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PCers Run Amuck

Re-repairs vs. ongoing repairs.

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Illinois shop owner Dan Stalzer – who regularly performs re-inspections and re-repairs of other shop’s work – says that lately he’s noticed, “Ongoing Repairs,” being used in insurer paperwork rather than “Re-repairing.”

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I guess insurers don’t want to offend the shops that screwed up by saying it’s a re-repair. Or maybe they think by disguising poor work behind fluffier, feel-good terms that it makes them less accountable somehow. Still, the fact remains, a re-repair is a re-repair – no matter how nice of a name you give it.

In today’s society, however, it’s apparently more important to be PC than to get to the root of the problem (in this case, a re-repair) and prevent it from happening again.

People who ascribe to the PC philosophy believe in increasing our society’s tolerance of all cultures, races, genders, ideologies and lifestyles, along with eliminating accountability because, after all, it’s not tolerant to expect things to be done right. PCers are of the opinion that political correctness is the only socially and morally acceptable outlook and that anyone who disagrees is bigoted, biased, sexist or closed-minded.

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Don’t get me wrong. I believe in tolerance. But you can take a good thing too far.

In the beginning, political correctness seemed reasonable (and limited). Today, however, it’s reached a truly demented level. For example:

  • Red poinsettias were banned one Christmas from the Ramsey County Courthouse and City Hall in St. Paul, Minn., because they were viewed by some as a Christian symbol. White poinsettias were OK. But wouldn’t white poinsettias (white = purity) be offensive to non-virgins, practitioners of black magic and non-bathers?
  • In Charleston, W.Va., a school manual called for eliminating the word “marriage” in class discussions and replacing it with “permanent relationship.” But wouldn’t “permanent relationship” be offensive to people who aren’t in a relationship? I think we should ban all conversation about relationships, period.
  • Atheists were offended by our Pledge of Allegiance (in particular, the “one nation under God” part), so a federal court ruled it illegal to recite the pledge in schools within its jurisdiction. Better to offend God and Christians than atheists, I guess.
  • Every year, Native Americans (once the Indians) say they find a number of sports teams offensive: Washington Redskins, Kansas City Chiefs, Cleveland Indians, etc. But there’s lots of other offensive team names out there, too. What about the New York Giants? Aren’t they saying it’s better to be tall? What about all the “vertically challenged” people out there? While we’re at it, some tall people think the term “giant” is offensive, too.

You see where I’m going here? If you look hard enough, everything is offensive to somebody. I say live your life. Be proud. Take responsibility. And don’t whine incessantly about how unfair everything is.

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It was my lucky day when I found a kindred soul. Which is why, after carefully considering every man on the planet, I decided to marry a garbageman (actually, a supervisor of garbagemen).

Whoa. How un-PC was that? Rewind:

This is why, after carefully considering every person (using “man” here excludes women and this could be offensive ) on the planet, I decided to have a permanent relationship (using the word “marry” could be offensive to people of alternate lifestyles, to people who want to be married and aren’t or to people who are married but don’t want to be reminded) to a work coordinator (supervisor implies that the people he oversees need supervised and this could be offensive to them) of sanitation engineers (using the word garbage could be offensive to garbagemen … oops … I mean garbage people … and it could also be offensive to people who are grossed out by trash).

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Stop the insanity!

Even the body shop industry has joined the PC movement. Many are trying to upscale the industry by using “collision repair facility” rather than “body shop,” and the titles of painter and bodyman are slowly being replaced by “technician.”

“In their desire to upgrade the image of the body shop worker, they destroyed the dignity of the craft,” says an industry friend. “I always wanted to be a painter and a bodyman. Those were people I truly admired. … Technicians work in labs and wear white lab coats. Body men work with skilled hands, and have cuts and scars on them. Bodymen get dirty, but are well-paid. There’s no shame in that.”

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But the PC movement would have us believe that we should be ashamed – of nearly everything. And that line of thinking is diluting our pride as a country, as an industry and as individuals.

You want the general public to hold the body shop industry in higher regard and parents to encourage their kids to enter this trade? Then stop apologizing for what you do and be proud.

Georgina K. Carson, editor
[email protected]

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