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Posted to the Gilder forum - December 23, 2000

Post of the Year 2000

I nominate the following as "The Post of the year."

"Demand creates queues. Supply gets rid of them."
Software Times

OT Money & the Art of Auto Maintenance
posted to: Telecosm Lounge
poster: seriouslyme
date: 6/16/00 6:37:06 PM

On 6/16/00 6:37:06 PM, seriouslyme wrote:

HA! So, smart me decides that giving the service department manager at the car dealership 'what for', after I AGAIN lost the cruise control function on my ever-so-wonderful SUV, would be a good idea.   

I thought about this yesterday, and last night pondered over my exact words to use today to cause Results.  I wouldn't out-and-out insult the service manager, but rather slash his competancy and infer that he, and those who work for him, and those who hired him, and the BOD, and the investors, etc.....were either scoundrals, cheating their customers, or vapid mechanical idiots. 

Sounded good to me.  And then I supposed that the service manager would say...so what is the problem, and I would just flail about with references to the repeatedly-breaking 'cruise thingi ma jiggy.'  It was then that I got ANGRY.  With myself.  Because I didn't even have a clue as to the specificity of what I was complaining about.  How could I call them stupid, when I was the one looking to them for the solution, as I described how the push-in button thingi didn't make the cruise control, or whatever it was, make the cruise work.

HA! And that isn't the worst of my assumptions, not only did I not know what the heck I was talking about, except in the most general terms, I had expected them to fix something which they had not been able to fix each of the previous 4 times.  Oh, ok, so they fixed it...charged me $75, and then I went home to have it 'break' within days.  And since cruise control isn't majorly important, I would wait til the next needed service to AGAIN add to the repair list...the cruise control. 

The fact that I repeated this process, with the same dealer, up to 4 times, before today, shows I had misplaced my intelligence.  Well, to my own defense, it should be stated that there are only two repair shops that work on this kind of vehicle between here (San Diego) and the Alaskan Pipeline. 

Now I was really wondering exactly if  the depths of my ignorance was unfathomable, but rather than take the blame...I blamed the car (stupid car), I blamed the dealership, (stupid dealership), I blamed the service manager (stupid servicemanager), I blamed my dog (if it weren't for you dog, I wouldn't need this SUV), I blamed my kid's soccer team (if it weren't for you guys, I wouldn't need cruise control 'cause I wouldn't have to travel to all those away games).  But, today, I saw the light.  I was the dummy.

Sheesh!  So....I went to an electrical shop and asked for the manager.  I told him I would pay him $60 (his hourly rate for repair) to show me, on my vehicle, what the cruise control devise was all about, and why and how those things break.  He laughed and said sure. 

So, under the hood we went.  He showed me where it was.  (I didn't even know that!).  He showed me the small hose that connected it.  He showed me the spit end of the hose, dangling there impotentantly.  He showed me how 'someone' had tryed to add a clamp to hold the split hose in place, that had fallen off.  He showed me a bunch of hoses.  He showed me how to match the one in my car to a new one.  He took off the old hose (easy as only one side was connected)...fyi, you just pull.  Then, he put on the new hose (one side) and I put on the other....fyi, you just push.  He showed me the fuses, and they were are good. 

That was that, easy-smeezy...he suggested I drive around the block, see if it works.  IT DID!  I came back, and pulled out my $60.  He said no charge.  I asked, what about the hose?  He said no charge, it was worth it, because I OFFERED TO PAY FOR INFORMATION, and didn't expect it for free.  

So.  In less than 20 minutes, I was educated on something that has been causing me grief, inconvience and money.  I am now ready to realize that if I don't know something, it is no ones problem except MY OWN.  Of course, the fact that I have paid (handsomely I might add) for the previous 5 trips to the dealer to fix that stupid cruise control, goes to show HOW COSTLY IGNORANCE IS!!!!! 

I used to think a certain amount of money would make me feel 'secure', now I KNOW that only the increased knowledge I personally gain, aquire, or experience will make me feel 'secure'.  Amazingly, the latter enhances the former.  :)

Thank you to all on this board who share your knowledge and experience here. And to the person who tried to half-a$$ a repair on a $2.00 hose, rather than replace it....I am watchin you.


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