Every few thousand miles, I stop back in at my favorite garage for the usual oil change and brake check. This place is as reliable as the sun after the rain, filled with forthright, self-respecting mechanics who always give sensible advice and never overcharge. These are guys who have readily worn the trademark of their honest living, faint traces of grease, under their nails seven days a week. That is until recent developments.
Lately, I have noticed a growing trend in the shop as I’ve dropped by for the usual tune-ups. These fellows are increasingly referring to each other as “technicians” rather than “mechanics” and they are eschewing the image of mechanics with stained hands.
I was recently sitting in the bistro-styled waiting room, picking at a complimentary croissant and sipping a latte when my favorite tech swings through the door that guarded the waiting clients from the pneumatic wrenches screaming on the other side of the wall. To my surprise, he is sporting a pair of tightly fitted, badass-looking, black nitrile gloves. I can’t take my eyes off his hands as he explains my work estimate for that visit. He looks as though he was about to commit a break and enter instead of innocently turning brake rotors.
The desire to better one’s after-hours appearance with some simple protective gloves makes sense. It must be impossible to believe the night should belong to Michelob when every time you sip your drink, your grease-stained fingers are telling you who the day belongs to. Plus wearing gloves in the garage is not an altogether new idea. And the sexy black look has the added benefit of catching some appreciative female glances.
Hand cleansers, no matter how gentle they claim to be, can eventually have a harsh effect on skin that is continuously scrubbed. Add a little dry winter air to that and you can literally have a real problem on your hands. Ordering up some disposable nitrile gloves, particularly those black ones, is a smart decision for everyone on the shop floor.
I give my work estimate the OK and my mechanic (oops, “technician”) disappears back into the dark dominion of those screaming pneumatic wrenches. An hour later, my car is curbside waiting for me. As I get in, I can see the shop’s customary gift for their lady clients has been placed the seat next to me: A long stemmed red rose, laid there no doubt by a bad-boy black-gloved hand.
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