“Hi, I’m here to check on a vintage guitar you all have been working on for me?”
The blank stare of a man faces me. I try again.
“Is Joe in?”
Finally words leave the man’s mouth. “No, Joe worked Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday this week.”
“Well, I know he normally works on Friday and Saturdays and I need to let him know that I need that guitar by May 15.”
“How long has the guitar been here?” He asks.
Finally, a question.
“Since November.” This seems to spring the man into action. As he moves around the counter he asks, “What, are you going on tour?”
“Yes” (that seems an easier answer than explaining the mess of churches, friends, concerts and family visits).
“Well now, we’ll just have to make sure he knows, won’t we?” The man writes a large message on a notepad and heads to the back to take a look at the guitar. “Looks like he’s close to being done.”
Joe has been close to “being done” for about three months now. I’ve had multiple voice mails or conversations when I’ve stopped in to see how things are progressing. To being told I’m a couple of months early, to advising me to research pick ups online to find out what I need, it’s been a path of murky customer service with what often feels like “the good ole boys”. I never thought handing over my great uncle’s 1930’s gibson guitar would put me in a position to feel the lone female in an auto shop with the shark infested waters of mechanics smelling the blood in the water. Well, they certainly aren’t aggressive sharks. More like the hyenas from Lion King… who have to be prompted to action….mufasa……
But then I think about the man that owned and played and loved that guitar. His life was riddled with potholes and devastation. It seems only right that getting his guitar fixed up would come with hiccups, confusion, and a little bit of crazy.
Soon, my friends, soon.