Subject Material

At the Garage 1

Published: 12.02.2010, Updated: 03.03.2017

An old car will need regular attention and maintenance. It is essential for the safety that for example the brakes are in perfect condition.

Role play

rrrMorris DeFacto (Wikimedia Commons)

Characters: The manager, a customer

ACT ONE (Role play)
Choose your role and study your character description below. Then make a dialogue based on polite conversation in general and the facts of the situation.

Customer comes into the garage. His car seems to pull to the left when he steps on the brake. During the conversation he wants to know when they can look at his car, and also the price. He also wants to know if it is all right if he stays and watches during the job.

Manager asks about symptoms, mentions possible problems and suggests that he maybe should look at the brake pads first. The problem seems urgent, in fact the car should probably not be on the road in that state. The driver would be fined if there was a control. So he finds time to do the job right away.

Try your dialogue a couple of times, then change roles and see if it comes out differently.

Below you will find a suggested version of the dialogue. Open it and compare it with your own dialogue. Do your dialogue once again and supplement with elements from the suggested version.

Suggested Dialogue

Manager: Welcome, can I help you?

Customer: Well, I certainly hope so. My car has been a bit           strange lately.

Manager: What seems to be the problem?

Customer: I'm not sure, but there seems to be something wrong with the brakes, or the steering.

Manager: Well - it could be both. Describe what the symptoms are.

Customer: When I step on the brake, the car seems to pull over to the left, and it is difficult to compensate with the steering.

Manager: I see. It sounds like we have to check your brake pads. We can start there anyway.

Customer: OK. When will you have the time to see me?

Manager: Well - the problem seems rather urgent, in fact - I probably should not let you go back on the road like that.

Customer: Is it that bad?

Manager: You would probably be heavily fined if the police found it during a routine control. Let's see now - I have in fact a cancelled appointment, so I can look at it right now.

Customer: That would be great. Will it be expensive?

Manager: That depends on what we have to do, but it could easily amount to 5-6 hundred pounds, but it's hard to say.

Customer: I guess I have no choice, so just go ahead. Is it all right if I wait here, and maybe watch? I am quite interested in cars, so maybe I cound pick up a thing or two, so I might be able to help myself some other time.

Manager: Of course, be my guest. We will start by lifting the car off the ground, so please drive into the garage.

Customer: Right away, thank you.