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Funniest lines from the parts counter

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

  1. e1956v, reading your post made me remember some of the video/movie I watched showing some of the cons.The unusual price part of your story was the tip-off. You're right, it seems like the successful ones are clever like a street magician or someone doing card tricks. That's why I'm sometimes surprised by the dullards business owners will have in front of their cash registers/till. I'd say once every 2-3 months someone will give me back too much change. When I point this out, some of them aren't even embarassed about their mistake, but may talk glowingly about my honesty.

    loudbang likes this.
  2. slack
    Joined: Aug 18, 2014
    Posts: 533


    This happened several years ago at one of the big chain part stores.
    Me: I need a rotor button for a points type distributor on a 73 small block Chevy.
    Them: Car or truck?
    Me: (Really?) truck.
    Them: A/C?
    Me: (Really?) It's got air so I need the special one for factory air.
    Them: I only show one kind. I don't think there's any difference.
    Me: Are you sure? The one for A/C is thicker. I gotta have the one for A/C.
    Them: (after looking for a couple minutes) We don't carry it sir.
    Me: Well I guess I'll have to look elsewhere.
    This is the short version. I walked out and never went back. Didn't like dealing there anyway. It was just on the way home. I know it was smart assed and I regret it but it really gets old answering a buncha stupid questions for a simple part. And that is why I love the computer. Now, I look up the part I want and give them the number. no pain, no strain.
  3. ratrodrodder
    Joined: Feb 19, 2008
    Posts: 210

    from Boston

    I worked for AutoZone (or was it Advance?) for one summer as a teenager. During my interview, the manager asked me to list off as many engine parts as I could...same for the braking system.... I don't recall what other questions he asked, but those have stuck with me for more than 15 years since...

    As for the computer parts "books," unfortunately the questions the customer gets asked is to narrow down the selection, just like filtering through parts on a website. Also unfortunately, if the person at the keyboard doesn't know enough about various cars, they won't know they can choose almost *any* 1973 Chevy/Ford/insert your make here to get the same info/parts. But if you don't know cars, or how the parts system works, you're dead in the water. And maybe you shouldn't be working at an auto parts store...

    But back to the original intent of this thread:
    A phone call came in for one of my coworkers. "Thank you for calling AutoParts-R-Us, this is ratrodrodder, how can we help you?"
    "Hi, is (coworker) there?"
    "Yes, he is." *Click* o_O
    Oh, I guess you probably wanted to talk with him? Ooops! :confused:
    Thankfully it was just a friend calling, and they called back in a little bit - that time we got the right person on the phone. :D
    chryslerfan55 and raven like this.
  4. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 16,059

    from oregon

    I was inquiring about a ball joint, the kid asked "is it a two door or four door":confused:.
    I replied it's a two door, I then said it was painted red too, does that matter?
    Truckdoctor Andy and dan c like this.
  5. Johnny Gee
    Joined: Dec 3, 2009
    Posts: 9,811

    Johnny Gee
    from Downey, Ca

    ^^^^^ When looking at either side it's a 2 door would have been my answer.
  6. brokedownbiker
    Joined: Jun 7, 2016
    Posts: 621


    I've been reading this thread and, while I have had many of these experiences, it is only when I go into the big chain stores outside my regular shopping area. I've lived in the same 40 mile circle for almost 50 years and have gotten to know where to shop for old car stuff and where to go for hot rod stuff (not always the same place) but a couple of people at different stores really stand out... and they're both women.
    One was at an O'Reilly's and knew her stuff; she had a head-start though, her husband was a car builder and hot rod guy, and she had worked alongside him before working at the parts store. When she left, I quit going there, it was too painful to watch them struggle after getting used to her competence.
    The other gal worked the counter for 10-15 years and ended up buying the store she worked at and had a crew that knew cars, old and new, and knew how to use the older books; she made sure of it.
    Here's the thing--
    Both of them taught me something years ago that made getting parts for my cars a lot easier; actually made it painless in most case- keep a build sheet or notebook on the car as you build it. When I bought parts as the project advanced, I'd list the parts and their part numbers in the book. When I finished the build, I'd organize it by system and toss it in the trunk or glove box. Any time I needed a part I'd take the book in and just supply the part number to them. It made life soooo much easier. It was a nice touch when I sold the car, I received several calls from the new owners thanking me for the resource later on down the road.
    Now a spiral notebook goes into the trunk of every car when I buy it and it gets filled in as I go- with my memory these days, it is a god-send. It also gets logged into my computer and I can print it up when the car is done.

