Posts Tagged "subaru"

Your Mother is a Grease Monkey

Dear Kid,

I, your mother, am a car genius. Yes, moi.

You can stop laughing now.

I am also a do-gooder.

Seriously, stop giggling.

When I went out to my car after work on Friday, there was a woman trying to open the hood of her car. She had a big bottle of windshield wiper fluid next to her on the ground. Using my amazing powers of interpretation, I deduced that she was trying to open the hood to refill the windshield wiper fluid tank.

Since this is one of the few very few things I consider myself to be an expert competent with, I decided to offer to help.

This is my out of focus thumb with grease on it. Proving I'm a rotten photographer but an excellent car mechanic. Sort of.“I’m not exactly great at cars,” I said (the Universe coughed—it sounded like “understatement”) “but I’m happy to try to help.” She looked grateful. The Universe smirked.

I walked over and immediately identified her vehicle as a white car. You’re impressed, right? She had popped the hood but hadn’t found the little lever to actually open it.

I fiddled. I fidoodled. I felt around. I couldn’t find the little lever either.

“You’re so nice to help. But don’t worry, my husband will be off work in an hour or so,” she said.

The Universe guffawed.

I got sneaky and peeked under the hood—and there it was. The little lever thingy doodle.

I scootled it and pop! Open went the hood. Then I even found the prop-y up-y thing to hold up the hood when she couldn’t.

The Universe graciously conceded.

I left her filling the windshield wiper fluid reserve.

She was very happy and grateful.

I felt great.

And I know I am a car expert because I got grease on my thumb.

Hope you get to do a good deed today.

Love, Mom

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It Finally Happened: Dad Got a New Car

Dear Kid,

On the list of my top 100 Favorite Things in Life, car shopping is negative 4 billion. Maybe not even quite that high.

About a week ago, Dad’s car started smoking. Not the nicotine habit kind of smoking, but the I’m-out-of-radiator-fluid kind of smoking. Since the car is about 6 zillion years old with about that many miles on it, we decided it was time to replace rather than repair.

Dad went car shopping.

Then he wanted me to go with him for a final test drive.

Then we started talking to the car selling people.

I started to document the process, but I bored myself to sleep, so I stopped. You’re welcome.

Last night we drove the fire-breathing red car up to the dealership where we exchanged it for a new red car which does not belch smoke.

Dad has a new car.Dad's new car. except in red.

You should probably send him a congratulatory text.

Love, Mom

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It’s True: Dad Is Going Car Shopping (Finally)

Dear Kid,

Dad is going car shopping. The red car finally gave up the ghost. More accurately, it gave up the radiator and is now a lump of un-drivable red metal sitting pathetically in our garage. There is no question that it has worked very hard over the years, but it is now time to get a car that doesn’t have a crank in the front and an 8 track player inside.

The conversation at dinner last night, predictably focused on the most important part of an vehicle: color.

Pi: Don’t get red. Red is not a cool color for a car.
Me: If we get a red car, you won’t have to drive it
Pi: Silver. I think silver is a very good color for a car. It’s very chic.
Tal: Silver is gray?
Dad: Yes
Pi (uninterrupted): And don’t get green.
Me: Watch it, kid
Pi: Green is only good for small cars
Me: My green car wasn’t small
Pi: It was a compact car
Me: It was a full size car
Pi: It was smaller than your car is now
Me: Not really. It had a bigger trunk. I miss that trunk
Pi: It wasn’t as big as your car is now
Me: It wasn’t as high, but it was as big
Pi: I think green is a good color for small cars, but we shouldn’t get green. And we shouldn’t get blue.
Dad: You mean so when we say “the blue car” you don’t have to ask WHICH blue car?
Pi: Exactly. Black is cool
Dad and Me: No.
Pi: Why not?
Dad: Black will show ever dent and ding and piece of dirt
Me: It will get much too hot in the summer
Tal: No one in Israel is driving black cars because of this
Me: Really? Not even official cars? That’s what they show on NCIS.
Tal: Well, maybe official cars, but not regular people because it is getting too hot
Pi: So silver
Me: We’ll have to wait to see what they have
Dad: Not necessarily. We could order one. We’ve waited this long, another month or two won’t hurt.
Tal: How long it takes to get a car
Me: It varies a great deal
Dad: We can wait a week or so
Me: A week or so and a month or two are not exactly the same thing.
Puppy: I want to ride in the car
Me: Girls, please clear the table

At which point the talk turned to whether Pi would get moving quickly or slowly and the girls going to Orange Leaf (planned for this evening).

The things you miss.

Love, Mom

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Banking Encounters: Setting Up Autopay | The Saga Continues

Dear Kid,

You may remember the difficulty I had trying to set up autopay for Fred the Car a week or so ago. Or you may have conveniently blocked the memory. Probably smarter that way as it was just too ridiculously painful an experience.

It really shouldn't be this hard to pay a bill DearKidLoveMomA few days ago, I stopped in to Chase to set up web access to your account (you’re welcome). Beth The Helpful Bank Person got that taken care of in record time, set up the app on my new phone (I have a banking app!), and mentioned that I’d be able to see the lease on Fred (well, she didn’t know his name). The second she mentioned The Awful Lease Payment Situation she got an earful (poor Beth THBP). She asked if I would like help. It took less time than you can even imagine for me to say “Yes, Yes, Yes. Please.” and throw myself on bended knee in an attitude of supplication. (Re-reading that last sentence. Just hilarious that I could even contemplate throwing myself anywhere without landing in a hospital. But it makes a great cartoon-ish mental image!)

