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Funniest lines from the parts counter

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

  1. Terrible80
    Joined: Oct 1, 2010
    Posts: 782


    I'm working on treating people with courtesy--- respect is a little different. But , how I treat them says more about me than them.

    Sent from my LG-TP450 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  2. ahshoe
    Joined: Sep 12, 2012
    Posts: 833


    Me: I need a distributor cap for a 1961 Galaxie.
    Untrained counter human: What's a Galaxie?
    blowby likes this.
  3. blowby
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 7,752

    from Nicasio Ca

    Very true. I treat the $10/hr. counterman with the same (perhaps even more) courtesy as the $100,00/yr. corporate pencil pusher. Probably because I've been both and the former was the harder struggle.

    Back to the title subject, and it's an old one, but there's the lady who came in with a blown fuse, bought a pack of new ones, came back later with a blown pack of fuses and said "these are defective, my radio still doesn't work!"
    36-3window, VANDENPLAS and alanp561 like this.
  4. gatz
    Joined: Jun 2, 2011
    Posts: 1,582


  5. skot71
    Joined: Oct 30, 2010
    Posts: 178


    Not parts store, but somewhat related. About 15 years ago, my Dad had a '62 Galaxie 4 door. I was driving it somewhere, and parked in a parking lot, got out and started to go in to the store. 2 younger guys in a lowered Honda with the tires sticking out parked very quickly and jumped out, asking me what kind of car it was. I was put off by their choice of car and sideways hats, etc., but they couldn't have been nicer or more respectful. They asked a lot of questions, and both shook my had and thanked me for telling them about it. Like some have said above, there is hope!
  6. dan c
    Joined: Jan 30, 2012
    Posts: 2,214

    dan c

    our (now closed) neighborhood parts store's employees played "trivial pursuit" with parts numbers. going there was like watching the guy on "graveyard cars"!
  7. dan c
    Joined: Jan 30, 2012
    Posts: 2,214

    dan c

    i have nephews like that. i think a lot of young guys are into them because of peer pressure!
    skot71 likes this.
  8. dan c
    Joined: Jan 30, 2012
    Posts: 2,214

    dan c

    in all fairness, i've taken battery trays into the local AZ and they've always found a battery that fits by physically checking inventory.
  9. Went in to the local appliance store to get a set of piston rings for my 1930 Maytag gas powered washing machine. Stupid counter guy told me washing machines run on electricity. What an idiot! I am boycotting that store!
    47ragtop, egads, LowKat and 6 others like this.
  10. Toner283
    Joined: Feb 13, 2008
    Posts: 1,327


    Have to agree with that one. I live where it's cold 5 months out of the year and I want to put the largest cold cranking amp battery in my vehicle that will physically fit where it needs to go. I don't care if the book says I should put a 450 CCA battery in. If its 1200 CCA battery will fit in the hole that's what goes in. At least I know my vehicle will start when it's -30° Celsius or when it is a high-compression engine and a high-torque starter.
    dan c and TrailerTrashToo like this.
  11. i guy comes into the store and wants to know what the warranty is on the ignition coil he just bought for the 5.4 in his F-150. seams he replaced the coil because of a misfire on #1 cylinder and now it is still misfiring , so he needs to return it. i asked him if he tried a new sparkplug since that could be the cause. no, but he was willing to give that a try. he went out to take out the old plug with tools i loaned him. a few minutes later he comes back in and says that there was no sparkplug in it at all!

    the new sparkplug i sold him failed to tighten up , a common problem from stripped out threads. he leaves on 7 cylinders

    how you can replace the coil on plug and not notice there is no plug?
  12. X-cpe
    Joined: Mar 9, 2018
    Posts: 1,191


    Because you don't know what you don't know.
  13. As a parts guy for 30+ years, the number one comment I hear is "they are all the same",
    which was probably mostly true 40 years ago.
    Another breakdown in communications happens when too much attitude shows up at the counter, either parts dude & customer.
    Ignorance does not get your part any faster & the price break is out the window too.
    Good thing to remember, Parts people are not door mats!
    Patience is the key.

