Monday, April 19, 2010

\$510 an Hour

\$43 for a key. We wanted to get an extra key for Luke and Ariel’s car. Cal went to the hardware store to get a copy made and discovered that new cars have electrical codes in their keys and only the dealership can make copies. Cal went to the dealership. They told him that they’d be happy to make a copy. Cal asked how much it would cost. They said, “Twenty-six dollars.” Cal was a bit shocked. But what choice did he have? He said, “Okay.”

The tech made the key. He handed it to Cal and the cashier rang it up. She told Cal, “That’ll be \$43.” Cal said, “Uh, they told me it would be \$26.” She smiled sweetly and said, “Labor is \$17.” Cal said, “Labor? I watched. All they did was take the key, put it in the ignition, and turn the key to set the electrical code.” She smiled more sweetly. “That’ll be \$43.”

I’m offended that a key can cost \$26 and that 2 minutes of labor costs \$17. Even a non-math person can calculate that hourly wage at \$510 per hour. Those payment rates sound pretty good to me. Low stress, high pay. That sounds much better than slaving away over a novel for hours, days, and months for only the possibility of pay. Of course, writing a novel does have the creative payoff of the addictive rush of finding the perfect word, phrase, or simile. But \$510 an hour...Can I take a class to be an automotive key technician?

1. Upsetting, isn't it? I was annoyed, too, that we couldn't have a non-ignition-ready copy made in case we lock the keys in the car.

2. What I don't understand is how they could in good conscience not tell you the full cost of the key. It's not like you are paying \$26 for the key and \$17 for the privilege of feeling ripped off.

3. What a brilliant bunch of noodle heads.

I would just make a key yourself, like the guys in Night At The Museum did.

grace duke

4. We can't, it has a magnetic security precaution. Which I like, but the price is a little high.

5. We can't, it has a magnetic security precaution. Which I like, but the price is a little high.

6. I wonder what they majored in to get such an elusively awesome occupation!!

7. Yeah, I really don't get what is so great about their new "electric security" thing. It's supposed to keep people from stealing the car, but you don't have to have the fancy electric key thing to unlock the door. Besides, if someone wanted to steal the car, they could just hotwire it, or steal the keys too. It's not really all that helpful, and it's definitely NOT worth the price.

8. Yeah, just hotwire the car every time you need to go out.

Grace Duke