I got a new car in February and I’m still in love with it. Yesterday, on my way to work as make a right turn, I hear this large startling “BANG!” from the back of the car.
I’m in traffic and can’t stop, and nothing seems wrong. It doesn’t happen again, and I make it to work without incident.
It happens again during my lunch break while turning. It sounds really bad, like the suspension is falling off.
I experiment on another turn, and it happens yet again.
Slowly I pull into Burger King and stop the car.
What am I going to do?
I look underneath the car and everything looks ok. Hmmm.
Then it occurs to me that I have this magic card in my pocket. For having purchased a BMW the salesguy told me that that meant that I was the smartiest and canniest people on the face of the earth.
Because of the discrimininating test, no nonsense attitude, frugalness and sexual proficiency of BMW owners BMW feels that they have no choice but to give each and every BMW owner a card.
The card says “BMW ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE,” and indeed looks very important. It has my name and a number on it like a credit card.
I was told that the power of this card was so great, that if I ever ran into a problem, anytime, anywhere with my automobile, all I had to do was dial this number, and they would help me out free of charge.
This, they felt they owed me as the least they could do for my having demonstrated such fine judgement, acumen and canniness to have purchased a BMW in the first place.
As a BMW owner, and a member of an exclusive fraternity, they know that I demand such a level of service.
“Well,” I think. “I am experiencing a problem.”
I grab the cell phone and dial the number. It is picked up on the first ring by a highly competant sounding professional voice.
“Good afternoon. This is BMW Roadside asisstance. Gunter Von Flugershlugen speaking (name changed to protect the innocent.) How may I help you?”
“Hi.” I say. “I got a problem with my car. It keeps making a loud bang, Gunter.”
“Yes Sir. We’re going to take of that for you,” says Gunter. And, you know what? Listening to that voice, I just know it’s true. Everything is going to be ok, now that Gunter’s on the task. No doubt about it. “Do you have your BMW Roadside asisstance card with you, Sir?”
“Yes I do.”
“Can you read me the number on your card, Sir?”
I read him the number, and there is a brief pause.
“And are you Mr. Scylla, Sir?”
“OK, Mr. Scylla. I have all the technical specifications and service history of your vehicle in front of me. Is the problem with your black BMW 3 series?”
“Yes Gunter it is.” Gunter clearly knows his stuff.
“We’re going to take care of your problem right away. Can you describe it for me again, Mr. Scylla Sir.”
“Uh sure. My car is making this intermittent large banging sound. It’s coming from the back of the car, and it seems to happen when I’m making turns. I hope the suspension hasn’t broken. It sounds really loud.”
There’s another pause, then Gunter speaks.
“Mr. Scylla? Are you in your vehicle now?”
“Yes I am.”
“OK Mr. Scylla what I would like you to do is turn the vehicle off if it’s not already turned off, and then I’d like you to exit the vehicle immediately. Can you do that for me Mr. Scylla?” Gunter sounds pretty serious and I suddenly wonder if I’m in danger.
“Ok here I go. Ok Gunter the car is off. I am now outside the vehicle.”
“Excellent, Sir. What I would like for you to do now for me Mr. Scylla, if you would, is proceed directly to the rear of your vehicle.”
“Ok Gunter. I’m there now. Are you sure this is safe?”
There’s another pause.
“Gunter?” I ask.
“Mr. Scylla. I believe that there is no danger to you whatsoever. Are you at the rear of the vehicle.”
“Yes. I am.”
“What I would like you to do now Mr. Scylla is open the trunk and tell me what you see.”
“OK, Gunter. If you say so.” I’m a little nervous. This is a new car and I’ve never worked on it. I know nothing about German engineering. Why couldn’t Gunter just send a mechanic?
“I’m opening the trunk now, Gunter.”
“Excellent Mr. Scylla. What I’d like you to do now is tell me if you see any large loose objects that might be moving freely around your trunk, Sir.”
I’m absolutely flabbergasted.
“Sir. Do you see any large loose objects that might be moving freely about your trunk. Large Objects? Metal? Round. Do you see anything like that, Sir.”
Suddenly I don’t feel like such a smart, discriminating, and keen consumer anymore.
“Ummm. Well umm, just this uh empty propane tank I put in the trunk Monday to get refilled,” I say in the smallest voice I’ve used since I was in the 2nd grade.
“Mr. Scylla, Sir? I believe that cylinder may be source of the noise you are hearing.”
“Ummm. Yeah. You may be right, Gunter.”
“Mr. Scylla? I believe that if you secure that cylinder so that it is no longer moving freely about your trunk space as you make turns that will stop the noise you are hearing.”
“That’s a good idea, Gunter. I will do that.”
“Would you like me to stay on the line and assist you with that task, Mr. Scylla, Sir?”
“No. Thank you, Gunter. I think I can handle that.”
“Is there anything else I can help you with, Sir?”
“I’d kind of forgotten I put that cylinder there.”
“Yes Sir, I’m sure you did. Can I be of any further asisstance, Mr. Scylla?”
“I guess this kind of thing has happened before?”
“Yes Sir. Once or twice. Is there anything else I can do for you today, Mr. Scylla?”
“No Gunter. Thank you for the help.”
“It’s been my pleasure Mr. Scylla. Thank you for calling BMW Roadside asisstance. If you experience any other difficulties please don’t hesitate to call us back.”
“Have a good day, Sir.”