Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Stupid

In spite of all the media attention and numerous newly launched investigations, we don't know the answer to the two most important and interesting questions concerning the Volkswagon scandal - Who did it and Why. A person, or persons, unknown (can't you hear a newscaster or somebody's spokesperson voice?), via software, enabled diesel powered VW's to turn on pollution control technology during emission testing to achieve desired and/or legally mandated results. These controls didn't actually function during everyday driving. Thus, VW owners could enjoy better mileage, performance and engine life than would've been possible if the controls were turned on. You get a cool comfortable cruise and a self-righteous, saving the planet buzz.

Well duh! exclaims certain gentlereaders, the Why is self-evident, it's stated in the last sentence of the previous paragraph. But I'm after a different Why. I want to know Why the Who (or more likely,They) did it considering that it must have occurred to the Who/They that if they got caught it could result in not only getting canned but also having to learn how to successfully take a shower in certain institutions (rule #1, if you drop the soap, leave it). Then, just as he, she, ze (see previous post) or they were falling asleep on the night of the day he, she, ze or they came up with the idea, wouldn't you think that it occurred to, um...someone, that if the plot were to be revealed it could bring the whole company down?

I'll be following this story closely because I want to know if this was someone's carefully crafted plan, that if they carefully calculated the risk of getting caught and concluded it was worth it. Or, did somebody, perhaps a whole chain of somebodies, just do something stupid without thinking things through.

Which brings us to the folks that recently replaced the transmission in my van, Betty.

Huh?

Bear with me, all will soon become clear.

One morning I was on my way to work. I stopped at a red light and was waiting to turn left. I was the first person in the left turn lane and there were two or three cars waiting patiently behind me. When the light turned green I removed my foot from the brake and pushed on the gas pedal. Nothing happened. Or rather, my engine gently roared, as if I had placed the transmission in neutral, which I hadn't. Long story short, my tranny (and I'm not referring to my friend Roscoe) had passed away quietly and without complaint. If Betty had been aware that this crucial member of the team had been manifesting any symptoms she had chosen to keep this knowledge to herself. Sweet, and what fresh hell is this? Hilarity ensued. The story ends with yours truly being given a ride to work in the back of a police car ("...sorry sir, it's policy."), The best part was when we pulled up to the main entrance (I admit, it was my idea) and my uniformed chauffeur got out to open the car door for me.

Yet another long story short, the van was repaired at Porter's Auto Wrecking and Service, 1793 N.Main St., Niles, Ohio, 44446  a local facility. When my son-in-law picked it up he pointed out that someone had apparently hit the drivers side of the front end, causing what looked to be relatively minor damage. Oh, yeah...uh, well, the a guy that drives the Toms Tools Truck  a truck for one of our vendors accidently backed into your van. He's died since, but I'm sure his son will take care of it, here's his number. If he won't do right by you, we'll take care of it, and then sue the estate to recover the money.

Yup, he really did die. Yup, they didn't feel any need to mention the accident before being prompted. And yup, the son told us to go pound salt since we were clearly making the whole thing up and just trying to rip off his dead father. And yup, Porter's, upon being informed of this and the fact that I had to spend $200 bucks at another facility (over and above the $1400 bucks I had already paid them) to get a headlight, left front turn signal assembly (used) and a battery (new). so I could actually use the vehicle, never mind the body damage -- saw an opening and decided that the issue was between me and the dead guy, and also declared that I should go pound salt.

They didn't put it that crudely, I confess I was the one that got a little crude.

They were somewhat preoccupied with trying to not look directly at me while keeping an eye on the frightened looking customer standing nearby, who was keeping an eye on me. Now, while I know the who, what, when (more or less) and where, why is a mystery. Having endured a somewhat unpleasant decade that began in the spring of 2005, I'm in denial in that I refuse to believe that God/the cosmos/bad karma/etc. are responsible because that might mean I've begun another decade that's going to suck sweaty socks. As to why the dead guys son chooses to dishonor his father's memory, or why the repair shop took the high road at first, or why they don't split the difference and craft an honorable compromise -- who knows? People do stupid shit when money is involved, even relatively trivial sums.You can take that to the bank.

The name of the repair shop and the tool vendor has been crossed out so that I can avoid being on the receiving end of a lawsuit. My lawyer says I'm on the side of the angels; he's urging me to report the non-reported accident to the local police. I'm going to see my car insurance guy this week and get his opinion. I haven't made a claim in over a decade, so I'm hoping that if I do I won't have a rate increase or be canceled. I figure that if he leaves me holding the bag at least I'll be forewarned that I may have begun another decade of sweaty sock sucking.

Since the above is about a thousand words, my unofficial limit, I won't mention that I paid extra to have my power steering pump replaced, along with the tranny, and that the unnamed facility forgot to top off the power steering reservoir. Anyway, it was only short about half a quart. If you had the radio turned up you could hardly hear the pump gasping for more fluid on turns.

Have an OK day.                                                                                      

©Mark Mehlmauer 2015


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