  14. you are 100% correct. if someone comes in with attitude he gets to pay the full normal price , if he is a nice guy/gal and needs a little break on the price we have all sorts of ways to make that happen
    47ragtop, 5window and LowKat like this.
  15. First you have to be aware that there should be a plug to notice one is not there. Completing the basics with a firm grasp on how to apply that knowledge is the first step.
  16. 4x4Mike
    Joined: Jul 16, 2013
    Posts: 3

    from Mabank, tx

    Been in the parts biz for 40 plus years. Started with books and mastered the computer. I have worked in independent stores, spent 20 years working at Chevrolet dealership and ran 2 salvage yards. The old VW radiator jokes are a little long in the tooth, but we still hear it on occasion. Need a auto part and if its available I can generally find it. I have found parts for Hupmobiles, Packards, LaSalles, Diamond Rios as well as any and all domestic and foreign makes. I have worked with some of the best and worst parts men/women in the business. We have a little prayer we go by. I work behind the counter in an autoparts store Sometimes I'm called a genius
    Cosmo49 and Jim Bouchard like this.
  17. I have to give credit were credit is due.
    I usually do my parts shopping at a place called Auto Plus here in my town.
    The place used to be a independent and at some point the Auto Plus name went on after the family name.
    The place is run and staffed with car guys for the most part and they have a full service machine shop in the building as well. they still have a table with a that metal rack of parts books right behind the counter.
    The other day I was looking for some rear shocks, I used the Monroe shock table that someone put together here on the H.A.M.B and found what I though might work for my application but i really needed to see them in person and started calling around (it was a Sunday and my normal parts store was already closed)
    I call PepBoys and the following conversation ensues
    Parts counter guy: How can I help you.
    Me: Can you check stock if I give you a manufactures part number?
    Parts counter guy: Make and Model?
    Me: I just need to see if you have a specific Monroe shock in the store, can i give you that part number?
    Parts counter guy: What's it going on?
    Me: a 1930 Ford Model A coupe with a 1951 Ford F1 rear end.
    looooonnngggg pause
    Parts counter guy: What's that Monroe number?
    {here is where it gets interesting.}
    Parts counter guy: amazingly we have two in the store... i don't know why there are here, we are not supposed to have these in stock.
    Me: I will be right over.

    I get there and he has them on the counter and i check them out, the more i talk to him about my set up the more interested he is getting. The other younger guy is just kind of hanging out and listening.
    Parts counter guy spins his screen around and shows me a detail screen of all the applications that this particular shock was used on (53 ford, 47 willys, etc) The younger guy is blown away by this "mystery screen" and starts asking how he got to that screen, etc...
    I wasn't able to use the shocks but the new counter guy learned something new and the other counter guy went above and beyond to help me out.
    i think maybe a lot of the "older" parts guys are jaded and the younger ones haven't been properly taught... or have a vastly different scope of interest than us "traditional" guys. I bet a lot of these "new" guys could tell you exactly everything you would need to swap a S65 V8 into an e89 Z4 from memory.....
  18. I think this is one of biggest things I have a hard time finding when at any local parts store is that none of the counter guys will be helpful when your trying to find a part that will work on your hot rod or modified car. If its not a stock part that is a simple pull and replace, they didnt want my business because.

    Best story I have with that mindset was I was helping a buddy with his 68 Camaro SS 396 (true original BBC car) and he need to get a set of plugs for it, went to the local parts store and went to the counter and told the person what we needed, started typing the info in and then said that they didn't make a 396 Camaro. I looked at the employee oddly and asked why he thought that, well the computer didnt list a 396 Camaro. I then thought well okay then how about look up the the spark plug numbers for a 68 Chevelle SS 396, that would be a simple workaround the computer. Counter clerk without missing a beat just asked why, the plugs wouldn't work as it was a different car and wouldn't look them up. I just shook my head and left the store.
  19. 4x4Mike
    Joined: Jul 16, 2013
    Posts: 3

    from Mabank, tx

    I work behind the counter in an autoparts store Sometimes I'm called a genius sometimes I'm called much more. I say I'm no mechanic but when the job goes sick Yall want to come and ask me what makes the damn thing tick I'm supposed to know the numbers of nuts and bolts and gears for every machine ever made for more than a hundred years. I'm supposed to have the answer for every thing unknown for every Tom, Dick and Harry for every question thrown My life would be a pleasure I'd grin from ear to ear if only they would tell me THE DAMN MODEL MAKE AND YEAR.
  20. Boneyard51
    Joined: Dec 10, 2017
    Posts: 5,026


