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Funniest lines from the parts counter

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 59Apachegail, May 13, 2012.

  1. tjmercury
    Joined: Oct 22, 2010
    Posts: 589


    I worked in a parts house and this is just one run in with an idiot...
    me: What can I get you?

    cust: I need spark plugs for my 93 Ford truck

    me: Which engine is in it?

    cust: It's a 7.3

    me: Sir that's a diesel

    cust: I know

    me: It doesn't have spark plugs, I think you mean glow plugs

    cust: NO!, I need spark plugs for it...I want to speak with the manager

    me: I am the manager

    Anyway, after this goes back and forth for a while, I just sold him a set of bbf plugs and sent him on his way........Two days later he came in to get a set of glow plugs for his truck.........YOU JUST CAN'T FIX STUPID!!!!
    castirondude likes this.
  2. Engine man
    Joined: Jan 30, 2011
    Posts: 3,476

    Engine man
    from Wisconsin

    What gets me is when you give them all of the information and they don't use it. Went to get an upper radiator hose at the closest NAPA store for a Monte Carlo. The one he comes back with is way too short. He insists it's the one and has me look at the screen. He looked up a Chevelle instead of a Monte Carlo but he insisted they are the same. He finally entered it as a Monte Carlo and got the correct hose number.
  3. Engine man
    Joined: Jan 30, 2011
    Posts: 3,476

    Engine man
    from Wisconsin

    Since they haven't used points and condensers in cars since the 73 models, it's no surprise that an air conditioning condenser is the first thing they think of and no wonder that they don't know that cars, built long before they were born, didn't have air conditioning.

    Part store chains, like everyone else, want to get rid of older employees. Many places handle their own health insurance and older employees end up costing them more. Plus they usually have to pay them more.
  4. Scottrods2
    Joined: May 15, 2011
    Posts: 56


    There's a woman behind the counter at one of the local NAPA stores. She is about the only person I talk to in that store, and I will wait for hre to become available before I even bother with anyone else. She's the one person in the store that can find the correct hose for my buddy's 65 Dump truck.... IN STOCK. I've taken machine parts (Non Car related) and she comes up with a good part to replace with EVERY TIME. The machines I work on are Nissan powered (Industrial motors, that are no longer available,... but somehow she has identified them as Datsun B210 parts).... She's a keeper.
  5. Country Gent
    Joined: Feb 22, 2010
    Posts: 562

    Country Gent

    I can remember the original commercials for Autozone where the guy comes in with a shopping list for his 60 something vehicle, and the counter guys out with a arm load of parts saying "we got you covered" My ass. Went into my local AZ for a replacement headlight adjuster screw. first counter guy says "they only come with the headlight", The second guy says, "you can't adjust the headlights" At that point I asked where the HELP section was, walked down the aisle grabbed one off the hook,brought it up to the register, held it up to the first guy. "OH a headlight adjuster"
  6. hinklejd
    Joined: Jan 20, 2010
    Posts: 145

    from Amarillo

    I was heading home from work once and recognized a fella from work's Camaro on the side of the road, so I pulled over to ask if he needed a hand. Through conversation, he revealed that his car just overheated a lot, and sometimes he'll have to pull over three or four times to make it home...about 15 miles. So J ask him to pop the hood. The engine is still running, and I can see what looks like a truck upper radiator hose with a gigantic kink in it, and water bubbling from the hole in the hose where the hood had been fouling.

    So we let the car cool and head to the local parts store about two miles away. We go through the whole, then comes the question...305 or 350? Does it make a difference?

    One other from last week - I was looking for an e-clip that holds on the window. Rank on my OT DD pickup. I didn't find it on the shelf, but the houng fella behind the counter seemed helpful enough. After answering questions about 2wd/4wd, 2 door or 4 door, what engine/ transmission....he couldn't find it in the computer. Then comes the classic, "you're going to have to go to the Chevy parts house for that!" I went to the store down the road and found what I wanted in about three minutes. Now here's my question...why do they package those clips eight at a time? Does anybody here have an eight-windowed vehicle with manual cranks?

