Thursday, October 12, 2006

Specialization in Gas Jockeys:

My car has a slow oil leak, and on a recent Sunday I just had to get a few quick quarts of oil. I also needed gas (and I was in a hurry) so I figured I’d stop at one of the usual places, and while filling up I’d say, “and also check the oil, I think I need a quart.”

I’ve done exactly that many times in the past, and I can’t count the number of times a gas jockey has first offered to check the oil for me. (I usually decline unless I feel like standing next to him, watching like a hawk and making sure he doesn’t create a need for maintenance.) So I was just floored by the guy’s response when I asked him to check my oil:

”Sorry, the mechanic’s not here today. I don’t know how to check the oil.” Now I’d happily go on a rant about how civilization’s becoming overspecialized, if only I knew how to change the oil myself.

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