I’m sorry if this comes off as somewhat of a rant, but that’s because it is….
The act of diagnosing a running problem is not always simple; in fact, like a symphony it is most often NOT simple, and that very statement, “I’m sure it’s something simple,” made so many times by owners only serves to anger any mechanic.
This statement belittles us and, if you must know, makes us more than a little upset! Imagine having someone tell you your job is simple!
It’s like saying, “I could do this myself but I am taking pity on a wretch like you and will throw you a few sheckles from my lofty position, where I cannot be bothered with this trivial thing that is down at your level”… I am careful never to say this to anyone, not the computer guy, the electrician, the doctor, etc.
The very fact that I must enlist assistance means it is not simple.
Let’s have a look at the “simplicity” of diagnosis…
By example let’s think of our lovely car as a symphony and it’s just not right; out of tune, lacking harmony … something is amiss and we can’t get it in tune.
Sure, there is the possibility that only one thing is missing, would Simon Rattle put up with such?!, and we discover without much ado that, in fact, the cellist is dead! After having carried her out by a backstage door to the sad murmuring of the crowd, we replace her and the music is perfect. Except the flute player — he’s always been a bit off, hasn’t he?!
Fine, in this case all is well again.
Now let’s assume that the symphony is not a standard 40 to 115 players but instead thousands and that they are all aged and many have never had any care at all, cannot play well, and are hiding behind others and behind walls in places difficult to get to and have had years of other so-called “conductors,” competent and very much otherwise, trying to root them out and replace them with good players or worse, just patch them up to play a bit longer. Sow we have a clearer picture, don’t we?
So the string section has a few broken strings but still sounds rather nice; the drums however only strike when the mood strikes them. I hope for a few more dead cellists for your sake, but give us the benefit of the doubt here: it could be much much more complex and in some cases not worth the effort.
“Not worth the effort!?” Really ?
Yes, and here’s why… Let’s say you are called in to repair a long chain, and there is one broken link on an otherwise perfect shiny chain. You are, upon completion, the hero and all the crowd applauds you. But suppose the chain has been heavily worn and many links are suspect. So you change the worst one and shortly thereafter another link breaks. Then another. You are then a scoundrel, and the rumor mill will resonate with your failure!
So yes, “Not worth the effort,” as what will suffer here most is not the client with the rusty chain but the harmony of your reputation….
Rant over. It’s OK now.