Ella, my car, my baby, my darling, is in for her first service today, poor thing. She is named Ella after jazz legend Ella Fitzgerald because she is a Honda Jazz (only I would come up with that, right?). She's the first female car I've had, preceded by Ziggy, my fiesty Ford Fiesta, and George, my grumpy 1960-something Alpha Romeo Giulia that I got to drive a grand total of twice (my father bought him "for me" and worked on him solidly before selling him off to a collector).
Anyhoo... Ella is in for a service today, as I mentioned, and I am thus far extremely impressed with the local Honda branch! When I had to take Ziggy in for his services in Cape Town, it meant visiting the hideous Rondebosch dealership, which, aside from being filthy, was inefficient and bloody expensive. Luckily it was down the road from the local library, so I could retreat there afterwards and breathe in the smell of old books to calm my nerves. Yes, I'm odd. Had you not noticed? Pfffft...
At the Ford dealership I would wait ages while the surly staff studiously ignored me and continued with their phone conversations. Once I'd finally been served, I could not convince them to drop me off at varsity after I'd handed my Zigster in to have his insides checked out by the monkeys that worked there. It was like dropping your toddler at daycare, only to discover that the childminder was a depressed has-been soap star with a penchant for early morning vodka shots and cherry cigars (where do i get this stuff?!).
Today's car doctor visit was a world apart. I forged my way through the miserable traffic on William Nicol (the worst road in the world, in my opinion) and arrived at the clean and friendly Honda haven, where I was greeted personally and shown to a parking bay. Within 10 minutes the paperwork was done and I was allocated a friendly driver who dropped me off at the office, after politely laughing at my lame jokes and proficiently making small talk with me.
Half an hour later, I received a phone call from the man working on my car to inform me that he would need to align my wheels. He just wanted to make sure I was ok with that and let me know what the cost would be before they went ahead. How different from my Ford experience, where they would do as much extra work as they could before I arrived to pick up my car and faint at the price and the pile of car component boxes on my passenger seat.
I'll see how Ella's doing when I get her back, but so far, thumbs up to Honda for not pissing me off today. For a car dealership, that is truly impressive. I'll take them one of the beeeeeg smiley face stickers I'm currently obsessed with. I'm sure they'll be impressed.