Saturday, September 16, 2006

Saturn is a whole nother planet

First the good news, the recent outbreak of e coli has been traced to spinach.

Mom mentioned that it has been a really long time since I have blogged. (And to give credit where credit is due many others have also mentioned it, some repeatedly.) However, I told mom that the reason I have not blogged is that there is nothing going on in my life that is truly mine to blog about. Most of the stuff in my life is going on around me and blogged about on the appropriate blogs.

I did however have a couple of interesting stories this week: Worth about 10,000 words or so.

On the retail end our Walgreen’s opened. Of course it is right where any respectable Walgreen’s is across the street from Right Aid. But when God opens a Walgreen’s he must close a Blockbuster. I knew of course that Blockbuster would be closing having a niece in the biz. But no notice of any sort was given, on Tuesday Robin went to pick up a new release movie coming out that day. She was told that their shipment had been misdirected and that the new movies would be there the next day. On Wednesday when she went up there the store was completely empty with a note on the door stating that if you had any returns to drop them through the door and that appropriate legal action would be taken for any materials not returned.

On the traffic end, Thursday, while driving home I was unfortunate enough to be traveling behind two gentlemen with VSP* syndrome. The good thing about driving home on Thursday is that you beat the weekend traffic; the bad thing about driving home on Thursday is that the construction that is moved for the weekend traffic is still in place on Thursday. So, just as we were cresting the Zilwaukee Bridge the traffic came to a crawl and after a short distance we came upon a sign stating that the left two lanes were closed in two miles. We were in the middle of the three lanes available. Of course knowing that two lanes were closing in TWO miles traffic started panicking with the need to get all the way over to the right immediately. I, of course, do not have this issue and continued to cruise while I could. I then came up on the VSP victims. In their manly-men pickups the size of Montana they decided to prove their machismo by controlling the traffic on a major interstate. Now I am familiar with, and have a slight respect for, the maneuver by semi drivers to maintain the pace of traffic in these types of situations, where they block the lane that will be closing and force the merge point where they are, while keeping pace with the lane that remains open. I have the slight respect for this as this does attempt to maintain one merge point which does improve the traffic flow, however, I maintain that this merge point is already clearly defined by the end of the lane and it is only one’s arrogance that decides they have a better point. But in any case that is not what these afflicted gentlemen were doing. The traffic in the far right lane was at a stop and go at about 5 MPH and they continued to move along not stopping when the right lane did. As they did not stay with the traffic in the merge to lane I did not see their intent as improving traffic for all. It was confusing as to why with the left two lanes blocked the cars in the far right were not moving, but being on the decline and behind two mega pickups I could not see what was going on. We soon saw the problem as there was a stalled car in the right lane, the lane everyone had to have since the other two were closing in TWO miles. Seizing my opportunity I swung in front of the stalled car and then back into the middle lane in front of the poor VSP sufferer. This exercise earned me a full frontal view of his no doubt larger body part, but I’ve been flipped off by better before. I cruised along until the lane closed where I easily scooted into an opening of at least two car lengths, earning myself another flip off from the driver behind me. The lanes were only closed while under the overpass and we were back up to three lanes and continued on an uneventful drive.

Friday I had many errors to take care of, the most important being a trip to the dealer in Saginaw for a few car repairs. My front right turn signal stopped working a while ago, and when I had my oil changed I had them fix the bulb. They were not able to do it then because the bulb that was in was not burned out and a new bulb was not the issue. They concluded there was probably a short in the wiring which would need the dealer to correct. Shortly there after my front left turn signal went out, I figured I would have that changed when I did the right. Then my left started working again, leading me to believe that there was also a short in the left wiring. Not long after the knob that changes the direction of the heat/air stopped working. Getting to the dealer moved up on my list of things I needed to do, as I have a fondness for defrosted windows and have grown attached to being able to see what is in front of me. Gordon scheduled an appointment for 1:00 in Saginaw and we did our other errands first. A little history about my ION, I have put more turn signal bulbs in this car than I have in all of my other cars put together, about a year after a bought it and I had already put in 6 turn signals in the front there was a recall for a faulty harness in the front turn signals. I did take it in and had it replaced, but still went through turn signals. I have also been to the dealer for repairs more with this car than I have with all of my other cars put together, if this had been my first Saturn there never would have been a second.

