My car went in to be serviced today, my wife takes it to the garage.

So that means I usually leave a note, if there are other problems with it.  I’ve had an issue with my front head light.  Last time I talked to them about it, they said it would probably be the bulb.  I’d proved this not to be the case by changing the bulb from one head light to the other.  I had to hand this information off, so I wrote a note.

During the day I got a call from the garage.  The guy on the line wasn’t the mechanic doing the work, we had a garbled conversation about what the problem was, and what my note really meant.  After about 2 minutes of not getting anywhere, he put the mechanic doing the work on.  I managed to explain the investigation work I’d done, and my (google car expert) diagnosis of the issue.

As my drive can be long home, I began to wonder about what had happened.  It got me thinking about this diagram:

This has a couple of things:

  • I’d done some initial work – investigation and tried to express this in a note (hand off).  Which was useless, it was only useful as a conversation starter.  Maybe my badly written note would have been better “Front Headlight not working please call me”, rather than trying to describe what I’d done to investigate.
  • Why it’s important to talk to the person doing the work instead of a middle person.
  • Would it have been quicker face to face, with the car in front of both of us, to discuss.