    I got lucky with the '41 Chevrolet I recently bought, the builder and previous owner (not the same person) had done the same thing, along with keeping all their receipts. So I have a reference of the parts needed as well as an almost four inch thick stack of receipts to through if needed.
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  7. 62rebel
    Joined: Sep 1, 2008
    Posts: 2,820


    Side note: I don't work retail but I do have three techs to keep track of. Inevitably one or all of them will come to me with the statement "we're out of this ". Okay, first off, when did you use the entire stock without telling me about it? It's their responsibility to bill parts out to repair orders as they go. I track the usage and reorder as needed. Turns out that they never made a repair order. And, just to throw the monkey wrench into the works, drivers will raid the stock and not tell anyone. Fucked up system.
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  8. David Gersic
    Joined: Feb 15, 2015
    Posts: 2,499

    David Gersic
    from DeKalb, IL

    I really wish the PO of my Chevy had done this. He kept receipts, but many of them are illegible. I have some notes listing major assemblies, but no details. I’m slowly working my way through building a list of parts, listed by source, part number, and application.

    Sent from my iPad using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  9. I'm sorry sir but I don't see that on my computer. :rolleyes: HRP
  10. 56sedandelivery
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 6,695

    Member Emeritus

    Scott, Being you're in the greater Seattle area, you can appreciate this: DUNN LUMBER, or as I call them, Dunn For Lumber. We bought our home here in Everett some 32 years ago. The closest "hardware" store was the local Dunn Lumber. First time I go in there, there are THREE very overweight gentlemen sitting on stools at the counter. The one farthest from me, says to me, "come over here", while he makes the finger curling motion meaning the same thing. It was basically the same situation the next couple of times I went in. Three strikes and you're out! So, I said in my most sincere and serious voice, "you know if you guys got up, moved around a little, and actually approached your customers, you would't be so damned fat". Then I turned around and left, have't been back to Dunn For Lumber since; I do have one of their plastic flags they supply for lumber sticking out the back of your truck, that I have drawn the international red circle with the diagonal line for "NO", on the "DUNN LUMBER" name on the flag, hanging on the garage wall. I am Butch/56sedandelivery.
    61Cruiser, gotta56forme, GuyW and 2 others like this.
  11. LilBlue82
    Joined: Dec 16, 2015
    Posts: 102


    My dad owned a auto parts store for years. One customer called in needed 7 spark plugs for a V6........ It was then that i caught my dad ( who taught me everything etc etc ) face palm and and cover the phone with his hand as he said " god take those boys wrenchs please". He never sold him the 7th plug because he quickly corrected the kid on the end and told him where that other wire went too. But the old man in front of the counter told him i woulda sold him that 7th plug just for the fun of it....

    Sent from my LG-M327 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  12. dan c
    Joined: Jan 30, 2012
    Posts: 2,345

    dan c

    just bought a new battery at "A-Z" for a car that has the trunk-mount battery. drove over when the computer said they had 22 in stock. turns out there were none in stock, and asked if i'd mind calling other stores for availability...
  13. Boss 302 Mustang
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 57

    Boss 302 Mustang
    from Duxbury MA

    I was a counterman back in the early 70s and another guy (we had a lot of part-timers) is going nuts looking at the books for something. "You got to help me....I can't find this....this customer asked for a whatever for a '65 2 and a Q.......I can'r find it!!! I look at the customer and say" deuce and a quarter"? His eyes light up ans he goes "yeah, man!!".. I look at the other counterman..."Electra 225" and walk away. So even back then you had issues!!!
    Joined: Jan 13, 2004
    Posts: 2,769


    somebody please delete this thread.
  15. Boneyard51
    Joined: Dec 10, 2017
    Posts: 5,573