    I guess I lucky, my go to parts guy started as an errand boy many many years ago at a local mom and pop store, here in Muskogee. He worked his way up to counterman. When the big chain came to town and hired partsmen from all the stores, he chose to stick with his people. Well, we all know what happened, after several years his store closed and the big chain recruited him and he went directly to commercial sales and is still there. I know it’s been forty years at least, since I first met him. When I come in he would just hand me the book I needed and grin. He’s solved problems and found stuff for me for years. Will solve problems over the phone for me too. Since I’m retired now, don’t need him as often, but he is talking retirement now.... don’t know what I’m going to do then!

    Truckdoctor Andy likes this.
  21. patsurf
    Joined: Jan 18, 2018
    Posts: 481


    i work behind the counter in an automotive parts store
    sometimes i'm called a genius ,sometimes i'm called much more
    i claim to be no mechanic,but when the job goes sick
    the mechanic comes and asks me what makes the darn thing tick
    i'm an engineer and machinist ,and what not oh my lord-
    i'm supposed to be an edison combined with henry ford!
    but life would be a pleasure and i'd grin from ear to ear
    if the customer would only tell me the model,make and year!
  22. Right down isle 4 bottom shelf right next to the left handed polish end wrench and fallopian tube removers !

    And that was a good story sending the new kid in the shop to the parts store
    for a set of fallopian tube removers and make sure to talk to "Lynn"
  23. Heavy Old Steel
    Joined: Feb 1, 2019
    Posts: 58

    Heavy Old Steel

    I bought an alternator from Advance, it failed in a short time bad bearings, took it back got a replacement it failed also, when I took it back to ask for my money back the counter person said no can't do that, I said why not it has a lifetime warranty, he said You already used up the lifetime warranty on the first one, the replacement part doesn't come with one.
    After talking to the manager I got my money back, and that was given reluctantly.
  24. 55 Ford Gasser
    Joined: Jul 7, 2011
    Posts: 584

    55 Ford Gasser

    Don't know how long you had the replacement alternator before it went bad, but the warranty is actually Limited Lifetime, not Lifetime. Which is never really explained to the customer. Limited means you get one free replacement and that one comes with a 90 day warranty. But, usually for good customers they will keep replacing a part. Myself, I never had any problems with alternators or starters from Advance. Most managers prefer keeping customers so will usually do what it takes to make them happy.
  25. leon bee
    Joined: Mar 15, 2017
    Posts: 580

    leon bee
    from Arkansas!

    Mostly young help here in the stores now. Every single time that I can, I take in a number with me. I know what plug I want, I've got the oil filter number. You can get the numbers for all kinds of Dorman type stuff online. I wanted a 6v blower motor, I had the number for it when I went in the store. Etc., etc. Those guys in my small town appreciate it and remember it. And I always got a better chance of getting what I want.
    TrailerTrashToo likes this.
  26. Dixon Bastie
    Joined: Apr 7, 2017
    Posts: 175

    Dixon Bastie

  27. Dixon Bastie
    Joined: Apr 7, 2017
    Posts: 175

    Dixon Bastie

    Well, Critter, you found one. I'm so deranged I own two Edsels.
    So ... my 58 Corsair is slowly becoming a mild custom, running a warmed up 428/C6.
    That said, I've had experiences af parts stores whicb make me want to carry a full bottle of Valium with me when I walk in. Here are a few for you :
    - a 58 WHAT???!!
    - how does that rear engine work out? (NOT a Corvair, dumbass - a Corsair)
    - how many doors on it? (who cares?)
    - what's the trim code (for engine parts?)
    - when did GM quit making them?
    - sorry, the computer says they never had 428s ( really???)
    - wow, my grandfather bought a brand new one of those in 56 (first year 58, btw)
    - is it front or rear wheel drive?
    - how do you spell that - I'm not familiar with imports
    - best one of all - why do you own one of those? (I get the lobotomy stare when I reply I actually own two)
    Yup, life can be challenging for Edsel owners .........
  28. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 9,475

