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BOTD 4/24/16 "Of COURSE I Know How To Drive It" A Stevie Production

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David M. Katz


Marshall
Of COURSE I Know How to Drive It...
A Stevie Production


You are a father with a teenage son, Anthony, who is seventeen years old.


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Anthony recently passed his driver's license and is, of course, still at the stage where he wants to drive at any possible or impossible moment.

You have a small business repairing automobiles on the side - you specialise in older, so called classic cars that modern mechanics do not know much about. Today is Saturday morning, and one of your better customers has dropped off his 1965 Chevelle Malibu SS convertible for a tune - up and general mechanical inspection; he has entered a local car show concours next weekend and wants everything to be perfect. The car stands a very good chance to win first place, but is running a bit roughly; it obviously needs new points, plugs, and a few general minor adjustments.


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Although the car is an SS model, in 1965 this was mostly a trim option - it's not automatically a muscle car the way a 1966 SS model would be and could even have been ordered with a 194 c.i.d. (3.2L)  120 h.p. six*.

Accordingly, this car is equipped with a fairly mild drive train - a 283 c.i.d. (4.6L) 225 hp  four bbl V8 fed through a column mounted three speed manual transmission. Floor mounted shift levers were an expensive option in this model year and this car is not so equipped; it also  has neither power steering nor power brakes.

Although Anthony is generally a good boy, lately you've been getting a little teenage attitude for which you have already spoken to him about, and physical chastisement has been mentioned as a possibility, as has loss of his driving privileges.

You have just finished an emergency repair job on a older car for the son of a friend - the boy is a college student and needs his car to get to class - and you are just about to deliver the car to the lad on the other side of town.

Anthony asks if he could drive the Chevelle into the garage for you. You tell him that he may not, that the Chevelle is somewhat tricky to drive, and that it is a valuable collector item for which repairs are not cheap.

The boy responds that he knows how to drive, and that he'll be careful; you refuse again and tell him to leave the car to him in a more emphatic tone. Anthony is a little miffed, but signifies his agreement.

It takes a little while before you get back and you arrive to a disaster of somewhat less than biblical proportions... the Chevelle is jammed up against the cinder block wall of the garage, with minor damage and scratches to the front trim; one of the chrome pieces around the headlight is ruined and the bumper is dented in a couple of places.

It's not too bad, but there is no possibility that the repairs can be completed before next weekend (that little piece of chrome has to come from a supplier in the U.S.); first place at the Concours is now completely out of the question.

Anthony had never seen a column mount gearshift before and had assumed that the car was an automatic; he carelessly engaged the starter without de-clutching and the car jumped forward - he panicked and did not react in time to prevent disaster - into the wall with some force.

He's almost in tears as he stands there waiting for your reaction - are you going to give Mario Andretti (junior) even more reason to cry?

* The 1966 Chevelle SS package included a 396 c.i.d. (6.5) V8 and heavy duty - three speed transmission (with four speed manual or 3 speed automatic optional).

In 1965, a very few Chevelles were produced with the 396 engine and a special equipment package, but these were not generally available to the public... only 201 were made in all. The normal top engine option in 1965 was a 327 (5.4 L) V8 of about 300 h.p.


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AFinch


Sherrif
According to the scenario, I have already spoken to him about the possibility of "physical chastisement". I specifically told him not to drive the car, and why. He deliberately disobeyed, and created a disaster. The creation of that disaster may well permanently impact my business, and our family livelihood.

I'm sure it was an accident, and that he's already very sorry. But it was an accident that was wholly preventable. He's toast.

Y Lee Coyote


Cowboy
It's amazing how adults messed up here.

The driving instructor fail to teach him that he must check what transmission a vehicle has and the gear sequence.  At the very least count pedals.

It was totally unreasonable to expect that a new seventeen-year-old driver would not sit in a [semi-]classic car having the opportunity.  The keys in the ignition switch is a temptation that would be irresistible and should not have been left there.

It would have been good if he could have made that car delivery assuming insurance coverage was there.

When you expect everything to be perfect without any safety margin disasters occur.  Maybe one is lucky and can get the part shipped next day delivery to fix things in time.

Y.

P.S. Beating him seems pointless at this time.

http://www.asstr.org/~YLeeCoyote/

Pi Beta


Deputy
He knows he has messed up big-time so I don't see that punishment, as such, is needed or appropriate.

His involvement in some sort of restitution is, however, needed and we'll need a long discussion how best he can make things up to me, wearing my business hat, and the customer.

