$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?