    jimmy six

    I'm still dumbfounded on why a HAMB member would ask for a part for a 1962 Galaxie... That's just about as smart as me asking for a part for my 1956 Fairlane which wasn't manufactured until 1962.
    At 74 I try not to piss-off everyone I meet especially the ones I need something from.
    47ragtop and Terrible80 like this.
  29. I got some thing for that Silly Wabbit :):):cool::cool::D:D

    Vimtage Iron and INVISIBLEKID like this.
  30. Perry Hvegholm
    Joined: Apr 16, 2018
    Posts: 116

    Perry Hvegholm

    Generally speaking, I hit Summit or Napa when I need parts and try to avoid generic auto chain stores. I completed a front end rebuild on one of my cars. I did a brake rebuild at the same time. Suddenly the only thing that stood in the way of completion was having the rotors turned. I stopped at a local Pep Boys because it was around the corner and I was in a hurry and they advertised this service as being done "while you wait."

    Me: "I'd like to get these rotors turned real quick"
    Disinterested millennial counter boy with bleached hair (pulls earbuds from ears) "Uhh...yeah...can I help you with something?" (while looking at my rotors on the counter)
    Me: "Yes.....I'd like to get these rotors turned real quick."
    Counter boy: (while expressing an annoyed frown at my rotors) "You know, we probably have new ones in stock".
    Me: "That's great news, but i'd just like to have these turned, please."
    Counter boy: (long sigh) "Hold on." (walks thru glass door and asks another employee about something. He uses his hands to make a pincers gesture.)
    Mechanic behind glass: "You looking for the rotor calipers?"
    Counter boy: Nods head.
    Mechanic picks them off the wall and hands them to counter boy.
    Counter boy comes back, picks up one of my rotors and runs calipers over them really fast.
    Counter boy: "Yeah....these are gonna be a no-go, man. You just, like, need new rotors. If you tell me what car they're from I can check stock."
    Me: "May I see your calipers?"
    Counter boy: (frowns, rolls eyes and then sighs, hands them over)
    Me: "The thinnest point on this rotor...this small groove, is .040" thicker than the minimum manufacturer's thickness. The other rotor is even thicker. You could turn an extra .010" past that groove and still be .030" over min thickness."
    Counter boy: "It might, like seem that way, but the problem here is that if we turn these, they'll be too close to the minimum thickness. You need to just get new rotors, man."
    Me: "No, the rotors will still be well above minimum thickness after you turn them."
    Counter boy: "But what you don't understand is that these rotors will be too close to minimum thickness to meet standards."
    Me: "Ok...understand that i'm a mechanical engineer by trade."
    Counter boy: (Nods head)
    Me: "You understand that these rotors will still meet manufacturer's standards after you turn them."
    Counter boy: "But they won't meet OUR standards, man." (hooks both of his thumbs up toward Manny, Moe and Jack sign on wall above him.)
    Me: So what you're telling me is that Pep Boys holds my rotors to a higher standard than the original manufacturer's engineering specifications for minimum thickness tolerance on rotors?"
    Counter boy: (Smiles) "Correct!"
    Me: "That is absolute horseshit."
    Counter boy shrugs and holds hands out in a what can I do? gesture.
    Me: "Please get the manager."

    I waited several minutes for the manager to come up front. He was also a millennial and looked annoyed at me for my having summoned him. I got most of the way thru my summary of what transpired. He held his hand up in a "stop" gesture.
    Manager: "You have to understand that we can't turn rotors that are beyond minimum thickness".
    Me: "But they aren't."
    Manager: "That's not what I heard.
    Me: "You haven't even measured my rotors."
    Manager: "We already did."

    Ten minutes later I was at Napa, waiting while my rotors were being turned. They turned down smooth with plenty of meat to spare.

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