A woman was very specific with her mechanic about what she could afford as they agreed on a price for necessary repairs. Once the shop had her car, however, the guys took liberties with the work to be done, making changes she didn’t request. When it was time to settle the tab, she was left bawling in the garage and had to speak out.
Ruth Vine wasn’t having much luck with cars. After one got totaled, she bought another, believing it was a “solid” used vehicle. When she took it for an oil change at Meineke South Madison in Indianapolis, Indiana, however, the manager showed her things he said were wrong and needed to be fixed immediately. Unfortunately, Ruth really didn’t have the money to handle it all.
Mike Hawkins, the manager, seemed understanding and agreed to a “game plan.” The brakes were the most urgent repair. Ruth saved what she could, budgeting until she couldn’t squeeze another cent from her paycheck, then she made an appointment to get them fixed. She trusted Mike wouldn’t lead her astray and that he fully understood her financial situation.
“Mike had always done right by me with my previous car,” Ruth Vine said. “Any time there was a concern about a repair, he took the time to walk me around the car and show me exactly what was going on in plain English and with patience.” But, things would go much differently during this visit than ever before.
As Ruth waited for an update, a man came into the shop, and Mike took him out to the garage. Ruth noticed the stranger standing under her car as Mike showed the vehicle to him. “At this point, I’m curious why Mike is showing this random man my car,” Ruth recalled. The man was Scott Martin, the owner of the shop, and he and Mike had very bad news for Ruth.
They guys said they found other issues with the brake line, and it was going to be “well over $1,000” for the job — money Ruth obviously didn’t have. “I had settled on giving up my grocery money to put toward the car repair and that came out in conversation,” Ruth admitted. Luckily, that wouldn’t be necessary.
Mike and Scott told Ruth one of their mechanics donated his time to make the repair and Scott had taken care of the cost for parts. They would get the job done for the price she had budgeted for it and not a penny more. “By this time tears are streaming down my face,” Ruth said.
Scott explained he wasn’t a “car guy.” Instead, he was a noble salesman in the business of treating people with honesty and respect by being upfront and transparent about what’s going on with their vehicle. “After being a customer at this shop for almost two years, I can honestly attest this isn’t just words from the owner, it’s their everyday practice,” Ruth said, and what happened next affirmed those feelings even more.
Before leaving the shop, Scott again promised to take care of Ruth and shook her hand. Then, he handed her a folded envelope. It said “Ruth’s groceries” on the front and left the woman struggling to fight back even more tears. “This man, who is taking a hit – a substantial one in my eyes – to make sure my car is repaired and safe to drive, also paid for my groceries,” Ruth said, grateful for the men at Meineke South Madison.
“These men have gone considerably above and beyond any expectations of decency and human courtesy to take care of me,” Ruth Vine shared in a Facebook post, saying she firmly believes in speaking out when someone goes the extra mile. “I sincerely pray God rewards them over and over again for their care, their concern, and their generosity.”
There’s a common misconception that auto mechanics care more about profits than people. That may be true for some, but it wasn’t for the guys who helped Ruth. Repair shops can carry a nasty reputation for ripping off customers and trying to milk them for whatever they can, making people undoubtedly leery, but not all mechanics are snakes. And, the good people at Meineke deserve the praise for what they did. Kudos to them for not only helping someone in need but also providing a great example of how to treat others.