Sith lords at the auto parts store

So i’m in the process of trying to fix a relatively simple problem: a piece of flexible high pressure tubing on the forklift blew up on Friday and with the season of trucks, lots and lots of trucks, nearly upon us i need that forklift. Unfortunately, ownership is in Argentina so i can’t pass the task of finding the parts off onto the boss. After assurances from the helpful guy at the auto parts store that they had plenty of high pressure flexible hydraulic line i took to disassembling the forklift to the point where i could get the offending bit off. Other than standard acts of mechanic contortion tricks, it went easily and i headed to the store to pick up the measly six inches of tubing i need.

Helpful youngish man wasn’t around, so i got cranky old man. Have you ever noticed that like Sith lords there are always two at the auto parts store. The younger guy is friendly, helpful and too often doesn’t actually know what the fuck he’s talking about. The cranky old guy does know what he’s talking about but he doesn’t want to tell you; he learned the hard way and so can you, daggummit. That and he just wants to go home.

Since this cranky old guy was minutes from leaving and the answer to my question was simple, he wasn’t overly cranky. Or it might have been that cranky old guys take some cold comfort in saying, “Nope.” Sure, they’ve got plenty of high pressure flexible line in the size i need, just not the right kind. Not surprisingly, they have SAE line with the steel braiding between the tubing and the outer weave. It doesn’t bend very well, not the 180 degrees with no more than five centimeters between the ends. I can make it bend like that, but i doubt i’ll be able to mount while holding it in that shape.

He gave me six inches of the stuff and told me i didn’t have to pay so i could give it a try. But he and i both know it isn’t going to work. Enough of phoning first. Tomorrow morning i’ll have to start my day by going to all the places that sell equipment with hydraulics looking for my tubing. I’ll probably find it, and should have called those places first anyhow (except that they’re all a lot less convenient).

Nope, no point to this at all except the realization that auto parts store staff strangely resemble Siths and your only hope is that the cranky old guy will be nice to you because the apprentice will have you running around in circles, doing everything three times and returning to the store again and again.

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~ by Lex on February 2, 2010.

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