So Beth THBP started poking around on her computer. She poked. She frowned. She tapped some additional keys. Screens flew by. She continued to frown. I felt only marginally better that a Professional Bank Person at the Bank In Question had just as much difficulty as I did with trying to figure out autopay for the car lease.

I got Beth laughing when I mentioned that I was not the dumbest person she’d encounter that day. She agreed that I wasn’t even in the running. So you have to wonder how people without my vast knowledge of Stuff could possibly set up autopay through the Subaru/Chase financing program. (Yep, naming names again.)

After a few minutes, she called the In Charge of Lease people. (She was smooth—she said she couldn’t see all the information they could. That’s probably true, but it doesn’t change the ridiculousness of the situation.) Then she let me talk to the Lease People. They put me on hold. Anyone surprised? Me neither. I waited. Beth set up the aforementioned app. I waited some more. Beth crocheted an afghan and painted three oil paintings. I asked Beth if I could just hang up. She thought that would be ill-advised. I waited. Beth wrote a doctoral dissertation on War and Peace.

Eventually, we had both had enough and  Beth THBP ignored convention and set up autopay for the car. About 90 seconds after she did that, the Lease People were happy to confirm that my autopay was just fine. Arrrrgggg.

Fred did not even say thank you.

Love, Mom


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How Hard Can This POSSIBLY Be? Bill Paying in the Modern World

Seriously, It Can't Be This Hard. DearKidLoveMom.comDear Kid,

Banks like to hold on to money. I get that. So when you want to take money out, banks get fairly insistent that you provide 17 kinds of ID showing who you are, when you were born, what your favorite color is, why your hair is currently ½ shade lighter than your passport photo, and write an essay on being kind to small creatures. Then reluctantly they might part with their cash. Which is really your cash.

On the other hand, when it comes to putting money into the bank, they don’t much care who you are or why you are there that day. They don’t even care if you’re putting money into your own account. If you have something resembling cash, checks, or money orders (I have it on good authority they don’t accept goats), they’ll accept your deposit. And possibly even give you a lollipop.

Which is why, O Best Beloved, I have been sooooo frustrated (that’s the only word I can come up with at the moment that won’t get this blog banned in several countries) as I try to pay my bills.

I am trying to PAY my bills. No arguments. No hassles. No “can’t you please cut the bill in half because my dog ate my homework.” No nonsense. Just plain old please-take-my-money.

In the seriously olden days, one would simply walk over to the store, hand over a goat, and have your cell phone bill marked “paid.” In the less ancient but still olden days, one would sit down at the kitchen table, heave a big sigh, write checks, and send payments by snail mail. The sigh was very important to get into the spirit of things.

In modern times, we’re supposed to be able to push a few buttons on the computer—voila, funds transferred, bills paid, no need to think about it again until next month (or ever if you’ve set up auto payment). Should be easy, right?

Oh, how wrong thou art.

Our saga begins earlier in the week when I tried to set up autopayment for Fred the Car. I had several spare minutes, the account number from the bill I’d received, and the checkbook. I was Prepared. I thought.

I shall spare you the details because I am a Kind and Loving Parent. The short version is Chase Bank (who handles the financing for Subaru leases—yes, I’m naming names) insisted I had an on-line account, hung up on me twice as I tried to get it reset, texted a sign in key code to my phone that didn’t have enough digits, had to talk me through their account set up process (have I mentioned I am not the dumbest person on the planet? There is no way anyone could follow the on line directions (which included having to know to do step three before step one)), and ended with me sitting down at the kitchen table, heaving a VERY heavy sigh and writing them a check. It was easier to refinance our mortgage.

Then there was The Difficulty with Verizon (seriously naming names today). Despite them never having sent me a bill (harder to pay when you don’t know how much, when it’s due, or who to pay!), we were Down to the Wire and had to pay your phone bill or you would be sans communication device. No prob. Happy to pay.

Verizon had other ideas. There was no way to set up an account on line. (Or if there was I couldn’t find it. Have I mentioned I design websites? What IS it with these people?) So I clicked the little box that said click here if you want to talk to us. Love talking. A few minutes later I got a call on my non-Verizon phone. So far so good. After insisting that I wanted to talk to a live person I was finally connected to a very nice human who asked for my home Verizon phone number. Huh? I don’t have a home Verizon phone. Well, then she’d have to connect me to the wireless support center. (Remember, they called me.)

I was able to pay your bill (you’re welcome) without resorting to violence or check-writing. I did use some colorful language (but only in my head so as not to upset anyone).

There should probably be a college course called “How to Deal with Crazy Customer Service Policies and Other Survival Techniques for the Modern World.”

Here’s a crazy idea for the business world: Let’s put ‘customer’ and ‘service’ back into the concept of customer service. Probably too radical an idea.

Heavy sigh.

You better REALLY enjoy your phone this week.

Love, Mom

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