So I get to the dealer at my scheduled time and explain that I believe there is a problem in the wiring for the right turn signal, as it does not work and the bulb is not burned out. The left turn signal works intermittently leading me to believe that there is a problem with that one also. And that the knob controlling the direction of the heat/air does not work. The service director (Koltt) asks if I have extended warranty, I say that I do and that I believe it covers a rental car. (I learned this tidbit at my last trip to the dealer where they checked my warranty on a speaker phone. I have never once been offered a rental car during my extended waits at the dealer) Koltt calls in my VIN and says that I do have the extended warranty but that there is a $40 diagnostic charge if the repair is not covered under my warranty. I know that I have a comprehensive warranty that includes everything so I say go ahead. He then reviews what is wrong with the car, the left front turn signal does not work. No, the left works intermittently it is currently working, it worked when I turned in here, but it has in the past not worked, the right is not working at all. So, the right turn signal works intermittently. No the right does not work at all the left works intermittently. After making sure he has written it down correctly we retire to the waiting area. About twenty minutes later Koltt comes in and tells me that my knob is busted and they will need to take the dash apart to replace it but it is covered under my warranty, also they have replaced the front turn signals and they both work and that I will have to pay the $40 diagnostic since the only problem was a burned out bulb. I stated that this was incorrect since I had replaced the bulb and the light did not work, I asked to see the burned out bulb. Ten minutes later Koltt returns with a burned out bulb and a good bulb, he says that the right turn signal was working when they replaced it but after it was bumped it went out and they have determined that there is problem with the harness wiring that needs to be replaced and that would be covered by my warranty. The left bulb was burned out and is now working since it was replaced and that I would have to pay the $40 diagnostic charge for that one. I stated that the bulb worked just fine when I turned in this afternoon and if it was burned out it had just burned out, (not a big surprise as I have had my turn signals checked when I got my oil changed and had them work just fine only to have one burn out on the way home) the reason I had brought it in was not for a burned out bulb but because it worked intermittently and that a burned out bulb would not work intermittently. He said that he did not know when the bulb burned out, but since I had asked them to check it and that was the problem I would have to pay the charge. I stated that I would pay the charge since I wanted to take my car out of the dealership when it was completed and that I would later take the issue up with Saturn, for him to make sure his name was spelled correctly in big bold letters on my paperwork. I decided to go outside and smoke and walked through the garage I asked Koltt how long it would be until the heater was fixed. He stated that he was working on getting me a rental car. Koltt then returned to the waiting area and stated that they were not going to charge me for the diagnostics but that I would have to pay for the bulbs, I did not like this but said okay. I have had the turn signals replaced many times when I got my oil changed, the most I have ever paid was $5 per bulb, I know I can buy them 2 for $5 at Wal-Mart and do it myself but I hardly ever need two and always lose the second one anyway (I know, but my refrigerator is only so big.) Koltt said my rental should be ready in a few minutes and my car in a few hours. Once the rental was ready we went to Long John Silvers to get something to eat and were on our way into the dollar store when we got the call that our car was ready. We went ahead and did our dollar store shopping and when we returned to Saturn our paperwork was not ready. We waited a few minutes and they brought our paperwork in, a few staples later the cashier said “That will be $34.70” and handed me some papers. I looked through the papers and could see the $34.70 total on the bottom but nothing that could bring me to that total. I told her that I did not understand what the $34.70 was for. She then called for a service director. Someone (not Koltt) then came in and said that I had to pay for the bulbs. I had had a few minutes to look at the paperwork and said ”Okay here’s the bulbs, $11.90 not the best price I’ve seen but not bad for a dealer” I was then told there was a $23 labor charge to replace the bulbs. OMG, “one, a small, deformed, retarded monkey could change the front turn signals, two I could have had said monkey change them if your wiring wasn’t bad. I did not bring my car into the dealer, take a day off work, and drive 60 miles to have bulbs changed. Redo this paperwork so it clearly states what I am paying for and make sure your name is right next to Koltt’s.” The paperwork was redone with a new charge of $11.90 plus tax. We took my car and went to Meijer’s on our way out of the parking lot Gordon turned on the radio, guess he was tired of my ranting. The radio did not work, I was not picking up any stations. The Saturn dealer was almost directly across the street so into their parking lot we went. Koltt saw us pull in and went into the back of the garage, the other service director whose name I did not get came out to the car and said “what’s the problem”, I said that my radio was not working, he asked if it worked before I came in this afternoon. What an asshole, I told him yes, but so did my left turn signal. I also told him that I had this problem previously in my old Saturn and that it was that the antenna had been disconnected, and that maybe when they had put my dash back together they had forgotten to connect it. He had us go to the waiting room and 15 minutes later came back in and said that I was right the antenna was not connected and that they had fixed it. They didn’t even try to charge me for it.

