Friday, May 10, 2013

Reinventing the Wheel: Of Dirtballs & Dumbbells in Towson

Baltimore County Councilman Todd Huff (Photo, Baltimore County Police Department)

Back in February of this year, Baltimore County councilman Todd Huff was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence in Towson. Huff was traveling north in a County-owned Jeep Grand Cherokee on York Road near Washington Avenue at 2:30 a.m., Saturday February 23, after allegedly leaving an Elks Lodge "meeting." According to the Baltimore Sun:
The 44-year-old Lutherville Republican is charged with driving while under the influence of alcohol, a headlight violation and negligent driving, police said. He allegedly had a blood-alcohol level that was more than twice the legal limit. An officer observed the vehicle traveling with no headlights and saw it come to a sudden stop at a red light, passing the crosswalk of the intersection.

When the officer tried to stop the councilman, Huff drove a half-block and pulled into the parking lot of the Brooks-Huff Tire & Auto Center in the 900 block of York Road, a business his family owns, according to the statement of charges.

“Don’t you know who I am?” he allegedly told the officer when asked for his driver’s license and vehicle registration card. “You stopped me on my own property.”
I highlighted the part the story detailing how this shameless dirtball pol tried to avoid getting arrested by stopping at his family's "own property" at Brooks-Huff Tire & Auto Center in Towson because...synchronicity!...barely two months later my girlfriend Amy had to go to Brooks-Huff to have them install the four new tires she had purchased on the Internet. And - surprise! - her experience here was just as dodgy and ludicrous as Councilman Huff's ridiculous claim that he was immune to prosecution because he pulled into his family business' lot. Though the staff there were exceedingly nice to her, she said she felt like she was in a sitcom, an automotive Comedy of Errors. In a nutshell, what Amy and the auto center staff experienced was akin to what Strother Martin's sadistic prison warden in Cool Hand Luke (1967) termed "a failure to communicate." I'll say!

Brooks-Huff Tire & Auto Center in Towson

Here's Amy's Yelp review:

I purchased a set of tires online from, and needed a shop to send them to. On tirebuyer a list of recommended shops is given, so I chose this place which had  mostly positive reviews.

Well, maybe I would have been better off having the tires put on at Mr.Tire. I had an appointment at 10 to have the work done. I came in and clearly stated why I was there.I also asked for my wiper blades to be replaced. (My rear wiper blade was hanging off.} My info was verified in their computer, and I decided to wait there at the shop.

About 45 minutes later, my name was called, and one of the people at the counter told me that my car looked fine, but that it needed new tires. Well, umm, that is why I was there, and what I had clearly stated when I came in. So he looked confused, glanced at a piece of paper and apologized. Back I went to the waiting area.

After some time passed, they called my name again, and I was hopeful that my car was ready. But it was a different gentleman, who told me that my car would need new tires. Again. And again, this person looked confused and looked at the piece of paper, and apologized. Back to the waiting room I went.

Some time passed. I get called out again. Again I was hopeful. But I was  told that there was a problem, that one of my wipers is special and not in stock, but that they can get it within a reasonable time. Fine, I said. Back in the waiting room once more. (Thank goodness Kindles really hold a charge.)

Finally, my name was called again, and I was told - hallelujah - that my car was really ready! I paid my bill, walked out the door, and -- my wiper blade was still hanging off! I went back in and told them the work wasn't done. Someone came out and said that the blade still hadn't come in! So back into the waiting room I went again!

At 12:30 I was finally out the door. I was given cards for two free oil changes, and the guy at the counter apologized and said things are usually "not like that." But I will not be going back to find out. I felt like I was in a sitcom!!! I don't know what the problem was, but my experience was ridiculous.
"Ack! My experience was ridiculous!"

In life, you don't get a second chance to make a first impression and if I was the manager, I would have serviced Amy free-of-charge after such an exasperating customer experience. (And remember, Amy's nice; anyone else - like me - would have had a conniption!) Failing that, I wonder: is there a police charge for Working Under the Influence? (WUI)? If so, write up the ticket!

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Serviced or served?

9:17 PM  
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