May 22, 2007

Black Flies, and the Like

There are two huge black flies swarming around my office. Seriously, they are so big I am going to put them on little leashes and name them 'bill' and 'fred'. Why bill and fred?, because I think that prosaic black horseflies should have prosaic names. I wouldn't be so annoyed with them if they'd stop dive-bombing me... how am I supposed to get any work done?? It definitely makes me miss my old boss, who transferred to another property, because he would've come out with electric-fly-swatter-a-blazing. It was a site to behold, hilarious really.

Onto ponderations, I am rarely someone who is insulted, but a woman on the train yesterday succeeded. This past weekend I got my car serviced at Toyota, and it was the 60K mile service, so it was quite a bit of money. However, my car was running rather roughly, and now it is running beautifully, and it was at 81K so it definitely needed the service - and I've never serviced it before (except for the obvious oil changes and a brake job).

Upon hearing that I had my car serviced at the dealership and that I spent a good amount of money on it, a woman I didn't know (I was speaking with acquaintances I do know) decided to declare, to those I was speaking with, that 'Some people are such idiots (when it comes to cars)' and that 'Grease Monkey offers the same service for cheaper'. Now, I'm all about people having their opinions and expressing them. It's fine if you don't think that is a smart way to spend your money and you can even express concern that I choose to spend my money that way. However, even I draw the line at being called an 'idiot', especially by someone who thinks a Dodge is wonderful, amazing car that everyone should buy.

Plus, who gets their car serviced at Grease Monkey? I'm all for an oil change, but anything bigger and they are going to rip you off (unless you know and trust one of them - I believe they are franchised; and I don't want to libel them as I've never used them personally). So feel free to express your opinion... and I suppose if you are a friend or family member you can feel free to call me an idiot (even if I don't think I am one).

Posted by 10lees at May 22, 2007 07:00 PM

The lady probably has a family member or friend that works for Grease Monkey. At the dealer you know for a fact that they are the experts on your car. Depending on the issue and how hard it is to diagnose, I'm sure the "other guys" would do their best but the dealer has a higher probability of fixing it right the first time. What do I know though, I don't take my car anywhere and just buy service manuals and fix it myself.

Posted by: jeff at May 23, 2007 06:02 AM

i think SHE was the idiot for interjecting into that conversation! who does that??

i'm glad your car is up to snuff!!

i've been going to Pep Boys (which i think is a chain in IL only), and i know that they dont do a perfect job, but they are cheap, helpful and can usually fix anything. i drive a german made car and no one can decipher electric issues (sometimes not even the damn dealer). so i go to Pep Boys b/c my issues havent been electrical.

i also noticed that dealerships are different across the board. when i needed to get the code for my radio (long story), i called 4 VW dealerships in the chicagoland area (some owned by the same guy!) and the price to gain such knowledge ranged from $35 - $80. now that's a rip off.

Posted by: dr gonzo at May 23, 2007 08:45 AM

they were going to make you pay just for KNOWLEDGE? Now that is a rip off, but how can you avoid it if everybody charges you for it. You end up having to accept getting ripped off.

To be fair, I did go to a Texaco (which I don't think is a Texaco anymore) in MN all the time. They were very nice and decent folks. Not all of them rip you off, just like not all dealers rip you off.

Jeff, I am jealous of your mad skills. sadly I don't have the skills, or the time, to be able to fix my car. maybe as a goal for the future...

Posted by: 10lees at May 23, 2007 09:44 AM

Well I'm with G in that who interjects into a conversation to call someone they don't know an idiot. Thats just bad form. I mean I personally would wait till the person walked away before calling them an idiot, but thats just me. Its not really like you were spending her money. Dealerships have never really been my choice for servicing but then again most of my cars have been purchased past the point where servicing does a car much good. Its a car and you got to go with whoever you trust.
They make electric fly swaters. Is this because the normal kind are just to much work. What excatly does an electric fly swatter intail? Does it hunt the fly down for you then swing at the most oppertune moment cause its seems like you could hurt yourself with something like that. Besides are the big black ones the slow ones that you can pretty much hit with your hand. By all means use newpaper, but killing them can't be that hard.

Posted by: little b at May 23, 2007 09:46 AM

Dealerships generally put in dealer parts which is important to some.

Posted by: babada at May 23, 2007 10:26 AM

electric fly swatters give the fly an electric shock when it connects. Have you ever hit a fly with a fly swatter only to have it keep flying around? THEN the electric fly swatter is for you! Watch as the fly twitches on the counter after you have smacked it, watch as your coworkers run in fear of getting shocked by a stray swing...

seriously it's a lot of fun... but yes the big ones I could've hit, but I just threw my kleenex box at them when they got too close, then they'd leave me alone for a while.

