I think almost everybody faces some element of anxiety when they visit their auto mechanic. But after talking with many female friends, coworkers, and family members of mine, it seemed like their anxiety rode a little higher. So I wanted to get it down on paper – well, internet paper – what some of their top concerns were. What I heard was interesting… not only because it’s the first time I’ve seen it put down on “paper,” but because some of the fears do overlap with the general population’s angst when visiting their auto mechanic. Here’s what they said, and please, share your point of view with us, too.
He thinks I don’t know anything about cars. My wife is a pretty cool lady, and one of the many reasons is that she knows her way around an automobile. She’s not going to be trading in her day job to work in an auto body shop or anything, but she can typically diagnose a problem – and know what the solution should be as well as the cost – pretty easily. She said it really grinds her gears when she’s visited mechanics in the past that default to the assumption she knows absolutely nothing.
I actually don’t know anything about cars. On the other hand, many of the women I interviewed said they don’t know a thing about cars, and the experience overall is just stressful as a result. They’ve cited feelings of being overwhelmed and stressed – my favorite analogy was, “It’s like when your wife asks you to pick up her hair dye for her. What color? What brand? What if the other one’s on sale? It’s just one of those things that you wish you didn’t have to be dealing with.”
I end up second guessing my gut instinct. This reason was cited as a secondary reason for many of my interviewees, and the primary reason an old coworker of mine said she dreaded visits to the auto mechanic. In her own words, “I don’t know a lot about cars, but I am a good researcher. As a result, I get a really good set of educated opinions about how much my repairs should cost, and then I feel like I get the run around when I actually set foot in the repair shop. And then I leave more frustrated at myself for not sticking to my guns and getting a second opinion.”
Sometimes, I’m just plain talked down to. A common refrain, I must say. Almost every woman I spoke with said they had experienced being talked down to when visiting an auto mechanic. Now, by no means is every mechanic like that – obviously. But because it was such a ubiquitous experience, it soured many of the women on my chat list to the overall experience of visiting the auto mechanic.
Does these sentiments line up with your experience going to the repair shop? We’d love to hear about it! Tweet to @openbay or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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