A Rant about Service
I once worked for a man who sold a lot of new bicycles. He ran his shop schedule such that we assembled new bikes on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Saturday was a madhouse, selling bikes, usually in pairs, to a long line of suburbanites who waited patiently in line with a "Take-A-Number" system.The shop was closed Sunday and Tuesday, so that left Monday for repair work. Whatever your bike needed, no matter what day you came in, all repairs were done on Monday. I asked why we couldn't just take a moment to help out a guy with a bent rim, knowing he would be walking to work for almost a week otherwise. I was told that, "service doesn't make money", and besides, "where else can he go?" It just didn't seem right to me.

When I quit that job to work for Yellow Jersey, service was backed up two weeks. I came to work on a Sunday morning at 7:00 and the manager told me to just grab any bike. There were literally piles of bikes in every available place, and the service tickets were anywhere from a week to three weeks old. Customers would occaisionally ask if their bike was ready and we'd have to search through the mess only to say, "sorry, not yet".

Dan Cautley, now a mechanical engineer, had the bright idea one evening that the two of us should stay all night and fix all the bikes. On the third day, with no sleep, we finished and hung a hand painted sign in the window, 'ONE DAY SERVICE". It has been that way since.

Can you imagine a car repair shop that asked for a week to fix your car? How about a barber who demanded an appointment a week ahead? Maybe a film developer who said," We only develop pictures taken on cameras bought here". That would be ridiculous and yet in the bike "business" it's considered normal.

I was a cyclist long before I turned wrenches for a living and the bitter memory of bad service remains fresh. I have tried to run this place as I'd expect if I were the customer, and I welcome your comments, suggestions or even rants if there's something I have overlooked.

Andrew Muzi


Oh, and that all goes double for Wheelchairs