New Policy: Friday posts are devoted to whatever is giving me anxiety this week.
Anxiety, my new friend. I've never been a worrier in the past, but now my new buddy Anxiety sits by me and bothers me allllll the time, and he says things like:
"Oh no. The phone's ringing. Someone has died." It's just a phone call. In fact, it's a telemarketer, because IT'S ALWAYS A TELEMARKETER.
"Oh no. I have email. It's the rental company calling to tell me Mom's house has been blown away by a tornado." IT IS NEVER A TORNADO.
My Mom was a worrier until she got old. Then she realized none of the things she worried about came true. Instead, other, more horrible things happened, so what was the use of worrying?
I, however, have come to worry late in life. It annoys me. I can't be the delicate princess who gets the fantods whenever the phone rings.
THIS WEEK'S ANXIETY: The car.
The day after Thanksgiving the SERVICE ENGINE SOON and Dynamic Stability Control lights came on. I called the dealer to make an appointment. They couldn't get me in till December 7th.
Our car stayed at the dealer three days. We would call and hear "We're still diagnosing it." I snorted loudly on the third morning, and later that day we got a call that they couldn't find the problem, so they reset the warning lights and we could pick it up.
When I paid the cashier the $130 (instead of the 4K I was worried it would cost), I noticed she looked at the invoice, and then pointedly said, "If anything goes wrong with your car be sure to call us." I was too relieved I was getting out for $130 to think that anything might go wrong.
Sure enough, ten minutes down the road, SERVICE ENGINE SOON.
I cursed steadily until I got into a parking lot, got on my phone and called the dealership.
"YOU DID NOT FIX MY CAR."
"Ma'am. I'm not familiar with what work was done on you car. I need the invoice number to see what we did."
"NOTHING. YOU DID NOTHING AND CHARGED ME $130 FOR IT."
Before I got home, some Customer Service Wrangler had called to hear the whole story. When I called him back I was still so angry I lost my ability to say simple words like "cashier." It came with a French pronounication. "Cash-e-AY." I don't know what that's all about. But that's how mad I was.
So mad they called back the next day and sweet-talked Gary, and promised us a loaner car, and they'd give our car special attention, and drive the car home themselves personally to their house to see any lights, and not give it back till it was fixed, and bullshit, and et cetera.
Gary had already called Dobbs Auto, who immediately said they couldn't get to anything until after the holidays. You know, as opposed to lying and making appointments they can't keep.
In the past, I would have thought, "My righteous indignation has cowed the dealer. They will now do the professional job they should have done before and charge me a fair amount."
My new friend Anxiety says, "They hate you now, and they lie, so they will take advantage and spit in your wiper fluid and tell you that the transmission is out or whatever the most expensive thing is, and then just buff the exterior and do nothing else. Last time you got that light they said it was the fuel pump. I bet it wasn't the fuel pump at all. They probably set the computer chip to randomly send a SERVICE ENGINE SOON light whenever they want your money."
Happily, we have two cars. And while I could have afforded the car work before Christmas, I can't now, so the car just sits in the garage. I start it up every two weeks, and look balefully at the SERVICE ENGINE SOON light. Hah. "SOON." Sure.