    So now I've got seven more window crank e-clips. Shoot me a PM if you need one.
  7. belle
    Joined: Jul 30, 2006
    Posts: 150


    it's winter and customer asks for a colder thermostat for his car , it calls for a 195 but would like a 160. no problem , but was curious why? says car heater puts out no heat and he figured with a cooler thermostat the engine would be cooler and then there would be more heat left over for the heater
  8. Country Gent
    Joined: Feb 22, 2010
    Posts: 562

    Country Gent

    scotrods2, know what you mean, before he was transferred to another store I had my favorite guy at my NAPA store. Underneith the counter he had his own collection of old real paper page catalogs. Sometimes he did have to use the computer to come up with the recent # that supersided the original. have fun some day and go into Autozone and ask for a "dash pot" Cheers!!!
  9. 62rebel
    Joined: Sep 1, 2008
    Posts: 2,744


    here we go again.....

    this never gets old to some people.
  10. 59Apachegail
    Joined: Apr 30, 2011
    Posts: 1,230

    from New York

    Looks like everyone is having better luck at Napa so far.
    And it can go both ways....But I really need to find a NAPA here!
    Last edited: May 13, 2012
  11. This actually happen to me when I went for a thermostat housing gasket for a sbc.

    Me: I need a thermostat housing gasket for a sbc.

    Dumb ass parts jockey: Okay, what year and make?

    Me: It doesn't matter they're all basically the same. Just give me a gasket for a sbc.

    Dumb ass parts jockey: I need to look it up so I'll need to know the make and model.

    Me: Look this is a custom application. You're not going to find it by the year, make and model.

    Dumb ass parts jockey: Well let me try. What's the year?

    Me: 1967

    Dumb ass parts jockey: The make?

    Me: Chevy

    Dumb ass parts jockey: The model?

    Me: Nova

    Dumb ass parts jockey: 2 door? 4 door? Wagon?

    Me: Wagon

    Dumb ass parts jockey: Standard or automatic?

    Me: What? Seriously?

    Dumb ass parts jockey: Sir I need to know.

    Me (by now I know he's fucked): It has a 700R4 automatic

    Dumb ass parts jockey: (Click... click... click on the keyboard the click... click... click some more and) Is that a standard?

    Me: No! It's an automatic.

    Dumb ass parts jockey: (after some more fuckin' around on the keyboard he says) I don't see that transmission listed.

    Me: Just use a Powerglide.

    Dumb ass parts jockey: Okay, what size engine?

    Me: A 408 small block Chevy.

    Dumb ass parts jockey: Is that a 283?

    Me: No! It's a 408!

    Dumb ass parts jockey: Uh you sure you have the correct information? I don't show a 408 engine or a 700R4 transmission in a 1967 Chevy.

    Me: No shit Sherlock! I told you it was a custom application! Now show me where your loose thermostat gaskets are in the back room. DUH!!!!!
  12. This isn't just true for auto parts stores, it happens everywhere......say the bill is $1.72. Give the cashier $2.22...all they have to do is put that number in the cash register and it will tell them to give you fifty cents change. What do they do? Stare alternately at you and the money in their hand.
  13. graham_paige
    Joined: Apr 7, 2012
    Posts: 90

    from Australia

    Thats not playing fair. I lot of car guys wouldnt know what a dash pot was... its just guys playing with weird english cars usually know about these.

    I have to laugh every timeI go in to get some consumables (plugs etc).

    grunt: What kind of car is it for?
    Me: Doesnt matter, you wont have it on the list
    Grunt: but need to know what type of car
    Me: 1928 Graham paige
    Grunt: .......dumb confused stare. Yeah Graham but what kind of car is it.
    Me: facepalm. Just get me some XXXX {insert full part name here}
  14. NoPaint
    Joined: Dec 24, 2006
    Posts: 74


    Did you just have a lot of time on your hands or did you have a good reason to not ask for an 85 Chevy k20 5.7 liter gasket? So the poor person doesn't know specs like you do...teach him instead of fight him. Nonetheless you are the problem here because your "custom application" isn't custom because it's the gasket not a particular shaped product like a hose. Just like I've helped you see your shortcomings you should do the same with the person behind the counter especially when you aren't being helpful at all. Next time say 2 speed not powerglide, 5.7 liter v8 not sbc, and you should get in and out in minutes.