    I have dealt with parts houses for fifty years, worked in one while going to school. Even though I knew my job was temporary, I still tried to be the best partsman ever. Seems like folks don’t do this any more.
    I got some bad diesel in my motorhome a couple of years ago in Nebraska. Limped into an O’rilleys parking lot and waited for them to open. Walked in , didn’t have my filter, no other parts house in town.
    Asked the manager for the Wix filter book. He said your filter doesn’t cross to anything else. I said give me the book, reluctantly he did. I looked up my filter, determined my gasket size and thread size. Checked other filters with the same dimensions, asked if they had those? The “ manager “ asked what I was doing? I said , looking for a filter, he said we don’t have one for your motorhome, we looked and yours won’t cross. Finally, as I was about to run out of filters with the same dimensions, they had one. I bought it, after the protests by the manager telling me it won’t work! I take it out screw it on my coach , Fire it up and drive off waving at all the employees looking out of the windows, including the “ manager”. To this day, he probably has no idea what or how I did what I did. I might expect that from a new employee, but not a manager.

    partssaloon and 62rebel like this.
  16. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 8,863


    Knowledge and magic are interchangeable for some folks^^^^^^^
    Truck64 and 62rebel like this.
  17. Rich S.
    Joined: Jul 22, 2016
    Posts: 296

    Rich S.

    What happened to the days when you could walk into a parts store and say”I need a timing chain cover gasket set for a small block Chevy” and the parts guy would say “Ok” no look up and just walk out back and bring it to the counter. Write up a slip and away you go!

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  18. 5window
    Joined: Jan 29, 2005
    Posts: 8,743


    Why? It's way too much fun reading it. And, it would be even funnier if it wasn't so true! :)
  19. Lone Star Mopar
    Joined: Nov 2, 2005
    Posts: 3,298

    Lone Star Mopar

    Do you guys get bent out of shape when the waitress asks what you want to eat too ? Just answer the damn questions, get your parts and carry on.

    Sent from my SM-J727T1 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  20. Shit will do for brains when you got luck.

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    belair likes this.
  21. Me: I need a universal muffler with a 2” ID inlet and outlet.
    A/Z Kid: What’s this for?
    Me: If I tell you, you won’t have it.
    Kid: Oh I don’t know, we have a lot of mufflers.
    Me: Ok, fine, let’s play it your way, it’s for a 1950 Chevy 3100 Pickup.
    Kid: Uhhh? We don’t have it.
    Me: No shit? How about a 1977 C-10 with a 250?
    Kid: Sure! We got that one.
    Me: I figured as much.
    Never saw that kid again.

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  22. 62rebel
    Joined: Sep 1, 2008
    Posts: 2,820


    Even a blind hog finds acorns
    Truckdoctor Andy likes this.
  24. You guys opened a can of worms for me!!
    As a professional diesel truck mechanic, retail auto parts stores drive me batshit crazy. The sad fact is that this is all that’s left(at least in the St. Louis area). And we all know how dumb the counter people are, but most of their customers are even dumber. Back in 2005 my wife was an assistant manager at the local Oreally? auto parts hole. She had to close a lot, so on my way home, I would stop and see her. I always had my uniform shirt on, and I’m a 17 level ASE certified master auto and diesel technician with the patches on my shirt. There were “customers” that would ask me questions about their car problems. Slightly annoying, but I tried to help until I was told “nah, that can’t be it” after listening to their plight and offering suggestions. Ok, you fix it, Einstein. After that I told questioners that I fixed airplanes while I still wore my uniform shirt.

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    belair and Truck64 like this.
  25. I was treated that way at Ernst, remember them. It all way cam down to "oh we dont have that, go to Mclendons" No wonder they went under.
  26. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 16,059

    from oregon

    Or.....yes, we have it sir, it says so right here.
    Truckdoctor Andy likes this.
  27. oldiron 440
    Joined: Dec 12, 2018
    Posts: 2,822

    oldiron 440

    Two weeks ago I needed weigh for my grandsons pinewood derby car. I go to the local chain store and tell the guy behind the counter I need stick on wheel weights and he asks me what vehicle is this for, as he's clicking on his computer.
    loudbang likes this.
  28. That's the shit that happens to us when a computer geek designs a drill down search engine from his mothers basement for auto parts.
    The poor parts guy can't help you without answers to a progression of questions or if you don't have the part number
    lurker mick and 57 Fargo like this.
  29. rmcroadster
    Joined: Sep 28, 2014
    Posts: 26


    The best I got at the local REPCO (Rip Every Poor Customer Off) when they had just computerised was 'It is no good you pointing at it mate, the computer says we don't have any'. A good place to avoid these days.
    61Cruiser, 5window and loudbang like this.

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