Yup, you read the heading right — Ford, Found On the Road Dead, Fix Or Repair Daily, the American Yugo. And not just the car, the service… unbelievable.
I have a Ford Escape. Before it hit 15,000 miles they had to rebuild the transmission. But that wasn’t even the bad part. I had to fight with the dealer and go all the way to corporate to get a rental car while they tore my brand new transmission apart. Yup, Ford has a better idea — what was that idea exactly? Oh yeah — screw the customer.
So, sure enough, three days after they rebuild my transmission, the car starts to jerk again. Not quite as bad, so I wait, thinking either it’ll go away or it’ll finally get bad enough that they’ll be able to reproduce it when I bring it back in. So, at 17,500 miles I bring the car back in. They tell me they’re going to just download some new firmware at first to see if that helps, so I bring it in at 8, plan to pick it up at 10 and then go in to work late.
Three hours later, no word. So I call. They have not even diagnosed the problem yet. Okay, so now I’ve lost a day of work (I won’t tell you how many hundreds of dollars that is, but let’s just say… a lot). So I wait and wait and wait, and finally, 6 or 7 hours after I first dropped off the car, they call to tell me it’s ready. Well, I live about three miles from the dealership so of course I ask them to send their courtesy shuttle. An hour later… you guessed it, no shuttle. I called three times in that time to ask where the shuttle was and each time they answered in a way designed to make me understand that i was a pain in the ass and possibly an idiot.
So I walked to the dealership, three miles. Now I’m 53, but fortunately in great shape, but three miles, after losing a day of work… not a happy camper. So I arrive at the dealership in a foul mood. Oh, and as I’m maybe two blocks from the dealership, the shuttle driver calls and tells me he’s waiting for me at the gate, where the hell am I?
So I arrive and discover they’ve charged me for a complimentary oil change (I had earned precious Ford points that were supposed to get me a free oil change), and not been able to find anything wrong with the car. At that moment the service manager walks in and jovially offers me his hand. When I wouldn’t take it, he walked out, offended.
An hour later the dealership called an magnanimously offered to refund my oil change. I refused, telling them basically to stuff it, and hung up.
Now, let me explain something — I’m usually a really, really nice guy. Hell, I’m Canadian, you don’t get any more polite than Canadian (well, maybe Swedish or Danish). So don’t think this is all made up, a fiction of a sick or angry mind.
Nope, the truth is this: Ford sucks. The great American company now represents the new American ethic: mediocre at best. In fact that could be both the American and Ford motto: mediocre at best.
So, my new campaign: to tell everyone I know and tons of people I don’t know, that Ford sucks and should be avoided at all costs. My suggestion? Well, that’s a tough one, because Hyundai sucks too, and Toyota’s new motto is: “Just try to stop us,” or maybe “Hey, we just keep going,” so what’s left? Jeep, maybe? Chevy? Dunno’. It’s not like Ford’ sucky service and terrible attitude is confined to that one crappy company. It’s a pandemic of poor service and bad attitude. All I can do is react to one at a time, so whatever car I buy next, it will NOT be a Found On the Road Deadmobile.
In at least one way, writing is like singing: you have to have a strong voice. Not just powerful, but distinctive. When Elton John sings, everyone knows it’s him without having to raise their head to look at him. When Whitney Houston sings, we know who it is — or at least we did before she so sadly self-destructed. I have no idea who is singing when Christina aguilera or Britney spears sings, because although they can hold a note and are obviously extraordinarily successful commercially, their voices just aren’t that distinctive, at least not to me. Cher, always (unless of course it’s a really good Cher impersonator, lol).
But I’ve found something interesting in this whole blogging thing: I don’t have a voice. Not even a point of view, really, and that stuns me because I’ve always thought I had a very strong and distinctive voice when writing my fiction and even my nonfiction. I am, after all, a published author, I have a feature in post production, another in development, a novel about to be published on March 1st… so where the hell is my voice? And it’s not like I don’t have strong opinions, my friends and non-friends alike will tell you I’ll shoot my mouth off at the drop of a hat on just about any topic, and even if I’m often wrong or even stupid in my opinion, god knows at least I have one.
But what is my point of view or voice or opinion in this blog or in my twitters? Don’t know. Not a clue. Amazing and, to be honest, frightening, especially for a writer. Okay, let’s give this a try: politics. Hate the republicans because, to be honest, I think they are evil. Not just wrong, not just cynical, but outright evil. Hate the democrats, because they’re just republicans without the honesty or conviction. Just as evil, just not as overt or determined about it.
Look at GW versus Clinton, for instance. GW — openly evil, murdered half a million Iraqi citizens and thousands of American soldiers and destroyed the balance of power in the Middle East for no good reason; lied about WMDs; drove this country into a recession; tromped on civil liberties; and, to boot, he was not just evil, he was pretty much stupid too.
Ah, but what about Clinton? On the face of it an intellectual giant compared to Bush, but in reality just as big an idiot. He passed bills that are still destroying this country and I believe he had a far worse effect on the people and the economy of this country than Bush did, mostly centered around his trade deals that have helped gut this country’s manufacturing capability. Okay, maybe it’s just that it’s hard to think straight when you’re running around with your dick in your hand and your pants down by your ankles. But, to be honest, Clinton was probably the worst president this country ever had, far worse than Bush, simply because Bush was so obviously evil, so obviously incompetent, whereas Clinton bought himself a phony financial surplus to pass onto Bush when in reality that surplus was like a dab of whip cream sitting on top of a cup of cyanide, the poison being all those trade deals like NAFTA that guaranteed every country in the world would beat our pants off.
There, my opinion, succinctly stated, controversial, guaranteed to alienate both sides as all good opinions should (because both sides are usually peopled by fucking morons). Now, can I do this on a consistent basis or will I become the George Bush and Bill Clinton of bloggers. Time will tell.