Friday, June 7, 2013

6/6/13 the rest of the Michigan trip

checking out of the hotel, I always feel like to need to make the bed up...

Guess which side I slept on?

 My (blech) silver ride. A Flex Fuel Ford Focus review is forthcoming...

 Inside the atrium at security of Audi/VW Corporate

here's one for Sammi

Meeting with Ken, Audi Auditor and generally mega-feared guy.

With Kim in the WPRC (Warranty Parts Return Center)
They had us all pair up and work through a typical scan in of a couple of parts my dealership had returned. We scored As on both.

My favorite case of the day. They pull out the rare insane ones to demonstrate. Since it's not totally clear from the screen:

The repair order was written on 4/14. TAC (Technical Assistance Center) wasn't contacted until a week later on 4/21 (what was the tech doing for a week with the car?). They instructed him to check a particular fuse. They didn't hear back. Their system is designed to sweep up all cases past five days to recontact and find out the results. So TAC calls the tech back (now two weeks since the customer brought the car in) and the tech tells them things that don't actually check out. The misinformation leads TAC to have him do a wiring overlay for the headlamp and as soon as it was done to contact them back with the results. Once again, the tech doesn't bother calling them back. The Technical Field Specialist picks up the phone and calls the tech's boss, the Service Manager. "Oh, he's out for training" and, a few days later,  "Oh, we had to put a new battery in the car while it's been rotting out here." The customer is furious that a headlamp light in the dash means he hasn't had his car for a MONTH. He tells them to chuck the car and trade him out of it NOW (this will usually be done with the dealership working him a deal). The TFM now flies down to this dealership (at Audi's expense) to find out what in the heck is the problem.  In under a minute? He found the blown fuse (costs about a buck and takes a about 30 seconds to swap out) that TAC had told the tech was the problem the first time he called. Good grief. 

View of the atrium from the conference area.

Kris doing her part to reinforce P&P

Jasen on the left (my favorite) and Scott, doing handouts. This is pretty much what the bulk of the day looked like, meeting with lots of VIPs, and hearing about what's coming up. The night before I had met Jessie, who was also from Denver, and this morning as we waited as security (we happened to get on the off-site shuttle together) she ran into another woman from Denver, Khila, and the three of us spent the day trading war stories.

We finished up and had the option of going upstairs to visit with the people we talk to or email every day, or head out. I was a little torn, but I also knew Detroit traffic at 5:00. I headed out and hopped on the empty shuttle to get me to the offsite parking lot. The lady driver and I exchanged pleasantries and she said, "Where are you from?" When I said Colorado, she said, "Oh, I would have guessed Alabama!" LOL, I was tired and my southern was showing. I told her I'd been in Houston almost 40 years first and she said, "Aha! That explains it." I told her about the drive and she agreed: leaving now was the best course of action.

Sure enough... dead stop. The Ford Freeway going nowhere fast.

Cool mural stuck in stopped traffic on the I-94/I-75 exchange

and on the right? Oh, hey! It's my where I got lost hood from yesterday! I could probably drive around again and get some good pictures and still get back to this parking lot of traffic... But you'll have to do with this gem. It turns out I was driving through the heart of Milwaukee Junction. 

You know you're getting close when you spot the BUBBA (Butt Ugly Blue Bridge Arches). These were constructed as a "welcome" gateway from the airport into Detroit when it was hosting the 2006 Superbowl XL.

So, I've made it from Audi HQ to the off-site shuttle parking lot, driven from Auburn Hills back through the horrendous 5:00 Detroit traffic, exited past BUBBA, wormed my way into the filling station ($4.49 a gallon, cough, cough) which is when the Flex Fuel car finally pays off. Over 100 miles, 2 gallons needed. I'll take it. Then I get back in the traffic, get the rental dropped off, get on the rental shuttle, over the to the terminal, through the pedestrian bridge, down to the Frontier desk to get in line to print a boarding pass (and eyeballing security, which doesn't look bad) thinking, I could've possibly stopped in to visit, but been stressed as all get-out getting here. And if the traffic had gotten worse (likely)? Forgetaboutit. Right as I hit the kiosk, I head Khila's voice behind me. Turns out, we're on the same flight and she'd just made the same drive (in a Fiat, which she hated). Next time, we're carpooling!

So we sat down and had a quick bite of dinner and picked up a few souveniers for her nephews before finding Gayle's Chocolates. Oh my. The $50 chocolate tiger pump in a purse. I opted for a little dark chocolate bar of Coffee Toffee and congratulated myself on snagging some extra half and half for coffee on the plane. 

As it turns out, Frontier has half and half. Point to Frontier over Southwest, for sure. I sat next to a roadie flying in from Detroit to light the Red Rocks sold out concerts for Umphry's McGee. I felt old.

I managed to stay awake for the long drive home and, 36 hours after I started, was done with instructor-led training requirements for another year.

Good trip. Now to catch up on 100 claims awaiting me!


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