It all started with a post card (not junk mail — a real post card) addressed to my hubby, Pat. The card was from a local Chrysler dealer and it indicated that our car, VIN #123345… had been recalled for a problem with the steering column. It said that Recall #827 to replace the Steering Column Seat would be repaired by the dealership for free. We were instructed to call the dealership/service area immediately and make an appointment.
Sounded simple enough. We’ve had a recall notice before on another car and this seemed very similar. The only thing which I didn’t understand is why we didn’t get the recall notice from the dealer where we bought our Chrysler instead of this one — but it really didn’t matter because this dealership was closer to our house and who knows how they share that information.
I called the service department and read the card to the young woman on the other end of the line. Little did I know that I was talking to a repair shop that was not part of my reality — it was actually in the Twilight Zone. The young woman took all of my information, including the make and model of my car (a Chrysler 300), the recall number and our contact information. I made the appointment for the next day – early in the morning so we could drop the car off on our way to work.
Being proud of myself for getting this all set up in a timely manner, I called my husband and told him about the appointment. Now, my husband knew I was going to make this phone call and set up the appointment, and he had said that any time would work — but apparently that wasn’t entirely true. For some reason, he had expected me to read his mind and see that he had actually wanted to do this on Monday instead of Friday – once again, I missed a clue that we had entered the Twilight Zone.
I called the service department back and spoke to a different young woman (although in that alternate universe, it could have been the same young woman and she was just a shape-shifter – who knows, I never actually saw her), who once again, took all my information, including the make and model of my car, the recall number and my contact information. She found my appointment and changed it to 7 a.m. Monday morning and indicated we could drop the car off the night before and put the key in an envelope which could be dropped through a slot for the next morning. Sounded easy.
Sunday night, we drove to the dealership, parked the car in the one space we could find and found the envelope. The envelope asked for our information, including the make and model of the car, the recall number and our contact information. We put the key in the envelope and dropped it into the Twilight Zone.
Monday evening, after work, we drove to the dealership to pick up our car. I had not heard from them during the day, so I was hoping that they had actually fixed the car and hadn’t forgotten it was there. I was concerned when we drove up to the service area and saw our car parked in the exact same place. However, there was a card with the number 335 in the window – so it appeared they had actually been in the car — maybe it was just coincidence that they parked in the exact same place – or maybe it was because it had been in the Twilight Zone.
Pat (my hubby) went into the service area while I waited in the car. He was just going to pick up the key, get the information about what they fixed and we would go home — should only take five minutes. Because he entered the inner sanctum of the Twilight Zone Repair Shop, five minutes turned into ten which quickly turned into 30 minutes.
Finally Pat emerged from the building with paperwork in hand and the key to the car. He had a very puzzled look on his face as he opened the door and said, “They couldn’t find our car.” I pointed out that the car was sitting right there! He said he had told them the same thing, but they just ignored him. Finally, the noticed the car and the number in the window and then they couldn’t find the paperwork. Pat stood there while they spoke amongst themselves and finally one of the denizens of the Twilight Zone broke out of the pack and came over to Pat. “We aren’t sure why your car is here – there is no recall on it.” This was news to us since we had the postcard and had talked to numerous people! Plus, if they couldn’t find a recall on it, couldn’t they call me at work and tell me that — they did have all of the information! The Twilight Zone workers couldn’t answer those questions – they only knew that there was no recall on that car and they didn’t know why it was here.
Pat took the key and decided that he needed to get out of the Twilight Zone before he was stuck there forever – and we drove the car home. About one hour later as we were driving around town, we received a phone call on my cell phone. It was the Twilight Zone Repair Shop! The man on the other end of the line was asking Pat if we were still planning on bringing our car in the next day for the repair for the recall! This was the same man who had just told Pat that this car didn’t have a recall! Pat explained this to the man and he seemed perplexed because he thought we had an appointment for the next day and why would we bring it in today?
It was at this point that we decided that the Repair Shop was a portal to the Twilight Zone and they were trying to suck us into their alternate universe where we would be trapped into returning to the repair shop day after day after day. Pat quickly hung up the phone and resolved never to answer another call from that number – and we sure as heck won’t be returning to that repair shop!