StevieWeeks


Trailboss
Y Lee wrote:The keys in the ignition switch is a temptation that would be irresistible and should not have been left there

They were not left in the ignition, they were hanging up on a hook in the garage.

Y Lee wrote:Maybe one is lucky and can get the part shipped next day delivery to fix things in time.

Not a chance... it has to clear customs which takes a day or so at least. This is why Amazon maintains depots in Canada so they actually can ship overnight ...

Y Lee wrote:The driving instructor fail to teach him that he must check what transmission a vehicle has and the gear sequence


The driving instructor himself was probably not old enough to be aware of cars with column mount shifts... and there would actually be two extra pedals since the parking brake in this car would also be a pedal... another reason why Anthony should have left the car alone.

There was no messing up on the part of the adults.

The boy was told not to drive the car, was given a reasonable explanation of why he should not drive the car, and deliberately disobeyed your instructions.

kalico


Sherrif
He is going to have toasted buns.... Embarassed Embarassed





Hugs kal

db105


Trailboss
That's really bad misbehavior. The accident was an accident, but disobeying me in such a matter is not just regular disobedience. It's a matter that affects our family's livelihood, and if I can't trust him to behave with some minimum of professionalism he probably should not be around my business.

Hopefully he is feeling completely sorry and this will serve as a lesson. My only doubt is that at his age CP might not be the most effective solution.

We will have a serious talk about why he must never behave that way again, and agree on what the consequences will be.

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David M. Katz


Marshall
StevieWeeks wrote:

The boy was told not to drive the car, was given a reasonable explanation of why he should not drive the car, and deliberately disobeyed your instructions.

And that is the point. Nothing else matters.

At seventeen he is definitely old enough to understand this.

He will be standing up and nursing a sore butt while he figures out how to reimburse me for the damages.


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Jack


Admin
Y Lee Coyote wrote:Beating him seems pointless at this time.

I don't think anyone on this forum has ever vaguely suggested the idea of 'beating' a person for any reason. I'm surprised you even come here if you don't understand the difference. I suppose I could give you the benefit of the doubt in this case, and assume you're just using the word in an attempt to upset people who disagree with you, but I find that to be a despicable tactic in itself.

I think the young man was given very specific instructions about what to do, and he didn't bother to follow them. He was told the car was tricky to drive, but he chose to assume that I'm an idiot - it's an assumption too many young persons make with no justification to make it.

Anthony will be paying for the repairs to this car twice - half of it coming out of his pocket, and half out of his hide. However, he won't be making the money to pay me back here, because I can't afford taking this kind of loss because someone can't follow instructions. He may change my mind, instead of having to flip burgers, but I'm not sure how right now.


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Kat


Editor Extraordinaire
Jack wrote:I don't think anyone on this forum has ever vaguely suggested the idea of 'beating' a person for any reason. I'm surprised you even come here if you don't understand the difference.

I've noticed the British writers' use of the word "beating" doesn't have the same connotations as it does in the US -- at least not in the context of corporal punishment. Since we exchange a fair amount of idiom, perhaps Y is using "beating" as Pi or Ivor would.

I find myself agreeing with Pi and Daniel that corporal punishment may not be the best response in this situation. I'll make a final decision only after I've discussed the matter with Anthony. At his age, the only way CP is going to happen is with his cooperation. He is certainly going to reimburse me financially. We'll also settle the terms of how that will happen after a talk. Anthony is going to explain to my customer what happened, regardless of any other punishment. I doubt that scene will be less unpleasant than a whipping with my belt.

I think there is a lesson for me as a parent in this situation also. How is it possible that I repair vintage cars and my teenage son isn't familiar with "three on the tree" -- especially since I've worked on this car before? I need to take him into my garage and pass on my knowledge. Even if he doesn't make a livelihood of it, the time spent together brings us closer and may prove an interesting sideline for him.

Also, while I did tell him the Chevelle was tricky to drive, I didn't go into the specifics. It would have taken only a few more seconds to provide Anthony the same information that the scenario gives, along with a promise to familiarize him with the car when I return. A few extra words is the difference between being authoritative and authoritarian. I was authoritarian and everyone is the loser.

Kat

squarecutter


Sherrif
Kat wrote:
Jack wrote:I don't think anyone on this forum has ever vaguely suggested the idea of 'beating' a person for any reason. I'm surprised you even come here if you don't understand the difference.

