I Wanna Kia!

December 16, 2013 at 12:41 pm | Posted in Around Boston | 2 Comments
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I recently said goodbye to the cursed car (that actually turned out to be a great ride once finally fixed), and bought myself a big girl car.  And yes, I say that with every bit of irony I can muster because, as we all know, a woman shopping for a new car alone is ill-advised, so my dad came to help remove the target from my wallet (while the hubs stayed home with the baby).  Annnyway…

At one of the local car dealerships, as RWFOTB and I waited through the “let-me-talk-to-my-manager” negotiation process, we overheard a curious conversation: A middle-aged woman (with her mother in-tow) was standing firm against a sales guy.  He was trying to convince her of the benefits of the Camry, but she wasn’t having it.

Even these rodents can get a Kia!  Step up your game, lady!

Even these rodents can get a Kia! Step up your game, lady!

“I wanna Kia!” she insisted.  “I don’t want no Camry, I wanna Kia.”

We couldn’t help it – dad and I tried to keep our laughter quiet.  But the woman was adamant.  She would accept no substitute.  And even though the sales guy was trying to be polite, we couldn’t ignore the elephant in the room… we were at a Toyota dealership! 

Yeah.

So we may have remarked, loudly enough to be overheard, “Perhaps she’d have better luck at a Kia dealership.” 

The woman just glared and continued her fight.  The salesman looked sheepishly grateful, before saying: “Well, I don’t have any Kia’s here right now, but perhaps we could consider the Corolla?”

“Yeah, but,” and here dad and I mouthed the phrase we knew was coming next,” I wanna Kia!”

Good luck, lady. 

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Jiffy Lube? Try Jiffy Screwed!

July 19, 2013 at 7:55 am | Posted in Around Boston | 6 Comments
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dishonest lube

Have you ever taken your car in for an oil change, had the mechanic recommend extra services, and felt like you were being taken for a ride, so to speak?  Well, I recently had just such an experience at the Jiffy Lube at 99 Worcester Street (Route 9) in Natick, MA.  I don’t know if it was because of my gender (women know nothing about cars, right?  Two X chromosomes means a genetic disposition for automobile idiocy), or my perceived age (I look younger than I am – I’m told this will serve me well come middle age, but for now it’s just awkward), or if they do this to all their customers (which would ALSO be shameful, just a different kind of shameful), but the fact is, these folks were trying to scam me, and I’m calling them out!

Shame on you, Jiffy Lube!

Filter This!

Most folks have experienced this – I know it’s not specific to me: you go in for an oil change and hear the pitch about how you need to change your filter, too… “You don’t have to do it now, but I sure wouldn’t want to breathe in that dirty air.”  Happens all the time.  But what I believe was specific to me is the fact that the technician told me I needed BOTH filters in my car changed.  Both.

The issue?  My car only has ONE filter.  Yeah… Dude tried to sell me a filter replacement for a filter that DOESN’T EXIST!

So once we got over that little snafu, I asked him to remove the (single) filter and show me how dirty it was, and when he pulled it out, VOILA!  It wasn’t dirty after all; in fact, I’d dare say it was clean!  His response?  “You could probably wait until your next oil change, but I wouldn’t go much longer than that.”

Thanks, buddy.

Transmission Failed

The next debacle: he told me that I needed to have my transmission fluid flushed and refilled because I was at 39,000 miles and that was “way overdue.”  In fact, he said, it is “dangerous” not to do it.  And even though I literally saw on his computer monitor that it said the service was recommended at 60,000 miles, and showed him my owner’s manual that also said 60,000 miles, he reiterated that I was late and could be doing “serious and irreversible damage to my car.”  We’re talking serious and irreversible here, people!

If he were in my shoes, he said, he would have the $250 service done and “not take any chances.”

Wow.   Talk about FUD!  This guy was, without a doubt, trying to rip me off. Again.

Screeching Halt

I was appalled by this experience; so angered, in fact, that I decided to report it to Jiffy Lube corporate.  I sent a message to them via their website just a few days later and was assured (by an automatically generated message, of course) that my feedback was very important to them and that I would receive a response shortly.

You guessed it: no response.  Jiffy Lube corporate ignored my message and this situation, so now I’m sending my story out on the interwebs.  Drivers of the world: if you take your car to Jiffy Lube, be prepared!  Do your research!  Don’t let them pressure you into services you don’t need!  Don’t let them rip you off!

Or, just don’t take your car to Jiffy Lube…

The Three Little Bricks and The Big Bad Microburst

July 25, 2012 at 8:24 am | Posted in Around Boston, Office Humor | Leave a comment
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My dear Factinis readers:

Today’s post is a special treat for me because my friend (and reliable Factinis commenter) Erika will be occupying my usual soap box!  So, in addition to helping with content (of which I’ve been embarrassingly negligent of late), she’s also making me feel better about my own life!  Let’s face it: a lot of crazy stuff happens to me, and knowing that it happens to other people, too, makes me feel a little more normal.  Or at least like there’s a community of abnormality out there that I’m a part of…  So without further ado, I give you Erika’s true tale of commuting madness!

