Pablo’s near death in Poland

So we managed to buy the simple parts needed for Pablo from an auto shop, but Nissan couldn’t fit us in for 4 days. As it was an easy job replacing two bushes to stop a clanky noise, we could get any garage to do it, so we asked around. Kia charged double Nissan, and Toyota was fully booked, so we tried Skoda.

No one spoke English except for the coffee girl/secretary so she translated to the office men. They asked to see the van, so Craig pulled Pablo up, we guessed that they wanted to see if it was a vehicle they were familiar with. Then a mechanic came over and took the keys off Craig so we quickly asked the lady what was happening. She explained that they wanted to see underneath. We’d already told her that we knew the problem and have the parts ordered, we just want to know how much you charge to fit it and if you have availability tomorrow. Anyway, the mechanic started the engine and sped off into the garage.

We walked in, to see Pablo’s left side practically clinging onto the edge of a 2m drop. The garage had a 1m wide gap by 2m deep with steps down either end so you can walk under a the vehicle. If he drove a couple more inches forward, Pablo would of crashed down and probably been a right off. I don’t know whether it was because the mechanic was driving a right hand drive but WHAT THE FUCK, how can you be so far off??

The back tyre was on the edge, but as I walked forward I saw the front tyre was half off!! I couldn’t believe it. I was having a hissy fit but Craig seemed calm like it wasn’t as bad as it looked so I calmed down a little. The lady had quickly dashed off to grab the stumpy manager. She clearly ran off to him and said ‘shit, Michael’s nearly driven the tourists van off the edge, just act like it’s no big deal!’.

The mechanic casually went under Pablo to take a look as if he meant to park so close to the edge. So in comes the manager, and he’s followed by all the workers and mechanics standing around gawping. He went under the van with the mechanic and I’m sure they had a gritted teeth conversation along the lines of ‘Kuuuuulvaaa!! (Fuck) what the fuck have you done Michael you fucking moron!!’ And ‘please don’t fire me boss!!’.

He tried his best to act confident as he stepped into Pablo but within seconds, I tell no lie, his face was covered in beads of sweat. Craig got a lot more serious all of a sudden and insisted he drove Pablo out of the awkward position as he didn’t trust them to do it. The manager didn’t let him. But I’m glad he didn’t because if the shit hit the fan, they were 100% responsible.

He started the engine and i was shaking like a leaf, one wrong move and that’s it, she falls sideways and is fucked. It’s only a £750 van, but it’s our home and transport. The incompetent mechanic was directing him forward and I was absolutely shitting myself. I was squealing like a pig in a slaughter house. Craig was shouting for him to stop when it got too close to the edge, but as everyone only spoke polish, they could of thought we were chanting ‘forward, forward!!’.

Somehow they made to semi-safety. But we still had to reverse back out of the Skoda Hell Hole. Craig told them he would drive it back so he straightened up and I guided him back. Even this was tense. All the workers were shouting polish demands left right and centre. As we got halfway along they told Craig to stop so he got out unsure why he’d been stopped.

We stood there shocked as the manager stepped under Pablo to actually take a look at the underneath like nothing had happened. As if we were still considering getting them to fix Pablo!! They had a look under and then asked us to move the van back to another section to try some machinery that gives the impression of driving on a bumpy road.

No, no, NO! I told the lady to inform the manager that we were leaving right now and I was extremely unhappy with the whole situation. They looked at me like I was being a drama queen. If I doubted myself about overreacting, all I had to do was remember the look on that managers face as he drove Pab’s; the look of shear terror mixed with the sweat of a fat man running a marathon.

We reversed out and got the hell out of there. We were both really shaken up afterwards. What would we do if it all went tits up, I don’t even want to think about it, all I know is i’ll never buy a Skoda.

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