June 14, 2009

OFFstar (and contest results)

You know I LOVE me some ON star. It came with the Good Cat, and those crafty ONstarians, they are like crack dealers in the schoolyard, telling me the first hit is free. I already wonder how I shall ever do without them when the trial is over…

But they started doing something that I THOUGHT might make it easier. Usually when the ONstar call is over, they say, “Have a great day, and thanks for using ONstar.” FINE. But then, a couple of weeks ago, they CHANGED their log off. Some Safe-tier than-thou wienerhead in the upper echelons of ONstar decision making decided that he should force the employees to sign off by saying, “Have a great day, DON’T FOR GET TO BUCKLE UP FOR SAFETY! And thanks for using ONstar.”

They said it every time. They HAD to say it. But VERY often you could hear the STRAIN of fake-enthusiasm or apologetic embarrassment in their tones.

Since I recently confessed that my BIGGEST pet peeve is being corrected when I am NOT wrong, you can IMAGINE how charmed I was to sit, cradled safe in the arms of my already properly fastened seat belt, and have a disembodied car voice remind me I should BUCKLE UP FOR SAFETY. Also NEVERMIND that the vast majorities of cars equipped with ONstar are newer models, and they come standard with those smart (and smart-ass) seats that beep with incessant shrill beepings should you start the engine without the driver’s belt engaged.

It made me want to go FIND whatever stiff-spined pucker-butt-mouthed disapproving rabbit of an ONstar exec thought this was a good idea. In my fantasy I would pop foaming and google-eyed into his office and shriek, ”DON’T FORGET TO NOTMAKE ME WANT TO PUNCH YOU IN THE FACE! FOR SAFETY!”

And then I would punch him in the face.
So he could see how very unsafe it is to forget to not want to make me do that.

I really. Really. Really. Hated. it, but I didn’t; want to take my irritation out on the kindly ONstar voice who was giving me DIRECTIONS, especially since I am POSITIVE they did not rise up as a unit and ASK to remind everyone they talked to to buckle up. Like MOST poo, this came from above and rolled downhill. But at the same time, I SO HATED it. I could not let it rest, and eventually I came up with a response. For the last two weeks, my conversations with ONstarians have ended thusly:

ONstarian: Have a great day, DON’T FOR GET TO BUCKLE UP FOR SAFETY!

Me: Thanks! And don’t YOU forget to eat five servings of fresh fruit and vegetables every day!


ONstarian: *sometimes puzzled, but mostly giggling* Thanks for using ONstar!

Either this was a timed event in conjunction with some sort of national safety week or the like, OR I was not the ONLY unamused person. As of 10 days ago, the helpful advice about seatbelts has been bud-nipped, and I like to think I had a small part in indicating a high negative customer response to the initiative (And don’t you just KNOW the smugwump who instigated it called it an INITIATIVE! Gurgle.)

OKAY – contest winners. The gods of Random favored the early comments this time. Perhaps those of you who commented the second day presented a less-than-blameless white dove? with gray tipped wings, perhaps? Or a cracked beak?

The following commenters need to send me a SNAIL MAIL ADDY (Joshilyn at Joshilyn Jackson dot com) and I will have the publisher get your books RIGHT out to you.

Here are your random numbers:
5 (Posted by Susanvl at June 11, 2009 9:49 AM)
25 (Posted by Pamela L at June 11, 2009 1:07 PM)
33 (Posted by Jill W. at June 11, 2009 1:47 PM)
Timestamp: 2009-06-14 19:05:34 UTC

OH – several people have asked how I find these authors for 3Q. Well, a couple of ways. If I read a book, and I REALLY like it, I google the author for contact info and e-mail them or their publicist. Also sometimes publishers send me books, and if I REALLY like them, I will contact the author or publisher and invite them. OR if I notice a writer whose other books I have really enjoyed has a new book out, I will google and email and ask them. Very simple. I just ask….worst case scenario, they don’t havew time, and I just ask someone else. I read a lot.
And I have two more interviews and contests lined up for the rest of June, so if Random Number Generator spat upon your soup this time, perhaps next time he will love you better…

Posted by joshilyn at June 14, 2009 3:36 PM

I only wish the "saftier than thou" jackhole who had initiated the beeping oculd be dissuaded so easily. I HATE THAT BEEPING!!!! Thanks for the reminder and all that, but if I want to be an idiot and drive around without my seatbelt on I should be allowed to. And if I want to be super lazy, and drive to the mailbox because it is raining or snowing or Monday (in all fairness my mailbox is two blocks away, I'm not driving to the end of my driveway), I should be able to do that without hearing beeping for the entire four minutes. AAAAAAGH! I wonder how many incidents of road rage are preceeded by excessive seatbelt reminders?

Posted by: lonek8 at June 14, 2009 4:11 PM

I think i know the answer to this, though i state it with great trepidation and on tiptoe, ready to duck some face-punching with Matrix-bullet-dodging dexterity, if need be.

