Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A note to the leeches of society

Let me preface this post by saying that I believe there are some people who need assistance to get by, and I believe in TEMPORARY assistance, but NOT permanent lifestyles that are made by this. This post does not apply to any one of my family members.

However, if you have adopted a cat, but don't work, get paid by the government to live in subsidized housing, and don't work, can "afford" to go to college, but don't work, have the internet, and don't work, do NOT get on Facebook or any other social media and start BRAGGING about all the stuff you are getting through state assistance. I WORK, I PAY MY BILLS, I pay my college loans, I have two dogs, I pay rent, and I work, and the federal and state governments take money FROM ME to pay for your sorry ass to sit at home and surf on Facebook! And Knit! And take care of your cat!
And don't try to sell me some sorry sob story. If you want to get out of the situation you are in, you can, you just have to work your butt off. It is not easy. Work is hard, otherwise it wouldn't be called work.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The tale of the Flat Tire in the East Jabumpuck No Where.

This is the letter I sent to the customer service representative in response to the inquiry about the customer service I received during my recent visit to the service department.  Again, be careful what you ask for :) 
 Dear Truck Customer Service,
Thank you for checking in about our recent service on our truck.
I assume you are referring to the tire repair that happened on Tuesday.
Yes, everything went fine as far as the service goes, the tire was repaired, and the spare tire was replaced to where the spare tire lives in a timely fashion. However, I must vent about the story that led me to require the service.
My husband and I were going camping on Lobster Lake, which is near Northeast Carry off of Moosehead Lake for the 4th of July weekend.  In order to get there, we had to travel on the Golden Road, which is known for its access to the Penobscot River corridor, and also for the logging in the North Maine Woods.  It is a dirt road that has pieces of shale on it that gobble up tires on a routine basis.  We went off, knowing we had a spare, and all the utensils to get said spare down.  Our intention was to get to the put in at Lobster Stream, paddle out to our campsite, and set up camp on Friday night.
About 2 miles after the Caribou Checkpoint (where you have to check in, pay your fees, and tell them where you're going and for how long), the "Check Right Rear Tire Pressure" alarm went off on the dashboard at about 515 pm.  My husband looks at me and goes, "Uh...what do you think...is it just a warning (sometimes in the winter, the pressure gets low due to the fluxuation in air temperature)?"  I said "Pull over!  You have a flat!" (Having been on the Golden Road and experiencing this situation a few times, I had a strong suspicion that was the case).  He pulled over, and I opened the passenger door, and you could hear "SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS" and we then watched helplessly as the tire swiftly deflated.
We pulled the manual out to make sure we did everything we were supposed to, and pulled all the parts of the jack and wrenches.  After about 45 minutes of trying to get the long part of the jack handle to connect with the mechanism that is supposed to drop the tire, a very nice gentleman offered to take me back to the checkpoint to call for help (Keep in mind, middle of no where, no cell phone reception, and relying on the good graces of very nice people).  We figured, "Well, we have AAA, so one of those guys probably knows how to get the tire down".  After arguing with the dispatcher about where we were (He kept insisting that we MUST be in a town.  I tried to explain that the nearest town was Kokadjo, and we were about  15-20 miles from there, and he said, "well, I can't find it, I need an intersection...." to which I replied "The nearest intersection is The Greenville Road and the Golden Road.  If you tell the driver from Greenville or Millinocket where it is, they WILL know where it is."  He still couldn't find the intersection.) the dispatcher finally said "we will find someone".  The person they ended up dispatching was out of Medway, which was 63 miles and 2.5 hours away, and this information was relayed by a nice gentleman who was taking a message from the checkpoint.  By now it was after 8pm, and we were still unable to get the tire down.  We tried to put the jack under the tire as directed in the book and lift it up to release the secondary safety feature, but all we accomplished was lifting the back of the truck up.
Two very nice guys in similar trucks who professed having had the same experiences, offered to stop and give us a hand.
They ended up taking out the little PVC pipe that had somehow come unhooked from the locking mechanism, and within 20 minutes, we were on our way.  However, they still encountered difficulty.
We had to return to the check point to inform the AAA dispatcher that we were indeed, all set, and they could turn the driver around.
By now, it was about 945 pm (4.5 hours after this tire endeavor began) and much too late to start on our journey across the lake to our campsite.
My husband and I, and our 18 month old ChocolateLab, ended up sleeping in the cab of our truck.  We are 5'8 and 5'7, and 65 pounds, respectively, and I'm sure you know the dimensions of the cab of your truck. The only logical way we could figure was that one sleeps on the front seat, and one sleeps on the floor in the back  (I would have rolled off the seat in the back), and the dog sleeps in the back.
Our suggestions for future models as a result of this trip:
*  Make the front seats not have the hump in the middle
*  Make the floor in the back flat
*  Make it easier to get the spare tire down.  It was extremely frustrating to two highly educated people with mechanical experience to be completely unable to get the tire down.  I am sure the wildlife learned some new words that evening.   There were several people who stopped to check and make sure we were ok and when we explained what had happened, they echoed the frustration of being in similar situations with your products and having the same difficulty of getting the tire down. 
In a perfect world, in a factory with good lighting, on a hard, flat surface, with an empty truck and the engineers who designed the system, I'm sure the system works very well.  But being out in the woods, in the middle of nowhere, with a fully loaded truck, being attacked by bugs through bugspray, on a dirt road, at dusk, with people who have not used the system before, the system does not work so well.
After we got the spare on, the spare worked great.  We had no problems after, and the service department was great and we are thankful that they were able to repair the hole in the tire and replace the spare in its proper position.
Thanks for checking in,
Office Slave