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AIBU to expect that chivalry shouldn't be dead?!

(29 Posts)
donotswearmummy Fri 30-Aug-13 13:57:07

I really need to have a good old rant! Yesterday I had a tyre blow out while I was on the M62 motorway. It was scary. As I had my lively 7 year old on board I didn't want to take my chances on the hard shoulder so I made it to the next exit and the first safe place I could stop was Polar Ford, Castleford. What luck! This is the dealership where I bought my car and where I take it for any work it needs because I have a Ford service plan.
I went to the service desk to ask if anyone could help me. I wasn't expecting the help would be free. I would gladly have paid for a new tyre or the time it would have taken to fit the spare.
There were several staff at the service desk but I was told no help was available as "they start knocking off at 5.30". Presumably "they" were the mechanics. The time then was 5.40pm and the Service Department was open until 6pm. I was informed that the car park would be locked at 7.30pm.
I was a woman who had a 7 year old child to care for, who had just had a frightening experience and I was stranded 20 miles from home so this response was a bit upsetting.
My parents travelled from home to collect my son and I waited for two hours for the AA to attend and change my tyre. I did try to do this myself but neither I nor my father could loosen the wheel nuts. We were struggling to do this in a Polar Ford car park but no help was forthcoming.
The only happy note is that although the Service Department "start knocking off at 5.30"; the Sales Department appears to be open until 7pm. This meant that I wasn't bored while I was waiting for the AA because I was able to talk to a few prospective customers about Polar Ford after sales service.
AIBU to expect that chivalry shouldn't be dead? Or that customer service should be better than this?
Rant over, sorry.

HeySoulSister Fri 30-Aug-13 13:59:49

Chivalry? Oh come on!!

You and your ds could wait for recovery surely?

AnnieLobeseder Fri 30-Aug-13 14:00:45

Chivalry? Yes, an outdated concept that women need "looking after" because they're weaker. And your gender has no relevance to this situation

However, this was poor customer service, and it would certainly have been nice for them to help anyone (male or female) in the difficult situation of being stuck with a child.

TylerHopkins Fri 30-Aug-13 14:03:14

Perhaps chivalry is the wrong word to use. People should just be more aware of what's going on around them and offer to help people in difficult situations when they see things happening. Even the smallest thing can make a difference. Too many people choose to walk past because it's none of their business or they're just too busy. Perhaps if we made a little time for others the world would be a nicer place.

I also think when you do a good deed, the person on the receiving end passes this on to the next person. It breeds!

Northernexile Fri 30-Aug-13 14:04:14

Bad customer service, definitely, but that has nothing to do with chivalry! Expecting men to be 'chivalrous' just because you are a woman is a very outdated view.

SilverApples Fri 30-Aug-13 14:06:04

It would have been nice if they helped out, but they didn't.

FWIW, I had some lovely support from a local Ford garage when we were on our way home and the thermostat/water blew.
It was very late on a freezing winter's night, my DD was 3 and the lone member of staff made us both hot chocolate and kindly shared his biscuits.
I was driving a crap B reg VW.
It's not the organisations, it's the individual people.

Nancy66 Fri 30-Aug-13 14:08:07

Learn to change a tyre - that's not me being sarky. It's easy and invaluable.

SirChenjin Fri 30-Aug-13 14:08:27

I like manners from a bloke (in fact, I like manners from everyone) and I hate poor customer service. What you got there was both.

Chalk it down to a crap experience, don't buy from them again, and thank goodness for the AA smile

cory Fri 30-Aug-13 14:08:41

I think chivalry should be promoted.

I just don't think it should be gendered. smile

SirChenjin Fri 30-Aug-13 14:09:33

Ignore that first sentence - DD talking to me while I'm trying to type = nonsense. What you got was a lack of manners AND poor service is what I meant to say grin

mynameisslimshady Fri 30-Aug-13 14:10:51

It wasn't really bad customer service. There were no mechanics available and they probably have all sorts of rules about unqualified staff doing any sort of work on a car. If it was fitted wrongly then they could be in serious trouble.

You were quite out of order if you put other potential customers off buying because they couldn't sort your car out at the drop of a hat.

SilverApples Fri 30-Aug-13 14:11:08

I can change a tyre Nancy, but not when some bugger has tightened the nuts with a powered gadget.

onetiredmummy Fri 30-Aug-13 14:11:33

Yes it would have been nice for someone to help you, but if some mechanics had gone home as per their working hours at 5:30 & the ones that are left are struggling to complete their daily work with only 30 minutes to go and perhaps they have targets to meet, then I can understand them not downing tools to help you out.

