Friday, August 29, 2008

Hello, Onstar?

Yesterday afternoon I went to my bank to straighten out an error and also do my Secret Shop. Yes, that's right..I'm a secret shopper for my bank. Who would have thought that banks actually used such things? Every month they send me a postcard with my super secret instructions and a warning to Not Tell Anyone At The Bank that I am shopping them. Oh, and this post card will self destruct in 3..2..1...

My shop this time was for their loan department. I hate loan shops. I did one last year that only served to piss me off. I had saved a substantial amount of money towards a new car. Over half the cost of it, in fact. I decided to ask about a loan for the remaining amount. Imagine my surprise when the person who was helping me told me that I needed to get a loan for the entire amount of the car and roll the cash into a CD. When I told him I would rather not do that, he told me to have my father call him to discuss what I should do with my money.

Uh...'scuse me? My father? The man who has never been on my bank account, and hadn't contributed a single penny towards the amount I'd saved? Why on earth would I want him to call my bank to discuss my money?

Needless to say, the loan department did not get a good report that time. The gentleman who worked with me is no longer employed there. I doubt I was the cause of his dismissal, but I'm guessing my report was at least a contributing factor. The bank also did not get my loan. I put the majority of the money into the car, paid the insurance with the rest, and financed the remaining balance with the dealership, who offered me a far better interest rate than the bank ever could have.

But I digress.

After my loan shop yesterday (which went much better), I got into my car and pulled out my pen to jot down the required details. Except I dropped my pen between my seat and the center console of the car. Naturally, I reached down to get it.

Fun fact: Saturn Ions have a center console that is encased in plastic, as most cars do. The casing does not reach all the way to the floor of the car, but leaves a gap. The edge of the casing is also rather sharp.

My fingers got stuck under the edge. Not "oops, just let me pull that free" stuck..I'm talking STUCK stuck. The kind of stuck that is usually preceeded by "Hey y'all, watch this!" and then involves a horde of firemen armed with grease and saws to get free from.

I tugged, trying to free myself from the casing. Alas, this only served to get my hand stuck even more and it cut into my knuckles. Now I was starting to get concerned. There I was, trapped by my car, in my car, with my knuckles slowly starting to bleed. I tugged a few more times before deciding that was in fact a really bad idea and wasn't helping at all. I debated moving the seat forward, but had a mental image of my fingers getting severed (unlikely, but I do have a vivid imagination) by the force of the seat pressing against the plastic as it slid forward.

Then I started to imagine what I'd do if I couldn't get myself unstuck. My fiance was working until 9:00. My cell phone was out of reach in my purse, which was in the back seat. I thought about the call I'd have to place to OnStar. "Uh, hello, OnStar? Yeah..I'm..uh...stuck in my car. Yeah, my hand is trapped between the seat and the console. Uh...could you..uh...send someone to free me?? and then promise you're not going to hang up from this call and share the story with all of your co-workers?"

Thankfully common sense prevailed and I reached my left hand down into the gap and pushed in the plastic until I managed to work my right hand free. It hurt like hell, and I lost some more skin, but at last I was finally free without having to call OnStar for assistance. But I do wonder what they would have done..sent firemen? the police? That would have been just great..stuck in the parking lot of my bank while they had to free my hand because I dropped my stupid pen.

The pen is still down there. I'm not going after it. It wasn't that good of a pen anyways.

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