June *IS* National Safety Month!

I know this because i am the industrial safety rep for my department at work, BUT i am not a cheerfully oppressive wanker forcing people at gunpoint to don safety goggles and hardhats and greet fellow coworkers with phrases like "Have a SAFE DAY" while flinging bouquets of latex gloves. I swear!

I always hated that about customer service jobs, when someone would get a wild hair to force a catchphrase on everybody. Would you like fries with that? Would you like to open a credit card account with us today for 15% off? Would you be interested in adding one of our related products to your order for only $10 more? Ugh. Would you like my resignation to come accompanied by the flaming-doorstep-bag or just the standard finger?

Posted by: Rachel at June 14, 2009 5:08 PM

YES BUT -- this started in MAY and ended a few days into JUNE. So. I do nto think it was part of national safety month. I think it was part of National Someone Is Being A Douche Day.

Posted by: Joshilyn at June 14, 2009 5:22 PM

sounds like you gave the perfect response.

Posted by: elizabeth at June 14, 2009 6:08 PM

Your pet peeve reminds me of mine - being asked/told to do something that I'm just doing. "Please turn that light off!" when my finger is already on the switch, for instance. "Turn here" when I've already put my turn signal on.

Congratulations to the contest winners!

Posted by: Sandra Leigh at June 14, 2009 7:28 PM

I would love to see an animated version of a stiff-spined pucker-butt-mouthed disapproving rabbit of an ONstar exec being punched in the face by you. I say animated because I don't think a live action punch would live up to the image in my mind.

Posted by: Stevey at June 14, 2009 8:21 PM

I think your healthy tip in return was JUST right.

Posted by: Roxanne at June 15, 2009 2:28 AM

At my hospital, they started an initiative that included (but, sadly, was not limited to) calling patients "customers". I think because it was supposed to remind us that they could get their care elsewhere, whatever. If I am sick in the hospital, I would rather be considered a patient, though, wouldn't you? When I worked customer service, I often rolled my eyes or internally told customers to suck it. I wouldn't treat a patient that way. I don't think they know what harm they could be doing here. What I do know is they probably spent lots of money and had many many meetings (probably with delicious treats) to decide just how to recruit more people into douchebaggery.

Posted by: Em at June 15, 2009 10:16 AM

Love the fruits and veggies response...

And, yay me-- I get a book!

Posted by: Jill W. at June 15, 2009 10:26 AM

We share a peeve. I think mine started with this one art teacher I had in elementary school. Listen, my mama brought me up right. I say please and thank you -- WITHOUT being prompted, because that is just the way I roll. But this alleged art person would hand out crayons to us, and AS she was handing them she would sing-song, "You're welcome!" Even as a six year old first-grader that made me want to lay down a beating on her. So I totally get what you mean, and I only wish that, at six, I had figured out that the best response to that is not "Thank you" but "I'm sorry," FOLLOWED by a smack upside the head.

Posted by: Aimee at June 15, 2009 12:18 PM

I find that "weinerhead" is an underused pejorative these days, and I thank you for bringing it back. I always preferred it to "doofus", myself.

Posted by: Badger at June 15, 2009 1:24 PM

So I admit that I drive a 10 year old v.w. bug which obviously doesn't have onstar so I may be totally out of the link here but I thought onstar was for emergencies. Why in the world are you talking to these faceless voices every day?

Posted by: Catherine at June 15, 2009 2:24 PM

I don't talk to my OnStar everday (becuz I never go anywhere different? LOL) but I did have 1 call where they did that and I thought it was a one time promotional thing. I agree with you and it cannot happen all the time as I will go bananas.

And, Yah - I won a book. Thanks.

Posted by: Pamela L at June 15, 2009 3:04 PM

Hilarious as always, but isn't it Monday, dear beloved Joshilyn?

How are the goals coming?

And pppppllllllbbbbbtttthhhh to the RNG!

Posted by: Jen at June 15, 2009 9:22 PM

I will tell you tomorrow I am SO wiped!

Posted by: Joshilyn at June 15, 2009 9:30 PM

I LOVE this response. What a great way to react to unsolicited advice - I am totally doing that from now on.

Posted by: teachin' at June 15, 2009 10:00 PM

LOL, I can only imagine what she thought when you told her that. How funny.

Posted by: Justice Jonesie at June 16, 2009 12:30 AM

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Posted by: paul at June 19, 2009 11:28 AM

I had a customer service job many moons ago in which I had to ask the caller at conclusion: "Did I provide you with excellent service today?"

It makes me want to vomit just thinking about it.

Posted by: Melisa at June 19, 2009 11:32 AM

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Posted by: margaret at June 22, 2009 7:08 PM

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Posted by: Bjlxhdty at June 24, 2009 12:08 AM