Friday, June 22, 2012

I Have the Worst Luck with Cars, Part VII: Aveos Are Grounds for Divorce

Ahhh, you thought I was finished, did you?? You clearly are underestimating the Bad Luck Fairy's hold on my car life.

Before Three and I met, we both decided that we should get identical cars, in case we should ever cross paths. So we both purchased one Chevy Aveo each. He bought a 2004 yellow hatchback with a sunroof and manual transmission (Chiquita), and I bought a 2005 red hatchback automatic (Roxy). When we finally came across each other that fateful day in August 2010, he actually made a comment which was totally awkward because I had no idea what he was talking about.

Me: Where is my car? Is it done?
Three: Oh, it's in the front. I parked it out there. Or maybe I just wanted a red one instead! Hahahah!
Me: ... What?
Three: Oh. Uh, you don't live inside my head. Um, I have one, too?
Me: Oh. Okay.

We were FATED, okay?

Well, as it is well known, at least in my home and on this blog, that Aveos are crap cars. Chevy makes good trucks, Impalas, and Malibus. Aveos? No. They are marketed to poor college students for a reason. Great on gas mileage, not so much for anything else. Three and I frequently bond over this fact, and we have a small fake-money pool for when we think Chiquita is going to keel over and die. Kind of like how Roxy went out in a blaze of glory.

Three was still working for Satan Valvoline, and they were having a deal on all their services on Saturday, so I figured, hell, I'll just take the car down for an oil change and maybe a transmission flush or something. Why not?* I got there early, mainly so I could help Three and his employees set up this tent thingy that you needed a physics degree to erect (haha, erect) but also, hey, discounts! And also a chance to be a bitch to his area manager. I think I was the first person in line, which is only fair since I was there since, like, seven that morning, but when I pulled into the bay, it started raining. I should have taken that as a sign.

A little back story here. Three had just taken over this store a few months prior as a brand new general manager and had previously had a pretty decent area manager, named Lance. Lance was a skeezeball**, but he let Three be since he got results. Now, he thought it was because Three was being underhanded, when in fact, customers were just happy someone was being straight and honest with them. And this store was in a poorer section of town, so it was even harder to get good numbers like the bigwigs wanted. Then, Scott (cue clown music) is given an area manager position. Scott is a dickball. He just is. He's a bald (on purpose) idiot who thinks he's awesome because ... well, I'm not sure. He's as dumb as a pot roast and he "tooken English classes and got the honors."

Just an example:

Scott: So what's going on with this lady?
Three: Well, she's been rather cavalier about this whole car maintenance process -
Scott: Wait, she has a Cavalier, too?
Three: ... No, she has a cavalier attitude.
Scott: Now, you listen here. Just because our customers have Cavaliers does not mean they have bad attitudes.
Three: ... I have to go.

Yeah, there you go. He's also tenacious. When Three was doing a Christmas charity, he was written up for not getting enough people to donate. In a poor area of town. That was probably receiving the charity in the first place. When Three's store didn't make the necessary numbers, he would force Three to work seven days a week, open to close ... because that will change something. Somehow. So, dumb and aggressive is this guy. And also why I relished the notion of being an unrepentant bitch to him.

After the oil was changed, I told the technician that I wanted a flush or ... honestly, I can't remember. But it was another service they offered. A line had started to build, and Scott wanted to make sure he could eke as much money out of every person possible, so he asked me to pull out over to the side, where they would do the flush or whatever. This was a bad idea for two reasons:

1) It was outside, away from cameras.
2) Scott was going to be doing it, and as I've already proven, he is a moron.

But Three seemed to think it was okay, but I blame that on him being exhausted (he had only slept 4 hours the night before and was going on 70 hours that week) and overwhelmed with shit to do. I really should have trusted my instincts. This goofy technician (he sounded like Kermit the Frog) was blundering around with the machine, and they were having a hard time keeping the rain, which had started to just pour from the sky, out of the engine. The entire time, I was thinking, "I really shouldn't even be getting this done."

Everything seemed to go okay, and I gave Three a kiss and headed back to the apartment to go back to bed.

It was about a week later, as I was driving to Three's store, that my lapse in trusting my judgment bit me in the ass. I was driving on I-24 and coming up on the exit when I noticed that 1) the red check engine light was coming on and 2) there was smoke billowing out from under the hood.

So you know:

Thankfully, I was only about two seconds away from the store, and I pulled into the parking lot with my hands in the air (I drive with my knees with greater skill than my hands, a trick learned while smoking) in frustration. Three opens the hood and, sure enough, the procedure conducted a week prior had pulled loose something that made the coolant and oil (with a little bit of gasoline) mix and spray everywhere. And so now the car is fucked beyond repair. Sure, we could probably replace a whole bunch of shit (probably the whole engine, actually, if our mechanic friend is to be believed***) but that would be more than the car is worth. My dad ended up helping us tow Roxy back to our apartment complex, where she to this day sits. She looks fine. She just can't drive more than a few feet. And so we're stuck with Chiquita, who is paid for so I can't really complain.

Except that I do.

Lesson learned: never go to Valvoline for anything. Also, don't buy an Aveo.

* This, followed by a dramatic, life-altering event, could be considered the pattern of my life, actually.

** Skeezeballs also get fired for asking a female employee to show him her tits, despite what they may tell you.

*** He is.
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