(humor) cars = computers?

Mark Q. Maxham (max@atg.apple.com)
Wed, 22 Feb 1995 10:18:31 -0800

What if people bought cars like they buy computers?

General Motors doesn't have a "help line" for people who don't know how to
drive, because people don't buy cars like they buy computers. But imagine
if they did...
HELPLINE: "General Motors Helpline, how can I help you?"
CUSTOMER: "I got in my car and closed the door and nothing happened!"
HELPLINE: "Did you put the key in the ignition and turn it?"
CUSTOMER: "What's an ignition?"
HELPLINE: "It's a starter motor that draws current from your battery and
turns over the engine."
CUSTOMER: "Ignition? Motor? Battery? Engine? How come I have to know all
of these technical terms just to use my car?"
HELPLINE: "General Motors Helpline, how can I help you?"
CUSTOMER: "My car ran fine for a week, and now it won't go anywhere!"
HELPLINE: "Is the gas tank empty?"
CUSTOMER: "Huh? How do I know?"
HELPLINE: "There's a little gauge on the front panel, with a needle, and
markings from 'E' to 'F'. Where is the needle pointing?"
CUSTOMER: "I see an 'E' but no 'F'."
HELPLINE: "You see the 'E' and just to the right is the 'F'.
CUSTOMER: "No, just to the right of the first 'E' is a 'V'.
HELPLINE: "A 'V'?!?"
CUSTOMER: "Followed by 'R', 'O', 'L' ..."
HELPLINE: "No, no, no sir! That's the front of the car. When you sit behind
the steering wheel, that's the panel I'm talking about."
CUSTOMER: "That steering wheel thingy - Is that the round thing that honks
the horn?"
HELPLINE: "Yes, among other things."
CUSTOMER: "The needle's pointing to 'E'. What does that mean?"
HELPLINE: "It means that you have to visit a gasoline vendor and purchase
some more gasoline. You can install it yourself, or pay the
vendor to install it for you."
CUSTOMER: "What? I paid $18,000 for this car! Now you tell me that I have
to keep buying more components? I want a car that comes with
everything built in!"
HELPLINE: "General Motors Helpline, how can I help you?"
CUSTOMER: "Your cars suck!"
HELPLINE: "What's wrong?"
CUSTOMER: "It crashed, that's what went wrong!"
HELPLINE: "What were you doing?"
CUSTOMER: "I wanted to go faster, so I pushed the accelerator pedal all the
way to the floor. It worked for a while, and then it crashed -
and now it won't even start up!"
HELPLINE: "I'm sorry, sir, but it's your responsibility if you misuse the
CUSTOMER: "Misuse it? I was just following this damned manual of yours. It
said to make the car go to put the transmission in 'D' and press
the accelerator pedal. That's exactly what I did - now the damn
thing's crashed."
HELPLINE: "Did you read the entire operator's manual before operating the
car sir?"
CUSTOMER: "What? Of course I did! I told you I did EVERYTHING the manual
said and it didn't work!"
HELPLINE: "Didn't you attempt to slow down so you wouldn't crash?"
CUSTOMER: "How do you do THAT?"
HELPLINE: "You said you read the entire manual, sir. It's on page 14. The
pedal next to the accelerator."
CUSTOMER: "Well, I don't have all day to sit around and read this manual
you know."
HELPLINE: "Of course not. What do you expect us to do about it?"
CUSTOMER: "I want you to send me one of the latest versions that goes fast
and won't crash anymore!"
HELPLINE: "General Motors Helpline, how can I help you?"
CUSTOMER: "Hi! I just bought my first car, and I chose your car because it
has automatic transmission, cruise control, power steering,
power brakes, and power door locks."
"How do I work it?"
HELPLINE: "Do you know how to drive?"
CUSTOMER: "Do I know how to what?"
HELPLINE: "Do you know how to DRIVE?"
CUSTOMER: "I'm not a technical person! I just want to go places in my car!"