  15. sadly after years and years in the auto parts biz i still remember gasket no.s for most things dated from 60-85 wasted space in my head now
  16. k9racer
    Joined: Jan 20, 2003
    Posts: 3,117


    I have a friend who owns a cafe. He buys red heater hose{does not leave marks like black} to make garden hoses for cleaning his place. This carries hot water and does not break down. He goes in to the parts store and asks for a 50 roll of 3/4 red hose. The ask what type car and he said kitchen clean up. The counter man said you will need to go to a resturant supply house we only sell car parts here. .. I also went to a part house and the kid behind the counter was working at a waffel house the week before.
  17. k9racer
    Joined: Jan 20, 2003
    Posts: 3,117


    Try trying to pay with a 2 dollar bill. lots of fun with the young ones.
  18. gearsforguts
    Joined: Sep 18, 2005
    Posts: 413

    from temple,pa

    Well I love when a customer comes in and wants valve cover gaskets for a sbc and i ask what year and get told they are all the same .So i sell them a set for a sbc with center bolt valve covers.Then they come back pissed off,then i say i thought they were all the same .haha

    All i can say as a counterman is give us the info we need to get the parts you want.
  19. gonmad
    Joined: May 17, 2007
    Posts: 1,753


    Me. I need a pinion seal for a 9" ford rearend.

    Counter. What's it in?

    Me. 69 Camaro.

    Counter. Ummmm......10 bolt or 13 bolt rearend?

    Me. Can I see the book please?

    LOL. Usually I just go in and Get the book myself. Most of them know me and my junk by now!
  20. mickeymoto48
    Joined: Dec 21, 2008
    Posts: 23


    Sorry to throw cold water on your "rag-on-the-parts-kid" party, but I had a very satisfying experience yesterday at the local O'Reilly parts bin.

    I walked in expecting to be frustrated by the same responses exuded in this thread. But, passing me at the door was a mature gentleman, backpack slung over his shoulder, wearing the dark green uniform shirt of the establishment.

    "Can I help you?", he asked with a smile.

    "I need a couple of radiator hoses for a street rod I'm building", I replied, "but it looks like you're leaving for the day".

    I explained the build is a 1940 Chevrolet panel truck, sbc350, and custom aluminum radiator.

    "No problem", he said, eyeing the drawings I had in my hand. "Let's go look".

    As we passed the counter, one of the parts kids you seem to be having fun kicking queried, "Hey Bill, I thought you were off for the day".

    "I am", the gentleman replied, "but this customer needs some help". Obviously a teachable moment for the young employee.

    The man, obviously the manager, took me to the back wall of the store and spent the next half hour searching through hundreds of radiator hoses until we were both satisfied I had the right ones. He then rang up the parts himself, asked with undivided interest how the build was going and walked out the door with me.

    His parting comment was, "thank you so much for bringing your business to O'Reilly's. If there's anything you need, call me and I'll try to have it ready when you get here. And please bring the panel by when it's done. I'd love to see it."

    Somewhat embarrassed by the attitude I had taken into the store, I promised I would bring it by.

    I hope he's still there in a couple of years.
  21. gonmad
    Joined: May 17, 2007
    Posts: 1,753


    Actually, there are sometimes real "car guys" at the stores. The store by me has a couple real car guys that I can ask questions to and them actually know or try to answer! Even an older guy that knew all about my 58 generator and what I needed to do to fix it! So, correct, they ain't all dummies!
  22. Shitboxdodge
    Joined: Sep 29, 2008
    Posts: 69


    So I guess everyone is saying that they expect the person working for basically minimum wage at the parts store to study up on every old car you might want a part for? Do you expect the same kind of knowledge from the person working the counter at McDoodoo's? They press the button for big mac, large coke and fries and it spits out the total. Sure, some of these people lack common sense and might even have a bad attitude, but what do you expect for what they are paid. Would you be willing to pay twice as much for a part from a store because it has knowledgeable sales people? I doubt it...

    It seems like a lot of these stories are people who get off on showing how much smarter they are than the high school kid behind the counter. Hell, at least these people have a job and are working!

    Have any of you tried to look up a part on one of the car part stores Internet site? Unless you have the exact part number and sometimes not even then, you have to type in the year, make, model, etc.