I should start this guest post as my hostess so often does, with a snapshot into my life at work. I have on my desk, along with a pink feather boa, a plastic dinosaur and a veritable rainbow of fuzzy craft bears, a plastic model of the Weinermobile. While all these objects have stories behind them, I blame office gossip for the Weinermobile. You know how these things happen, right? A perfectly innocent event gets warped by the rumor mill and suddenly everyone at work wants to know how you got into a car accident with the Weinermobile.

oscar mayer weinermobile

The perfect desk accessory?

I didn’t. Yes, it was a car accident, and yes, it did involve processed meat, but it wasn’t nearly so dramatic as it sounds. A simple rear-ending by a sausage truck is all. I tell you this for two reasons. One, because I know you’re all mature enough not to snicker by the imagery of sausages and rear ends, and two, because it sets a nice context for what happened eight years later. A.k.a. last week.

Picture if you will a lovely summer evening in a town just north of Boston. And then, just as you’re settling in to enjoy the story, strolling down the country lane (okay, it was a major commuting route) on your way to meet your wife for dinner at your favorite Indian restaurant, imagine yourself up to your knees in water, suddenly caught in a dramatic torrent of wind and rain complete with downed trees and sizzling power lines. Do you panic? Of course not! This is all well and good because your clothes probably needed a wash anyway and hopping fallen branches while trying to dodge the falling sparks from the urban jungle above is kind of like a video game. And who doesn’t love a good video game at the end of a long hard day at work?

I hope you didn’t think that was a rhetorical question. The answer, as it turns out, is “my trusty steed.” Apparently my being drenched, nearly swept away by wind and rain and narrowly avoiding electrocution wasn’t enough for Mother Nature. No, she looked down on me, released a cackle of thunder, and said to herself, “I’d better get her car involved too.” So, when my wife and I went to the nearby parking lot to retrieve a bag from the vehicle, we discovered a pile of bricks surrounding it. Unlike similar scenes in Super Mario World, however, there were no gold coins or feathers of invisibility or extra lives awaiting us. Just a crowd of people staring up amazedly at a hole on the roof of the jewelry shop. Yes indeed, microbursts are all fun and games until someone loses a windshield from a falling chimney.

To be honest, I’m not sure if the odds are better for falling chimneys than for rogue sausage trucks, but either way, I’m concerned about what’s going to show up on my desk once my co-workers get wind of this. So to speak.

So what say you, dear reader(s), what WILL show up on our guest blogger Erika’s desk in the weeks to come? A big bad wolf, huffing and puffing? A wind-up Dick Van Dyke doll that sings a certain tune from Mary Poppins? Santa Claus with a little gray rain cloud over his head? We can only guess… but I’m sure she’ll report back with the answer!

Goodbye Sebring?

July 6, 2010 at 1:16 pm | Posted in Misc. | 3 Comments
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It seems that everywhere Max and I go these days there is a minivan convention. We are frequently the only sedan in a parking lot full of mammoth family vehicles. And I’m beyond sad to admit that we may soon be joining the legion of humongous vehicles.

A couple weeks ago Mike and I decided to escape for the weekend up to his family’s house in the Adirondacks. With just the four of us (including the beagle), my poor Sebring was loaded. And I don’t mean we had a lot in the trunk. I mean the trunk was strategically stuffed to barely closing, Max’s pack-n-play had to ride in the backseat, and I had to have a bag or two shoved under my feet. And as I silently said a prayer of thanks to my mom’s neighbor who sold me an umbrella stroller for a dollar a couple weeks prior, thus enabling me to bring a stroller that takes up a fraction of the space of our Graco, I came to a realization so frightening I almost dropped the high chair: we are going to have to upgrade to a larger vehicle. With another little munchkin’s debut fast approaching, we are going to have to add another car seat, which means our backseat is about to become nonexistent. Then where will the dog and pack-n-play ride? I got a little teary.

I love my car. I bought it brand new right off the showroom about five weeks before I found out I was pregnant with Max. It still has that new-car smell thanks to fancy fart-resistant seats. Every time I hit a bump or pothole in my old Neon the seats would emit a rather foul odor. And one of our Neons didn’t even have a radio. Although it did have some nice rims, but that’s another story.

Mike and I were both pretty distraught when we sold our beloved Jeep last spring, and we still occasionally pine for it. We bought it with a blown motor, which meant we got a smoking deal if you don’t count the manual labor Mike spent putting in a new engine. But getting rid of my Sebring is different. Because we’re not following our original plan of selling while we can still break even like we did with the Jeep. If we really go through with this, it means we’re trading in our carefree days of hopping in the car and seeing where the road leads for trips to the library and Wegmans built around sleep schedules and mealtimes. Of course it’s inevitable that our lives — all of our lives — change, especially as we mature and settle down with spouses and children and pets. But I feel too old to be driving my mom’s minivan and way too young to purchase one for myself.

~April

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