Advanced Auto Parts saves the day


Melissa Stagnaro

Buying new windshield wiper blades has been on my to-do list for the last couple of weeks. While I can’t pinpoint when exactly I had changed them last, I know it well before I left Colorado. Even I, automotively challenged as I am, could recognize that they had long outlived their useful life. Instead of the promised “wiping” action, (what was left of) my wiper blades could more aptly be described as “smearing.”

I actually even made a special trip to Norwich last weekend to purchase replacements, but was deterred from my objective by the construction on that half mile stretch of Route 12 just south of the Norwich city limits. After sitting in a line of traffic for far, far too long, I was informed by the flag woman that I could not turn where I had planned but would instead need to continue heading North until I could turn around and then sit in traffic in the Southbound lane.

I respectfully declined.

Unfortunately, there was a certain degree of “cutting your nose off to spite your face” about it, since I was no closer to rectifying my inability to effectively remove moisture from my windshield.

This fact was hammered home last night, as I sat straining to hear the Norwich board of ed’s discussion on the district’s LINKS plan over the rain pounding on the roof. It was going to be a long, miserable drive home if I didn’t get them replaced post-haste.

As previously mentioned, I’m not much of a car person. Car mechanics and auto parts dealers can sense this, I think. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not totally incompetent – I can fill up my gas tank, and in the absence of anyone else to do it for me, I can check my oil, tire pressure and top off my fluids. But still, entering such bastions of male dominance, as a garage or parts store, always makes me feel at a distinct disadvantage. So it was no small amount of anxiety that I pointed my car in the direction of Advanced Auto Parts after the meeting.

I am happy to say that my insecurities were entirely unwarranted in this instance. In fact, Randy, the manager of that esteemed establishment, is now my new personal hero.

It wasn’t just that Randy sold me a set of wiper blades (which he personally recommended – and happened to be on sale), but the fact that he installed them for me.

That may be standard practice, but I thought it was pretty spectacular considering it was raining. And we’re not talking a light sprinkle. This was nothing short of a downpour.

And did I mention it was basically pitch black? The storm knocked out power a couple of seconds after we went outside, and while the stores lights came back on, the lights in the parking lot did not. But not even that stopped him from making sure he got my new wiper blades on.

If that’s not considered going above and beyond, I don’t know what is.

Yep. He’s definitely my new personal hero.