Living in the South

One thing I’ve notice during the five short years that we’ve lived in the south is that all small towns have more than one ‘brand’ of auto parts stores as well as dollar stores. When talking dollar type stores,  Dollar Tree bought out Family Dollar here in Luray (maybe all over the country) but we still have the two Dollar Generals in operation. When talking auto parts stores, Luray has Auto Zone, Fisher Auto Parts and Advance Auto Parts which is just celebrating its first year in operation. I’m not even going to try to list the used car dealers Luray, as well as other small southern towns, claim as local businesses. I hear tell that the town fathers are considering requiring all the employees of these types of businesses to wear name tags to keep from trying to sell to each other. Is there that much difference in merchandise that dollar stores offer, or that auto parts stores offer? Point in case:

An elderly lady went into the local Auto Zone store and asked for a seven-ten cap. All the clerks looked at each other, and one finally said, “What’s a seven-ten cap?”

She said, “You know, it’s right on the engine. Mine got lost somehow and I need a new one.”

Not wanting to look ignorant, one of the clerks went to the computer screen, fiddled around for a short time and told the woman, “I’m sorry but we’re out of seven-ten caps. Why don’t you go over to Fisher Auto Parts and see if they have any in stock.”

At Fisher Auto Parts, the lady once again explained that she needed a seven-ten cap as hers somehow had gotten lost and she needed a new one.

“What does it do?” the clerk asked.

“I don’t rightly know,” the lady said, “but it has always been there on the engine and now it’s gone.”

“What kind of car is it?” the clerk asked.

“My 2001  Chrysler Town and Country,” the woman answered.

“How big is it?” the helpful clerk asked.

The lady made a circle about three and a half inches in diameter with her hands.

The clerk had no idea what she needed but went to the well stocked shelves, moved some boxes around and returned to tell the lady, “We sold the last one this morning. We’ve reordered but they won’t be in until next week. Have you tried Advance Auto Parts?

At Advance she told her story over once again. “I need a seven-ten cap for my 2001 Chrysler Town and Country.”

“I don’t know if we have any on hand,” the Advance clerk said, “but if we do, it’s going to be pricey as it’s for a Chrysler.”  “What does it do?” the clerk asks.

“As I told them at Fishers, I haven’t  the slightest idea. It’s always been on the engine and now it’s not, the lady replied.”

“How big is it?” asks the clerk.

Again the lady held up her fingers showing about a three and a half-inch diameter circle. As the clerk stood there scratching his head, the manager came over as he had overheard their conversation. He handed her a note pad and asked if she would draw a picture of it.

The lady carefully drew a circle about three and a half inches in diameter . In the center of it she wrote , “710.”

The manager,  looking at the drawing upside down, walked over to the shelf and grabbed an oil cap.

Maybe they all have the same merchandise, but evidently not the same sense of salesmanship.

Keep your fork

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