Does your Ford service plan say that they have a duty to assist you at any time (not being sarcastic, I genuinely don't know) or if your car needs to work do you have to phone them & book it in for a certain time. Is it reasonable for you to turn up & expect them to help you at the drop of a hat? Your child is 7, that's not that small & a 7 yo would be able to wait for the recovery service.

YABU to expect the staff to stay at work & not 'knock off' at their usual times just because you happened to drop in needing help. But YANBU to hope that somebody may have helped you.

I was a woman who had a 7 year old child to care for

Your gender has nothing to do with it.

Bowlersarm Fri 30-Aug-13 14:12:42

Chivalry is perhaps the wrong word. Compassion maybe?

Customer service might describe it better. You bought the car from them so you would have thought someone there might have thought it would be a nice thing to do to help you out. It would only have taken them ten minutes.

qazxc Fri 30-Aug-13 14:12:44

I agree with Tyler. It's more a matter of politeness to say hold open a door for someone. and a matter of being a decent human being to help those in need, I'd expect my DP to try and help someone struggling to change their wheel, same as i'd help my elderly neighbour to carry her shopping in from the car.

morethanpotatoprints Fri 30-Aug-13 14:16:04

Lack of manners and bad service, but why do you expect to be treated differently because you are female? Your dh would have been treated the same way and may have had a dc with him.

My dh refuses to hold doors open for females now as he got an ear bashing last time, and asked if he would have done it for a male. He said he would have done, especially if he had his hands full as this woman had. Sometimes your damned if you do and damned if you don't. The woman was a teacher at school and lots of dc were around including our own.

Beastofburden Fri 30-Aug-13 14:21:26

It would have been nice if they had made you a cup of tea and rung the AA for you, and said, make yourself comfy in the sales bit till they come.

But, sorry, I don't see why the mechanics should suddenly have to offer an out of hours service.

As for the female thing, not letting you wait indoors somewhere safe for you and your DC would be relevant to your gender I think, but they did let you inside. Your father couldn't undo the nuts either, so it's not a girly thing that you couldn't do the tyre.

Sorry, YABU to make this about chivalry.

wonderingsoul Fri 30-Aug-13 14:21:37


a decent human would have helped you even if it ment being abit late getting home or not.
it would not have taken more then 10 minutes.

SilverApples Fri 30-Aug-13 14:24:12

'I was a woman who had a 7 year old child to care for'

I thought that was quite funnt TBH, most 7 year olds would not notice the Apocalypse occurring around them if they had a bit of technology in their paws.

sonlypuppyfat Fri 30-Aug-13 14:34:53

I've never had to change a tyre ever, I've been lucky enough that if I've had a flat tyre a man will usually stop and help me. But perhaps men have had their help thrown back in their faces too many times to help now

donotswearmummy Fri 30-Aug-13 15:22:18

I think people are right that chivalry shouldn't be a gendered thing. Perhaps it was the wrong word to use. It would just have been nice to have some help.

beastofburden, no they didn't let us wait inside. We sat in the car.

SilverApples, my 7 year old has special needs so he's not into technology but he did notice our conumdrum as we sat in car and I kept saying please shut the door, please shut the door.... again and again and again........

Nancy66, I CAN change a tyre. I got the spare and the jack out of the car and had a go. I just couldn't get the wheel nuts loose.

This thread has been quite helpful because I was going to write to the dealership manager to say that I was disappointed but I'm not going to bother because the view of quite a few people on here is that I am being unreasonable. blush

sonlypuppyfat Fri 30-Aug-13 15:26:28

You were not unreasonable to expect some help my dad would never watch someone struggle male of female its nothing to do with gender, its to do with helping someone in need ffs how did we get like this

donotswearmummy Fri 30-Aug-13 15:43:47

onetiredmummy, you make a really good point about the Ford service plan. It does include breakdown assistance but like a fool I phoned the AA instead of the service plan number and therefore missed the opportunity to ask for assistance - giving my location as a Ford dealership! Doh! blush again!

SirChenjin Fri 30-Aug-13 15:58:28

I don't think YABU necessarily - if they 'start' to knock off at 5.30 then presumably some of them are still around at 5.40 to help at least unscrew the bolts so that you could finish off changing the tyre.

themaltesefalcon Fri 30-Aug-13 16:01:10

I live in a country where men give up their seats to me on the train, just because I'm a woman (and not old, not pregnant-looking). And I loves it, I does.

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