I've noticed the British writers' use of the word "beating" doesn't have the same connotations as it does in the US -- at least not in the context of corporal punishment. Since we exchange a fair amount of idiom, perhaps Y is using "beating" as Pi or Ivor would.

I find myself agreeing with Pi and Daniel that corporal punishment may not be the best response in this situation. I'll make a final decision only after I've discussed the matter with Anthony. At his age, the only way CP is going to happen is with his cooperation. He is certainly going to reimburse me financially. We'll also settle the terms of how that will happen after a talk. Anthony is going to explain to my customer what happened, regardless of any other punishment. I doubt that scene will be less unpleasant than a whipping with my belt.

I think there is a lesson for me as a parent in this situation also. How is it possible that I repair vintage cars and my teenage son isn't familiar with "three on the tree" -- especially since I've worked on this car before? I need to take him into my garage and pass on my knowledge. Even if he doesn't make a livelihood of it, the time spent together brings us closer and may prove an interesting sideline for him.

Also, while I did tell him the Chevelle was tricky to drive, I didn't go into the specifics. It would have taken only a few more seconds to provide Anthony the same information that the scenario gives, along with a promise to familiarize him with the car when I return. A few extra words is the difference between being authoritative and authoritarian. I was authoritarian and everyone is the loser.

Kat


Kat you are right on the word beating. I would say that in British parlance a beating might equate to a whuppin in US bible belt speak. Eg probably an implement of some sort to the backside. Gradually in the UK the term has shifted has shifted closer to the American understanding where a beating might mean black eyes and broken ribs but back in the day when corporal punishment was common in UK schools getting it with cane ,slipper or strap would frequently be referred to as a beating. (reference Pi's Early Promotion stories.

Here I am conflicted. I think Anthony almost too old and I am not too sure what a "beating" will accomplish or just how severe I would need to be. I think rather 2 weeks without the car, several weeks of allowance going on repairs and I wont spare his blushes. He can listen in as I explain what happened to the owner of this car. Whatever his lack of knowledge it was a serious act of disobedience and he will undestand it very clearly when we are finished

Y Lee Coyote


Cowboy
I'm glad that I delayed responding to the negative reactions to my post above.

Kat, supported by Squarecutter explained my use of beating very nicely and there is not anything further to say.  OK, Jack?

However, I have a great deal of trouble understanding the entire situation especially since it was modified after I posted.

One of the main problems I have is what was Anthony doing at the garage.  He certainly is past 'take your kid to work day'.  Was he there to 'help' as in work?  Was he there to try to drive a stranger's car?  Part of this was addressed above but not completely.  And why was I delivering a car instead of running my labor intensive business.

Sure, I would deliver a classic car to a good customer but not to a college kid who is the son of a friend.  He should be coming for the car and if there is not public transport then Anthony surely would be able to pick him up in his or my car.

The instructions not to drive are presented as an edict from up on high.  That did not work for the Lord with Adam and (as we all well know here) does not work with dads and seventeen-year-old boys.  He should have been told that he was not familiar with that car and thus not qualified to drive it.  Generally, driving customers' cars is reserved for movies like "Ferris Bueller's Day Off".

Even going a step further, and Anthony does get into the car he would encounter problems not being able to put it into park or neutral to start it and his left knee would be in the steering wheel because of the extra pedals.  That should have stopped him.  But if it did not that must be a great starter that could both move the car (wasn't the parking break set?) and crank the in-need-of-a turn-up engine enough to get it started.  Alternatively, damage the clutch rather than move the car.

Yes, Anthony was disobedient but over and over adults let things go the wrong way.

If the part was available then rather than using shipping through customs a massager such as Anthony could pick it up in, say, Detroit.  This customer is well worth the special effort.

Y.

http://www.asstr.org/~YLeeCoyote/

Jack


Admin
Y Lee Coyote wrote:Yes, Anthony was disobedient but over and over adults let things go the wrong way.

Since you want to continue this discussion, why don't we also mention the fact that what Anthony did was a felony?

I don't care if this is authoritarian or not. I don't care if you like how I (the person in this scenario) chooses to run his business. I don't care why Anthony was at work. This is not his vehicle, he did not have permission to drive it, and he was specifically warned that he shouldn't try it. While CP might not be the way to go with him, he needs to realize that HE made the decision, it was HIS fault, and that he could potentially face criminal charges.

I am not willing to take the blame for the fact that my son didn't like the instructions he was given, and willingly chose to break the law instead. It doesn't matter if he would have preferred more information to make the right decision, it wasn't his decision to make.


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