“Hey, I don’t know what’s going on, but I’m having trouble mounting my second bottle cage to the seat tube.”
It’s Tim (not his real name).
After some conversation, I determine the problem is a common one. He’s got a traditional, bottom pull front derailleur, so the clamp fits between the bottle bosses. It’s a problem so common the more considerate bike companies ship their bikes with nifty little aluminum spacers to take care of the problem. In the absence of those spacers, all is not lost. The most common solution is to put a couple of the little knurled washers that screw onto Presta valves under the bottle cage. I explain this to Tim, dig around in my parts bin and drop four Presta nuts into his hand. He looks at them a moment.
“Can I get four that match?”
I calmly walked back to my bench, closed the parts drawer from which I’d gotten the first four and plucked my pedal wrench off the wall.
“Sure, I think I see a couple on the floor over there.”
When he bent over to pick them up, I dug deeply into my cache of anger, anger I’d been collecting and storing for years. That anger surged through my arm and propelled my pedal wrench into the back of his douchebag head with a satisfying sound not unlike dropping a watermelon on a cement floor.
I walked over to my bench, pulled out the drawer marked “Valve Caps,” marched it over to the service counter, threw it in his general direction and, without making even the slightest effort to keep the impatience out of my voice told him to help himself.
The above represents a very common experience when dealing with Tim. The man is deficient in some way, but that way is not lovable like it was with Corkie on that one TV show. His way is just thoroughly maddening.
Another example. Three years ago, Tim purchased from us a Trek 1500 or 1.5, whatever they were calling it that year. He paid for the bike in full, we did the out-the-door check on it and it sat in our basement for two years because he was just too busy to swing by and pick it up. Tim delivers papers for a living. At night. And it’s not that he forgot, as Bossman ran into him frequently and reminded him often that he had a bike in the basement.
One final example before my recalling all this prompts me to go put my head in the fucking oven. Tim stopped in one afternoon asking if he could buy reflectors. Now, I respect The Number, but even I won’t stoop to charging for reflectors. I dug out our Bin O’ ‘Flectors and told him to help himself. He looked through the bin for a full 35 minutes, carefully comparing every wheel reflector to every other to make sure he got a matching pair that he liked. WHO THE FUCK DOES THAT?! After finding a pair he liked, he hung around the shop for another hour. We don’t have that much shit. He had to have looked at everything at least twice. But he’s not content to just look. He has to ask asinine questions about everything. God forbid he’s there when I’m trying to help another customer, because he feels it necessary to interject with his two cents’ worth regarding everything I say. Now, that is some shit up with which I will not put, and I told him so. I hoped my chastising him would get some message across, but alas, it did not, as he is still a regular at the shop. Tim’s existence is proof that natural selection no longer operates on humans.