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Cape Central High Photos

Ken Steinhoff, Cape Girardeau Central High School Class of 1965, was a photographer for The Tiger and The Girardot, and was on the staff of The Capaha Arrow and The Sagamore at Southeast Missouri State University. He worked as a photographer / reporter (among other things) at The Jackson Pioneer and The Southeast Missourian.

Come here to see photos and read stories (mostly true) about coming of age in Southeast Missouri in the 1960s.

Please comment on the articles when you see I have left out a bit of history, forgotten a name or when your memory of a circumstance conflicts with mine. (My mother says her stories have improved now that more and more of the folks who could contradict her have died off.) Your information helps to make this a wonderful archive and may end up in book form.

Advance Auto Parts Closing

Advance Auto Parts 11-06-2015While I was having a problem finding someone around to jump me the other night, I decided to buy a small, cheap battery charger to stick in the what-if box in the back of the car. Turned out it wasn’t the battery, but a bad starter, so the battery and connections were innocent this time and a charger wouldn’t have helped.

Still, I had a few minutes to kill between errands, so I pulled into the Advance Auto Parts store on North Kingshighway to see what they had in stock.

Something looked odd

Advance Auto Parts 11-06-2015The shelves looked unusually bare, and there were a couple of notices taped to the door.

For the record, Advance has been my go-to parts store for several years now. The folks who work there have been extraordinarily helpful. They’ve given me some good advice and talked me out of an expensive purchase when a cheaper one would work just as well.

Good troubleshooters

A few years ago, my old van had to be jumped three times in two days, even though I was doing quite a bit of highway driving. The battery was one I had bought in Florida at another chain, and it still had some warranty left. Unfortunately the tester was broken at the Cape store; they could trade out the battery, but I’d still have to pay a substantial amount of difference, and I couldn’t be sure the battery was really the problem.

I drove into Advance, told them my problem and said that if it DID turn out to be a battery problem, then the odds were good that I’d have to buy the replacement from their competitor. After about 15 minutes of troubleshooting, we determined that the battery and alternator were fine, and that it was probably a faulty relay that was draining the charge. I replaced the relay and life was good.

Mother said they were great about replacing wiper blades and bulbs for her.

Sign delivers the bad news

Advance Auto Parts 11-06-2015“Store Closing November 7th. We will be closing at 6 p.m. effective immediately. We are sorry for any inconvenience,” the sign read.

“Does that sign mean you are changing your hours and closing at 6 p.m., or does this mean the STORE is closing?” I asked the clerk.

“It’s the store that’s closing tomorrow night. Corporate came in and said we were all laid off and to empty the shelves.”

“Your call is very important to us”

I decided to spend 9 minutes and 57 seconds of my life (most of it on hold listening to a recording telling me how “important” my call was to them) lodging a complaint with Advance’s customer service line.

I told the very nice young lady that I realized that there was nothing either she nor I could do, but I did want someone to know that I was an regular customer because of the great customer service I had gotten from the staff. Over the years, I had been impressed with the low turnover and the way my mother and I had been recognized when we came in. That’s what drew me back to Team #8175

Not that it’ll do any good, but the national customer service line number is 1-877-238-2623. There are at least two levels of menus to work through, and you’ll probably find out your call is “very important to us” before reaching a poor flack-catcher. Be nice to him or her. They aren’t the ones who put some nice folks out on the street.

3 comments to Advance Auto Parts Closing

  • Virginia Kerr West

    That is too bad,but I think that is happening to several places !

  • larry points

    When driving across IL. on I-70 several years ago, my wiper blade on the driver’s side began flapping wildly in a driving rainstorm. Most unnerving to unsuccessfully reattach it in the rain with semis whipping by. I made it to the next interchange and was told an Advance Auto Supply was in a small town several miles to the south. The young lady there who sold me new blades went out in a thunderstorm and affixed them. “We don’t take tips”, so profuse thanks was all I could do. Ever since, Advance has been my go to auto supply store.

    • Headlights on the driver side of the Honda Odyssey are clipped in, but you have to bend your arm at an impossible angle to do it. Sometimes it’s really easy, sometimes you’ll drive yourself crazy.

      One cold winter day, with a strong wind dropping the wind chill lower than I liked to think about, I was having a devil of time trying to seat the clip with frozen fingers. I went back in the store looking for help.

      A young counterman came out, struggled the same as I had, then got it to seat and lock in. I walked up to him and said, “Somebody must have been careless and dropped these two five-dollar bills on the ground where they blew right up to me. Maybe you could hold them in case somebody comes looking.”

      Then, just as I let go of the bills, a gust of wind caught them and sent them sailing across the lot with my new buddy in close pursuit. If anybody asked, he could honestly say that he found them blowing in the wind.

      I had the same kind of service in Tulsa this spring. I think it must have been in the chain’s DNA.

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