him to a parking spot. As my Father gets out of the car and sort his uniform out, the 'workman' comes up to him and asks whether he'd like his car washed and polished. Dad has a think and since it's but a few days old and rather shiny when clean he agrees, asking the 'workman' how much it would cost.

Hearing an answer that would have been madness had he turned it down, he forked out the money and went into the reception. Some time into the function he's chatting to the director of the place and remarks that he was impressed at the staff they had and their willingness to make visitors welcome, mentioning somewhere in the conversation about 'even getting his car cleaned whilst there.'

The Director (according to Dad) went rather pale and made for the door, stopping only to tell another staff member what was going on.

Now Dad was just a bit interested, having seen the response to his news, and so decided to follow the pair out of the doors and round to the front of the building where it was his turn to go pale as the 'workman' was scooping up buckets full of gravel and, having tossed the contents onto the bodywork, was rubbing it with a cloth. So taken up with the task was he that he didn't (apparently) hear my dear old Dad's cries to stop (and knowing Dad,  'Stop' would have had more than just the one word!).

Whilst the other member of staff led the 'workman' off, the Director tried hard to explain that his 'not so handyman' was in fact a member of the hospitals resident community.

Fortunately the old man saw the funny side of it (not so sure the insurance company did) and by the time he arrived how in his even shinier (there were patches of unpainted metal showing through) car he was rather jovial (which might have been the result of the beers he had at the pub on the way home as well methinks) and the whole episode earned him more than a solitary drink as he entertained those around him with the tale.

So, a cautionary tale in that if you ever find yourself offered something that appears to be too good at the price, it probably is.



UKViewer said...

Sounds like the 'Bob-a-job' we did as Cub Scouts in the fifties. Someone foolishly allowed us loose on their shiny car. We washed it with dirty water, and still expected to be paid.

Got our 1/- but with a clip around the ear as well for our cheek. :)

Vic Van Den Bergh said...

Happy days :-)

Used to do 'Bob a Job' with friend (who was a Cub) on a 'one for them, one for us' basis.

He also went freelance and kept a box of 'job done' stickers, doing it for himself after he left Cubs (strangely he became a Police Officer!!)

Hey Ho!