On the ride home Gordon read more thoroughly through the papers. Here are the comments:

Line 1 – customer states the left turn signal works intermittently
Tech Comm – customer states left and right turn signals are in op. Both bulbs have black spots on them. Replaced both bulbs and wire harness needs replacing also.

Line 2 – customer states the right turn signal is inop
Cause – defective part
Tech Comm – c/s right turn signal inop. Verified concern. Right turn signal harness has a loose connection with bulb causing bulb to blow. Replaced right turn signal harness.

Did you catch those words? Here they are again “CAUSING BULB TO BLOW” Not only could I not have said monkey replace the bulb because of their faulty wiring, but their faulty wiring caused the problem to start with. And if I had been born a Gerth I would have paid $75.

I’m thinking Nissan.

* Very Small Penis


KathrynVH said...

You are getting your 11.90 back, right? I'll send you some stamps.

You do know that some vsp's carry guns. Safety first.

You don't have to wait for something to happen to blog--we're easily amused by very little. I laughed for a week about brown shoes. Koltt as in colt? Oh my.

paulette said...

I really think that your Aunt Rita's surviving spouse Z plan now covers neices.

Adrienne said...

The man in the Montana truck? Did you notice that his liscence plate read KOLTT

paulette said...

Saturn of Saginaw called here this morning to make sure that everything was going OK after your recent service visit. I said I would let you know and was sure they would be hearing from you if there were problems.

Tim B. said...


Just a suggestion. For each car buy one of those $1 plastic shoeboxes. Put any extra car parts (like the second bulb of a pack of two) in the box for that car. Keep the package because it has the number that you will need the NEXT time.

Tim B. said...

(and keep the box in the car that it is for)

Tim "VSP" B.

marty said...

Your wrong about the 'car box.' The proper place to keep the extra bulb is in the refrigerator.

Tim B. said...

Are you joking or serious about storing the bulbs in the refrigerator? And if serious, why?

Gretchen said...

My father once made the brilliant observation that he bought vacuum cleaner bags in packages of 4 and yet only used one and needed to purchase an additional 4 pack the next time a bag was needed, he realized he also bought margarine in packages of 4 and yet always used all 4. He deducted that items purchased in parts where you do not use all of the parts simultaneously should be stored in the refrigerator to achieve maximum benefit from your purchase.

This logic stuck with our family, so you may hear mention of keeping things in the refrigerator. As opposed to actually storing it where it would be used. That comes from the maternal side of our family.

ez said...

My toothpicks have lived in the butter section of my fridge for the last 20 years and I can always find one when I need it.

I learned this from my father while traveling through the orient in a dixie cup.

Sean M. said...

Wow, sounds like fun. My friend took his Saturn in to fix his sunroof and I went with him. He went through a lot of the same things you were discussing, so I know exactly what you're talking about. I guess it must be a Saturn thing, but maybe it's just a car dealer thing...

Oh, and by the way, would you like to be in my Sociological study? Just read my latest post for more info. Come on; everybody else is doing it! LOL

Tim B. said...

I was thinking that it was supposed to prolong the useful life of the light bulb.

My ex used to keep batteries in the refrigerator, claiming that they lasted longer so that stuck with me.

marty said...

margarine? You say margarine. I don't think so lady.

paulette said...

I also heard that batteries would have longer life if kept in the freezer and did that for tens of years. Sometime during that time period I heard that it was not true. However the batteries seemed to be confortable there and I always knew where they were.

Now, in this new unit, my refrigerator and freezer are smaller than my other one and the batteries have to be happy with drawer space.

marty said...

Your lucky you didn't buy a Pluto, where would you be then?