My car broke down last night and had to get towed to the mechanic. Today I await the dreaded phone call. You know, the one where he knows he can literally quote any part of the car with a monetary value attached to it and I know I will simply pay that amount because I don’t know a lot about cars (apart from the windscreen wipers which I can monitor with some accuracy). Neither of us will walk away feeling good about ourselves.
When will the new dawn of car servicing for creative types with no basic knowledge of cars arrive? A Car Mechanic for Creatives. Someone prepared to change the way they do business to better suit our needs. And all it would take is some creative thinking…
Car diagnosis – interpretive dance
Okay, we don’t understand what the carburetor is and no, we didn’t notice a ‘whirring sound’. So, what you need to do is help us understand the car’s ‘condition’ in a more creative way that we can relate to. For example, an interpretive dance. Help us better identify the inner struggles of our car through the power of expression and movement.
Indie film makers know how to get things done on a tight budget because they can’t always afford things like a dolly for an opening sequence. So, they use a shopping trolley or a wheel chair instead. Where exists the mechanic with this frugal mindset? The one who is more sensitive to budgetary contraints? Where is our ‘Indie Car Mechanic’. Someone who is prepared reduce production costs by, I don’t know, gaffer taping stuff together instead of replacing it outright with expensive, genuine spare parts?
Anyone who puts themselves on public display regularly doing something creative knows the feeling of vulnerability that comes with it. Mechanics need to be mindful of that. Creatives don’t take criticism well. We don’t like lectures on negligence relating to poor car maintenance. We just want positive reinforcement. We want a Car Mechanic who will rub our shoulder and say ‘really well done on replacing the windscreen washer fluid after it ran out all on your own’. It doesn’t even need to be genuine to be honest, we just need to hear it.
The Car’s history
The service history booklet attached to your car is far too regimented to suit our needs. We’re more familiar with the idea of, you know, putting a bit of mayonnaise on things. Couldn’t we make the service history sound a little bit more impressive than maybe it is. Even add a couple of photographs of the car’s good profile with a little bit of soft lens work. Just to enhance the resale value.
It can very hard to distinguish between professionals in the creative world – which is why we create meaningless awards to give to each other. Why doesn’t something like an Oscars night for Car Mechanics exist? The categories could be fairly arbitrary – ‘Most Outstanding achievement in dipstick detection’, ‘Best Service on a car from the early 90s with a questionable service history’ could be two. A simple collection of awards like these would make it much easier for us to target mechanics we really want to work with in the future.
What other services would you like a Car Mechanic for Creatives to offer? Leave a comment below…