Craig called ahead and spoke to Leon. Leon asked me for a little help answering Craig’s questions. “Hey? Do we have brake pads for carbon rims?” Leon asked.
“Yeah. I think so at least. They’d be right here.”
Our service department is not a model of organization. Our space is cramped, we have too many of this and not enough of that and what small repair parts we do stock seem to have at least three possible locations. The brake pads were easy. We have pads for rim brakes hanging from peg board hooks and I grabbed a pair of carbon pads and handed them to Leon.
“Thanks, bro,” he replied. “Are these all we have?”
“Like, how many? Or different kinds?”
“Uh, both? Do we have any choices? And do we have more than one pair?”
I nodded and grabbed another brand and say, “The first were carbon specific but these can be used on either aluminum or carbon, but you never want to use them with both. If you get an aluminum shard in your brake pad and then use those on a carbon rim it’ll destroy the wheel. Fast.”
“Okay, bro. Thanks,” Leon said. “Oh, hey! Take a picture of me holding these, would you?”
I smiled and said, “Sure.” Leon is one of the most affable, gregarious people that I know. I call him Mr. Huggy-kissy because, in Latin America where Leon grew up, it is customary to greet people this way; and Leon is certainly happy to greet the women who frequent the shop with a hug and a kiss.
Leon hands me his phone, holds the brake pads up to his face, mugs for the camera and I take the shot. “Thanks, bro,” he repeats.
At the end of the day he says, “Hey, Keith, you work tomorrow, right? Craig couldn’t make it in today but he’ll be in tomorrow. I’m not working tomorrow. I’m going to leave these brake pads back on the hold shelf; can you make sure he gets them?”
“Sure. No problem. What’s his name again?”
“Craig. Craig Leynes. He’s a great guy.”
“Oh, hey, hey!” he adds, whipping out his phone. “Here’s his picture. I’ll tell him to look for you.”
I look at the picture and nod. “Okay. I’ll be here.”
“Cool. Thanks, bro.”
Leon does most of our social media posting. He is great with names and making people feel welcome and special. His desire to please is more than professional, he seems to genuinely want the whole world to be his friend.
Craig shows up late Saturday afternoon. “Keith?” another employee says, “someone is looking for you.”
I walk out front from the service department and smile, “Craig?” I ask.
“Yeah. Let me grab the pads.” I do and we chat a little about his bike, Leon, and a few other items. I help him find a handlebar mount for his Garmin and he leaves the brake pads and Garmin mount on the counter while he searches for a few other bike trinkets. I ask if he needs any help but he insists that he doesn’t. I let him wander a bit and he returns to the check-out counter and we discuss some of his choices to make sure that what he’s grabbed is what he’s really looking for. After confirming that all is copacetic I ring him up.
“Hey,” he says, “can you do part on this credit card and part cash?”
“Sure. What do you want?”
“Let’s do sixty dollars credit and the rest cash,” he replies handing me his card.
“Okay. So that leaves us with $22.73,” I say and Craig lays two bills on the counter which I let lie there. I plug forty dollars into the register and begin to count back Craig’s change. “Okay, so that makes twenty-three,” I say, handing him the coins, “and twenty four, twenty five,” placing two ones in his hand, “five makes thirty and there’s forty.” Craig just looks at me.
“What?” he asks.
“Oh. I’m old. I always count change back.”
“No, no. Not that. I only gave you twenty-five; not forty.”
I blink three times before answering and pick up his two bills. He is correct. I have made an error.
I am very cautious with money. I do not put a customer’s bills into the register until after a transaction is complete. By doing this I avoid being scammed by someone telling me that he handed me two twenties not a five and a twenty. There are many, many cash/change scams out there though I see them less and less. It is likely that scammers have gone on to credit card scams as those are far more lucrative.
Craig, of course, is anti-scamming me. He is telling me that I have made a mistake in his favor and telling me that I should correct this. I do and thank him profusely.
“You know what’s funny?” I asked. “Come tomorrow when the register winds up fifteen dollars short I would insist that I have no idea how that happened; and I’d be sincere too. Thanks again, Craig,” I add, extending my hand.
“Yeah, yeah. No problem,” he replies, shaking it.”Tell Leon thanks for me.”
Craig left with his goodies but he wasn’t forgotten. Nice to meet a good-guy once in a while.