Tremblay Boys

I take the Co-op cars to Tremblay Motors, which is just under the Granville Street Bridge. At first, I was leery of doing this. I am a woman, and I have had bad experiences at garages. They see boobs and they think they can pull one over on you, say you need way more work than you do on your car. So despite my great love of cars, I have never trusted garages.

And yet, I have come to trust the Tremblay Boys. I know part of it is that I work for the Co-op, their best customers ever, but I still like the basic underlaying of respect I get from these guys.

I like how Sam, the Patriarch, looks at a work order, and says, “Says it runs rough at the startup. What do you think?” What do I think? I think that you don’t see me as an incapable little bunny!

I like how Brad, the Heir Apparent, says, “Good weekend? Hang on, we’re waiting for parts on that Civic. But was the engine light on when you brought the Mazda in?”

“No,” I say. “Not while it was in drive in any gear, or neutral, or reverse.”

“Hmm”, he says.

“Okay, I’m going to drive it around for a bit. I’m going to watch the dashboard lights.”

And when I drive it around and nothing untoward happens, I say, “Brad, I’m taking this car back, there’s nothing happening here.”

And he says, “Okay,” like it’s not even a big deal that I checked it myself and am not going to make a mechanic look at it for no reason. Like he trusts me to make a decision about a car. Like I am a human being with worth of my own, and am not merely a female.

I like how Jay, the stringbean death-rocker who washes and vacuums the cars, gives me the peace sign when I bring a car in in the mornings. Like I’m a person.

I like how the mechanics give me information voluntarily. “I’m still waiting on that brake light casing,” or “Napa says that part will be here by noon, so the Corolla will be ready by two.” They do have a calendar with a woman in a bikini in the lunch room, but there’s only one. And it has their wives’ and kids’ birthdays written on it.

I like the Tremblay Boys. They think I’m a human being. I could really get used to this.

2 Comments to “Tremblay Boys”

  1. By Beth, June 12, 2008 @ 11:03 pm

    My uncle, Dad’s brother Ed, owned a garage – a BP station. (hmmm, when did BP stations disappear?) He was a mechanic. He did the work on cars for a used car dealership up the street and he also worked on the fleet of police cruisers. He always had a case of 2-4 (an Ontario expression – 24 beer) in the back room. He was a gentleman alcoholic was uncle Ed.
    I grew up visiting the garage. I am very used to grease stained mechanics in cover alls and ash trays that are miniature tires with a glass dish in the middle. I feel comfortable in that atmosphere. It’s like going back to my childhood.

    I enjoyed taking my old beater to the garage in Guelph where they kept it going with as little work as possible because that was what I could afford.
    I once considered becoming a mechanic and opening a garage where women could feel comfortable. I would have hired only women mechanics and would have a coffee shop attached, a place to drink coffee and read a book while waiting for your oil change. But I went back to teaching instead.
    I miss not having a car sometimes because I never got to go to the garage.

  2. By Liz, June 13, 2008 @ 11:59 am

    Beth, you should come with me to Tremblay sometime.

    It’s funny, I am comfortable with the grease and the smells, having worked on the fuel barge for a decade of summers. Just not the misogyny.

    Funny, I thought of opening that mechanic shop as well.

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