    Finally, these stores aren't making the bulk of their money selling parts for your custom 30's, 40's, 50's how many resources are they going to commit to making sure their counter guy knows about those parts...what they care about is the guy who can push the most fuel additive, injector cleaner, etc. that's the world we live in...if you want knowledge of the parts then call a specialty supplier...expect to pay more and wait for the part in the mail...hell, half the time I call one of these places they spend their time showing me how much more they know than I do...and usually not in a nice way!
  23. Fast67VelleN2O
    Joined: Mar 6, 2007
    Posts: 494


    Another parts store "clueless" counter guy thread.

    Let say if you have a 1946 Ford with a Camaro front clip, a 350 Pontiac engine backed up with a Chrysler 4 speed... well, you don't go in and say I need a head gasket for a 350 in a 1946 Ford. You are just asking for someone to scratch their head. Instead of making yourself the parts store hero and trying to stump the counter guy, you could save yourself some time and frustration if you just were the smarter man to begin with.

    Have the year, make and model handy of your PART for anything you are asking about. It will make your parts store experience easier.
  24. This is all quite true. I used to work part time at a chain auto parts store and I can attest to the fact that one of the main problems is their computer set up. It simply will not allow you to look up a part. You MUST key in a car, year, model, engine,etc and all other irrelevant crap before it will give you a screen for a part number. It would be much better if they had books for say...starters, then you open the book and find the engine instead of doing it bass-ackwards.
    But still, there are some funny stories about people working there that know nothing about cars. And the younger ones will never get an opportunity to find out about old carburetor powered engines unless we go in and school them on it.
  25. derpr
    Joined: Mar 11, 2007
    Posts: 257


    ever try to ask for a spark plug that was a step colder?
  26. slowmotion
    Joined: Nov 21, 2011
    Posts: 3,183


    Sounds like bustin' balls on the counter folks is in style. If you got a 'custom' application, ya gotta think 'outside the box' a little. Seems it's just a game to some who bask in showing their great knowledge yadayada...

    Bullshit, give the kids a break. Teach 'em, Help 'em. 408 my ass, most wouldn't know what the hell a 283 is, and you can't expect 'em to. Furcrysakes, they're makin' $9 an hr if they're lucky, and expected to know all the part#s for the latest Frankenrod of the day. Won't happen. The few oldtimers that are still at it, different story. But to most others, it's just a job, not a passion, car guy thing.
  27. "T'RANTULA"
    Joined: Aug 6, 2011
    Posts: 658

    from Ohio

    I asked for a valve cover gasket for a 300 inline 6, they said ford never made a inline 6 only a v6. Then I took him out to my truck and showed him and he said thats a cummins diesel!! Its sad really...
  28. skull
    Joined: Jun 26, 2007
    Posts: 498


    l too get frustrated at some of the things they ask, but the dang computer does need some weird info for parts.

    l just took the time to try to educate the parts people l interact with at the parts store l go to often.

    my biggest complaint is l finally get a person or two l can work with and the corporate/management transfers them. this's happend 6 times in 4 years.

    Later :cool:
  29. graham_paige
    Joined: Apr 7, 2012
    Posts: 90

    from Australia

    To counter my bithching, I did have a good experience the other month. Battery died in the Graham 100 miles from home. Drop into a chain "Parts store" and expect the usual confusion. The conversation went something like this.

    Female Store Grunt: Can I help you sir
    Me: Looking for a New battery, old one died
    Female Store Grunt: Whats it for
    Me: (thinking oh shit here goes) Its not on the lists, here is what we are using now.
    Female Store Grunt: Try me,
    Me: ok.... 1928 Graham Paige.
    Female Store Grunt: Cool, I have a.....

    turns out she grew up in a HAMB Friendly household, dad had been restoring and modifying cars since before she was born. She got the right battery for us, offered to help fit and even took the old one off our hands (after I did the change in their carpark.

    Sometime they are out there when you least expect it :)
    cptn60 likes this.
  30. manyolcars
    Joined: Mar 30, 2001
    Posts: 8,255


    You rich guys crack me up. Imagine actually paying for a thermostat gasket!
    I am not going to stop work, clean up and spend my time and gas going to a store for something that I can cut out of a breakfast cereal box before you can find the keys to your car.
    russellmn likes this.

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