For the most part the car community is a collection of kindred souls who look out for each other. Every once in awhile there is a bad apple who spoils it for all of us.
Recently, I purchased some synthetic oil from a large chain store. I will not say which store but… it ends in “Mart.” With my car up on jack stands and drained empty, I went to retrieve the fresh jug of oil, only to find that the top was a bit dirty. I thought that was odd, but I figured the factory was messy filling the bottle. As I poked my finger into the foil it became apparent an unscrupulous individual took me. As my finger punched through, I realized the folly in assuming the best of the situation. The foil was way too thin to be from the factory. Sure enough, the oil was blacker than coal. Some dirtbag returned his used oil and the aforementioned chain store simply put it back on the shelf without checking the goods.
At this point I was fuming at the jerk, the store and lastly myself for being stupid enough to get taken. There I sat with my car bone dry of oil and a jug of black sludge. Luckily, I had another car available to do my running. I went back to the store and bought a new jug of oil and explained the situation. I knew there was no way to prove anything, and I was out the money. Yes, it was my fault for opening the questionable oil, but I wanted to make my frustration known to the teenage worker who could care less. I knew it was going in one ear and out the other, but someone had to hear my plight.
The money really wasn’t the issue. I was more disappointed in the breach of trust perpetrated. I see the car hobby as an extended family that looks out for each other. Case in point, my neighbor needed a dab of gasket maker for his engine the other day. I had a tube handy and did not think twice about giving it to him. He returned the tube the following day. We help each other out and expect the kindness to be reciprocated. I felt betrayed.
I am sure similar untrustworthy individuals have taken many of you. Like me, you were probably furious and wanted some sort of restitution (or possibly revenge). It took a day or two, but I finally calmed down and came to the realization that there will always be those out there looking to make a quick dollar off of their trusting neighbor. There are really only two options moving forward: 1. Withdraw, and forever be suspicious, or 2. Realize that the majority of car guys and gals are good people. I chose the later. I would rather lose a few dollars every now and then than to never enjoy the hobby.
In the end the dishonest will never understand what it is about. To all of you who love the hobby, keep lending a hand and enjoy the fraternity. You are what make the hobby worthwhile.