Archive for September, 2014

Yes, mine is a 2008.

Yes, mine is a 2008.

Dear “Ross B.” at Volkswagen Customer Care:

Thank you so much for writing me and apologizing for my “negative feelings towards Volkswagen.”

Unfortunately, my negative feelings toward Volkswagen increased today. Why? These words: “I apologize we are unable to assist with the cost of repairs.”

I’m sure you are sincere when you write, “Even when we are unable to financially assist, it is important to me that you and your kids feel safe.”

Sure. You certainly do not want our deaths on your conscience.

Your solution? Sending me to another dealership and having the “Region Case Manager” follow up with the dealership. A follow-up. Gee, thanks. I feel so much better.

You know what has made me feel better? The support of my friends who say they are glad to know about my problems so that they don’t buy a Volkswagen.

After I published my last post, one of my friends immediately wrote me to say that she had the exact same problem with acceleration in her VW and the Macon dealership finally fixed her car.

What makes me feel worse is that VW knows that the problems with acceleration (and with the upholstery) exist but THEY WON’T DO ANYTHING ABOUT THEM.

Hasn’t Volkswagen learned anything from GM and Toyota?

I guess not.

Sorry, Ross B., but this isn’t over. I plan to be Volkswagen’s worst nightmare until my issues are resolved.

On a mission,

Screen shot 2014-09-18 at 8.17.33 PM

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Dear Volkswagen:

I don’t love you any more. I want a divorce.

We used to be so great together. It was love at first sight between you (in the form of my Eos) and me. Then a year ago, our relationship soured. My Eos started making me look bad, then tried to kill me. Over and over again.

Let me explain:

In September of last year, the door upholstery on the passenger side inexplicably came unglued. I took it to my local dealer, Vaden Volkswagen, expecting it to be fixed immediately. My service consultant said he had seen it before but that you won’t repair it. Really? Um. OK.

I took it to a body shop he recommended. The fellow there said that he could glue it back for $90 but that it would just come unglued again. He could also replace the door for $700.

I gulped. Hard.

Then I colored in the fiberglass underneath with Sharpie so it wasn’t as noticeable (see Exhibit A) and pretended it hadn’t happened.

Exhibit A

Exhibit A

In May, the upholstery on the driver side came unglued (see Exhibit B).

Exhibit B

Exhibit B

Let me interrupt myself to point out that I take care of my car. I keep the car in the garage at home and I park in a parking garage at work.

When I showed this new development to my service consultant, he said, “Well, you do have more than 100,000 miles on your car.” Yes, that may be. However, I’m not driving on the top of the doors.

I spoke to two of your “customer care” representatives. They told me, basically, “Tough luck.”

So I’ve posted a public notice (Exhibit C).

Exhibit C

Exhibit C

Then the car started trying to kill me. I would be driving down the road and suddenly pressing the gas pedal would not accelerate the car. The car would hop a few times and coast. No gas. Then, just as suddenly, the gas pedal would work again.

I took it in for the first of many, many attempts to diagnose the problem. I even had the fuel pump replaced. See Exhibit D for proof (ignore your consultant’s inability to spell):

Exhibit D

Exhibit D

Even though this situation happens to me EVERY SINGLE TIME I drive the car, your technicians can’t duplicate the problem or figure out what’s wrong. I even took video of it happening not once but twice.

It’s apparently a real headscratcher. To you.

This puzzle is going to get me killed. Imagine my dismay when this happens on I-16 as I drive my two kids to school.

So my Eos — the car I loved completely and paid off happily — is unsightly and unsafe.

And you can’t and won’t do anything about it.

That’s why I want a divorce.

In the meantime, I’m telling everyone I know about my problems with you. Remember this quote by Douglas Adams in “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”:

Nothing travels faster than the speed of light with the possible exception of bad news, which obeys its own special laws.

Here’s to getting justice in my own special way. I hope I see justice before I see a bright light …

Living in fear,

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Dear Buffalo, New York:

I’ve enjoyed getting to know you over the past 24 hours. One of the many perks of my job is that I get to travel to different cities. I am an enthusiastic explorer, always willing to try new things and go new places.

