Beware the Rise of the “New Mechanics”

13-more-auto-mechanic-secrets-11-money-slAs consumers, we can’t possibly know everything there is to know about what we buy.

If I’m in the market for a cologne, I will know next to nothing about that cologne by the time I purchase. I won’t know about the laboratory processes of making it, combining oils from tropical wild flowers and whatnot with synthetic chemicals and, who knows, the musk of a fruit bat?

I won’t know who packaged it or where. I won’t know if it kills skin cells. I won’t know if someone peed in it before putting the cap on. All I will know is that when I dab it on my neck I’ll stink good.

It’s like this with lots of things. If we had to know everything about things we’d buy, we’d never buy anything at all.

So certain professions take advantage. They’re aware we hardly know anything about what they do, so we’ll just blindly take them at their word.

Auto mechanics are infamous for this. It’s like George Costanza said, “Well of course they’re trying to screw you, that’s what they do, they can make up anything. Nobody knows. ‘By the way, you’re gonna need a new Johnson rod in here.'”

Thankfully, I have a great mechanic. And it’s rather cliche to pick on them anyway. Instead, I’ve identified two other professions that deserve a watchful eye. In fact, they might be the “new mechanics,” with their exploitation of our ignorance soon to make them as cliched as mechanics. 


The fact that my mouth isn’t perfect requires no professional revelation. With 30-some teeth and a freely moving mandible crunching day and night, something is bound to go wrong. I just don’t think I require the NASA-designed head gear being prescribed.

Yes, my bite is a little off. Yes, I grind my teeth too much when I hear country song lyrics. But that shouldn’t warrant a tailor-made oral contraption I have to finance. Seriously, I recently was given the choice of having an out-of-pocket-custom-molded night guard, or a $5 mouthpiece from Walmart, accomplishing the very same effect. So I head to bed like a damn linebacker but I got a stack of Jacksons to buy all the incisor-yanking turkey jerky I can stuff my face with.


money-dog-196x300I don’t understand my dog’s anatomy. I know she has a heart and I think she has a brain. Other than that, your guess is as good as mine as to whatever is going on with her body. Vets know this and it won’t be long before they wax on your pooch’s need for a new Johnson rod. Oh. And they know you love them. Which means you are willing to pay whatever you have to to alleviate the Johnson rod issue.

A few years ago, the vet recommended a teeth cleaning. There was a pernicious plaque build up destined to destroy my dog’s beautiful smile, so I obliged to the tune of 300 bones (not the kind for doggies). After the procedure, it came back that she actually had mild plaque build up. So I non-mildly expectorated some choice curses, balled up the receipt and vowed to never let a vet look at my beagle’s teeth again.

Of course, some maintenance on your pet is required. It’s the law to give your dog a rabies shot. But vets tend to make recommendations like they’re imperatives. Once a conversation went like this:

Vet: Your dog is due for her Lepto shot.

Me: What’s that for?

Vet: For your dog if they drink water outside.

Me: You mean any outside water?

Vet: Like water from a stream or lake.

Me: So if my dog drinks from a lake, she can get Lepto?

Vet: Yes, if the lake water has the Lepto virus in it.

Me: So if my dog happens to be outside, unsupervised, at a lake, where that water happens to have Lepto, and she happens to drink the water, she can get Lepto?

Vet: Yes.

Me: Call me a deadbeat dog owner but I’m gonna take my chances. Save the Lepto shot for the guy who brings in his dingo.

So just like everything, among the many good dentists and vets there are some bad ones. If you’ve received a costly estimate on something you’re not sure about, you can ask them this very important question:

Is this absolutely necessary, and if so, what’s the least amount of money I can pay and not ruin my life?

It’s a fair question and can help you from getting ripped off in the long run.

Have you been taken by one of these professions? Am I missing a profession that could vie for the “new mechanic” role?

Let's Discuss!