Have you ever told a super unconvincing lie? I did the other day…
I recently ordered a new bicycle. A fixie. Which I told myself would be totally diy-able. And which was not.
I somehow attached the handlebars incorrectly so that they failed to actually steer the wheels. I then tried, and failed, to install a brake caliper. Eventually, after loosening the handlebars with the thought of returning to that after the pedals, I forgot I had done so and yanked them off, sending screws and metal rings everywhere.
Cue me packing up all parts back into the original 3×6 box and muscling the whole thing 10 blocks away to the nearest bike shop, where I realized I had axle grease all over my hands and forehead. I then had the following conversation.
Me: Hi! So, I need to get this bike put together.
Bike Man: Cool, okay. [rummages through box and bags of parts.] What happened to the rings around the stem?
Me: Oh, uh. I dunno. It’s… uh, it’s my roommates bike.
BM: [stares at my grease-stained face.] Okay.
Me: She works, so I’m doing her a favor.
Me: It’s not my money, so just do whatever needs to be done and replace whatever.[internally slaps forehead.]
BM: Okay. Well, it’ll be XXXXX for labor, and I’ll you know if anything needs to be replaced.
Me: Great. Cool. That works, ’cause it’s not my bike. It’s my roommate’s. Her name is Sophia.
BM: Got it.
Me: I’m Melissa. [touches face; realize it is covered in grease.]
BM: Okay. I got it. You’re all set.
Me: Thanks. Sophia works a lot. She, uh, she works for the Armory Show. She just got promoted, actually. So, I’ll be the one who picks it up. We’re, uh, we’re really close.
BM: [internally dying] Okay. You’ve got the ticket. See you later.
Me: [looks at hand, sees ticket that was placed there minutes ago.] Oh. Okay.See ya.[is already dead.]
And that, my friends, is how I learned to hire a professional.
Sub-lesson: always come prepared with a realistic backstory. Don’t make one up on the spot. It won’t go well.