Exactly - it's totally bad form to call someone an idiot to their face. Even being told I am 'idiotic' isn't as bad as being called an actual 'idiot'.

dealer parts aren't too important for me, but I was a little worried the car might've been having 'more serious' problems. and a dealer would've noticed if it was. plus two les scwabs totally screwed up my brakes and the dealership got it right... so there's that too.

Posted by: 10lees at May 23, 2007 11:59 AM

Next time just say, "Whoa! Did you get some koolaid on ya?!" "Cause you all up in my shiznit, and don't even know the flava!!"
And is it just me, or does grease monkey sound like a racial slur? Is it like porch monkey, but for mexicans?
I think you should boycott them, it gives you a good reason to make a sign.

Anyway, don't sweat it 10, you should just realize how sad it must be, to be sitting on public transit, and find it necessary to insult fellow passengers on mundane issues. She must be a lonely, intolerable individual.

Love ya.
Have a wonderful Thursday!

Posted by: Roland at May 23, 2007 08:55 PM

I am a dealership person. My experience has been that they feel that they have a vested interest in me (they want me to buy my next car there) so they work hard to make me happy. I have received excelent service from them and I know what to expect -- and where to complain if somthing goes wrong. Besides, I get most of my parts and service on discount because of some warranty thingy.

PS maybe if you try to think of the flies as small birds instead of insects, then you will enjoy their presence??? Let's not even begin to discuss the creatures that you find in DC...

Posted by: Jessica at May 24, 2007 06:34 AM

hmm, now that you mentioned it, Grease Monkey could be a racial slur. However, I always picture monkies jumping up and down hitting my car with a wrench when I hear the name... which might explain why I don't want to take my car to them.

I agree Jess, I always feel like the dealerships are trying to play up to you. Also, it's nice because they know your car well.

I will happily leave the giant bugs to you in DC though - I can't complain THAT much about the bugs here. Although I can't help but wonder how all my friends in the Midwest are doing with the cicadas (brood XVII), are they friendly?

Posted by: 10lees at May 25, 2007 09:28 AM

I like the dealership because they let me surf the web, eat their popcorn and donuts, drink their coffee/water/cocoa (whatever my flava) and watch cable TV in a really sweet lounge area (with a good view of all the pretty new cars) while they fix my car. Generally I don't get anxious waiting for them because I have so much to do on the web. I've never been to a "Grease Monkey" that did that. (Then again, I've never been to a Grease Monkey period... but I'm not beyond making bad generalizations about the quality of their service based only on their name. :))

Incidentally -- I was thinking about paying beaucoups amount of money on getting our 90000 mile check up, but Steve disagrees. He says it's not worth it, because then you have to pay ON TOP of that to get anything that they find wrong fixed. SO, please let me know -- is a check up worth it, and if so, why?

Posted by: stevenlaura at May 26, 2007 11:48 AM

I have NO idea what Roland said - I'll need an interpretation later on that!!! Tenley would need you to say that to the lady and then Roland could be punched for it. :)

We have a fly zapper - it's just a matter of FINDING IT. IF you come up here for Memorial Day - we will make an effort to find it.

They're monkeys and to top it off they're greasy! Yuck!

Posted by: Bevy at May 26, 2007 12:22 PM

stevenlaura (who, I assume, is the laura part), well my car was acting a little funny - you know when you can tell there's something a little off and an oil change doesn't fix it. That's usually when I decide to get my car serviced. They changed my spark plugs and such during the checkup and now the car runs SO much better. Steve is probably right, they do try and 'sell' you other things that may or may not be ok with your car (in my case, tires, some belts that 'looked old' and a timing belt) (ps the belts look old because the car is a 1999 - hello!!) I hope that advice helps you decide what to do...

well mom, sadly the flies have passed, actually they just stopped showing up and I didn't even bother to look for their poor dead bodies. how heartless am I!!??!

Posted by: 10lees at May 26, 2007 07:44 PM

Up at the olde ski lodge - we used to come up there in the summer time and I saw enuf dead black flies on the seats by the windows and the window sills to make up for your not looking for the dead guys. ;) Watch the belt on your car and replace it eventually - before it breaks as they do wear out. :) So about the 3rd time or so - they tell you - get it changed.

In Oregon at the Saturn dealership - they were always telling me I needed to flush this and that - and it's ONLY $90 for that service. I told them they could do it IF the men selling it to me paid for it!!! :) They never did. My gas pedal was always sticky and they told me that I could have some service done for $35 or so and I always told them no. Eventually, the man trying to sell it to me just took a spray bottle of some sort and cleaned off the trottle cable. Very cheap - didn't cost a thing. Everytime I took it in there that same guy would clean that off - for nothing. :)

Posted by: bevy at May 27, 2007 04:03 PM
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