I visited you once before. I was seeing a boyfriend in Cleveland and we decided to take a road trip to Niagara Falls. I don’t really remember anything about that trip though.

Of course I headed to Niagara Falls while seeing you again. Wash away old memories and make new.
I also took a native up on her suggestion to eat at Duff’s.
It doesn’t look like much from the outside, but the inside is magical.
I ate at Anchor Bar also. Delightful!

I do need to talk to you about teeny tiny thing though. Teensy, really. This:
What is going on here? Does the meat raffle come after winners of the gun raffle take their prizes out for practice? How can this be safe? Why is this held after wrestling? Are these two connected?

Also, I want to know why you don’t know how to use apostrophes. What? You don’t know what I’m talking about? Look in the background. Here — let me help:

Oh Buffalo. I’m so disappointed.

Maybe we should just focus on the wings. And that amazing natural wonder. Yes. Let’s do that.

Those wings really are fantastic.

Hope to see you soon!

* a grammatically correct sentence

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Dear White People,

I have something to say and I hope you will listen to me as I am (mostly) one of you:

We have to stop thinking that our experience as white people is the same experience that people of other colors have.

Let me tell you a little about myself beyond my skin shade:

I once tried to make a fellow I was dating jealous by stating that Eddie (yes, the Eddie to whom I am now married) had asked me out. He said, “I don’t know what you want with that spic.”

I was shocked. I was shocked for the obvious reason (“What did you say?!?”) but also shocked because I realized for the first time that Eddie is Hispanic.

You may roll your eyes, but it is true. I never noticed. The last name should have been a dead giveaway, but he was just Eddie to me.

I went to a public elementary school in a mostly black neighborhood. My public high school was racially mixed. My parents taught me, in the immortal words of Martin Luther King Jr., to judge someone not “by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

So, to me, if someone is a complete ass, it is because he/she is an ass, not because his/her skin is brown, black, white, red, light brown, taupe, ecru or whatever.

However, that does not mean I spent my life as an understanding, evolved, enlightened (mostly) white person. I thought, as many of you do and as this writer did, that the world is a fair, equal place. That hard work will get you where you want and need to go. That people are inherently decent.

I was wrong.

So wrong.

I was a broadcast journalist for many years. One of my news friends, a beautiful black woman, told me once that clerks watched her in stores because they were afraid she was going to shoplift. I sighed and said, “Oh, it isn’t at all because you are gorgeous, and they’ve seen you on TV or anything!”

I did not understand that this was not a new phenomenon. It didn’t start happening after she started her news career.

She also said clerks wouldn’t touch her hand when they were giving back change. Even though I thought that couldn’t possibly be true, I changed my own behavior just in case. I now put my hands all over people when I give them my money.

These were real experiences for her. Truth be told, I had a hard time believing her simply because I had never had similar experiences. I didn’t have a frame of reference. I didn’t freakin’ get it. White people don’t get it.

Understand this: We white people don’t usually live in fear of the cops. (Unless we have done some Forensic Files-worthy stuff, that is.) Guess what: Many black people do.


Along with most of America, I watched in horror as events unfolded in Ferguson, Missouri. The Justice Department now plans to investigate the Ferguson police department. Good.

White people, we do not know what it is like to be black, Hispanic, Asian, etc. We do not understand the experience of non-whites. So we have to stop pretending that our experience is universal. It’s not.

This has to stop. We cannot maintain the status quo. What it has been cannot be what it is or will be.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar makes an interesting point that some of the biggest tensions in America are not about race as much as they are about class.

Maybe he is right.

All I know is that it is impossible not to see difference in color. We just can’t attach judgement to that difference.

Please, fellow white people, understand that we’ve had it made for 400 years. Understand that we need to listen — really listen — when people of other shades talk about their experiences. Understand that we need to make a change.

All men (and women) are created equal, right?

Yours in enlightenment,

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