Outside of dental offices, is there a more disquieting place to wait for the work to be done, and then to receive the verdict of exactly how much the work is going to cost, than at the auto service department?
Sure, sometimes we will know just about exactly when we bring the vehicle in. But… if something does not seem right with the vehicle, subject to its examination and analysis, about which we know as much as a medical or dental chart, we wait with apprehension. When finally summoned to the service desk, we look submissively at our adviser, secretly imploring for mercy in the final invoice, and hoping the deed is fully done. (In my case today it wasn’t, but at least the follow-up is covered by warranty.)
By not waiting in my dealer’s customer waiting room, with the obtrusive sight and sound of the wall-mounted TV, but rather in the lobby waiting area, one becomes witness to an interesting interplay. You have the old-timer sales guy, speaking to prospects in his unvarnished, at times slightly crude, style. You have the buzz around the reception desk, with service customers paying their bills, customers trying to connect with appointments, or outside sales people with their own agenda. There are young, well dressed but not too spiffy, sales staff wandering around and looking busy if not on the prospect prowl.
Then you have irregular happenings, one of which occurred today. A thirtyish male, cleanly but not impressively dressed, was filling out forms for a job application (at one point having to borrow a pen from the receptionist!). He left the building after a brief meeting with the personnel director, apparently in need of some additional documentation, as well as (what I overheard to be) a needed change of his peremptory attitude. He came back shortly, appearing no different, but for his sake hopefully toned it down by his second interview.
Yes, there’s a singular dynamic in many business gathering spots. The observer has much to note about contextual behaviour, certainly more so than if stuck in the environs of the sedentary waiting room.