Thursday, August 7, 2008

Sálome weeps

My faithful reader(s) will remember back to that dark, dark day back somewhere around March, whereby yours truly, shiny new bike in hand, proceeded to make the colossal mistake of peeling off those seemingly useless plastic stickers on Sálome’s fork that did nothing but mar her shiny perfection. Or so I thought. Apparently, according to Felt, they’re on there to “protect the fork module jib-jab from the chain capacitator” or something along those lines. Whatever. Point being, I peeled, and off came shiny gloss with it. AAAAAAGGGHHH! That Day of Anguish will live on in infamy.

(I will note that SuperDave himself, the Felt guy who posts on Slowtwitch, suggests that "Those yellow warning stickers should peel right off w/o much fuss or damage to the bike's finish." And I say, what are yellow stickers but clear stickers with a splash of kicky color? DON'T DO IT, people, JUST SAY NO!)

I mentioned my foible to dear Kevin at Get a Grip, noting that Sálome now had a Ghastly Unsightly Blemish (GUB) and I felt duty-bound to try to fix her, and could he recommend anything along the lines of, say, a blowtorch and airplane glue? Kevin, being the forward-thinking guy that he is, decided instead that he’d call Felt to sort this out, whereupon he discovered that while I may be a dumbass, a) I am far from the only dumbass out there, and b) this is a common problem among us dumbasses and our Felts, as the Oompa Loompa Sticker-Placing Factory seems to have glued those damn stickers on at some point. Or something like that. So Felt agreed that this was a defect on their part, and that they would replace the fork. Someday. They didn’t consider this a “priority,” and would get to it when they could.

In an amazing show of restraint that is totally unlike me, I did NOT call GAG every week to ask them if they had gotten my fork in. No, I decided I’d wait patiently, with the result being that it’s now August and no fork has shown itself. So when I was at GAG last week for a fit tweak, I brought it up with Kevin, who was suitably appalled and said he’d get in touch with the Felt guys.

Lo and behold, 2 days ago I got a message from Kevin, which went something like this (with the appropriate subtext):

“Tasha, good news, I talked to the guys at Felt.” (We adore you, you know that.)
“Reminded them of the fork issue that they said they’d fix.” (No really, we do.)
“Told them I wanted this resolved.” (In part that’s because you didn’t bug us constantly about the fork thing. Which surprised us, quite frankly. We had a pool going and everything. Matt gave you 3 hours before you started calling us.)
“I had to escalate this to their Regional Sales Manager, who kept giving me the runaround.” (I gave you a week. The quiet guy who works here, the guy whose name even we can’t remember, he thought you’d surprise us. He won. So you cost the rest of us some money - but, I assure you, we still adore you.)
“I’ve even considered dropping Felt as a dealer because of this stuff.” (We’re now the exclusive dealer for Cervelo in Chicago, so who cares about Felt? Felt who?)
“But the good news is that they finally agreed to ship a new fork, and it should be here in 2-3 days.” (Hallelujah, angel chorus!)

So I was happy that soon Sálome would be restored to her original perfection, and we could continue to ride along for hours without worrying that someone would notice the GUB and wonder at the content of our character. But then, today, this:

(phone rings)

Me: Hello?
Eric: Tasha, it’s Eric, from Get a Grip. (I got the short straw and had to call you.)
Me: What’s up?
Eric: Well, it’s about the fork. We heard from another guy today at Felt who told us that the Regional guy lied, basically. No fork is on the way. (Please please please let the other phone ring. Let someone pull the fire alarm. Let Ed McMahon walk in the front door with one of those big checks so that I can get out of this phone call.)
Me, frostily: I’m sorry, there must be a bad connection. I thought you said something about Sálome not being restored to her shiny perfection, but I’m sure that can’t be the case.
Eric, practically weeping as he blurts out: They said that you can have any fork you want and they’ll get it for you right away and they want you to call them. (Please say you’ll call them, anyone but me having to have this conversation. It’s bad enough in general having to give bad news to the Shining Star of our clientele, i.e. you, but please don't unleash the temper, oh god, your temper. Shudder.)

Now, at this point, any guy would probably jump at the chance to pick out some fancy high-tech fork, the latest in all that is carbon fiber, etc. But I’m a girl, and we want things that are pretty and that match.

Me: But if I get a different fork, it won’t match, right?
Eric: Right. (Sigh. I knew it wouldn’t work.)
Me: Then I don’t really have anything to talk to them about. I just want the same fork that’ll match Sálome. I don’t get why this is so hard for them. Slight bottleneck at the fork-making emporium? The young Taiwanese factory children are enamored of using Felt B12 forks as slingshots or water dousers? What is it?
Eric: We don’t get it either. They can find a fork somewhere, I’m sure. We’re thinking about dropping them as a dealer because of all this. (Pleasepleaseplease just don’t be mad at me, or us, be mad at them. Cervelo doesn’t do this to us, ever. Oh, why didn’t I take that job on the cod fishing boat in the Netherlands while I had the chance?)

So Eric got stuck with the task of telling the Felt people that I don’t want another fork, I want the one that matches. If they have fork problems, just get a fork from a bike in a showroom somewhere, take this one back to the factory and repaint it with more shiny gloss, then get the Oompa Loompas to glue on those plastic stickers again so that you can start this fiasco again with some other person, NOT ME. Honestly. You’d think Felt would figure out the benefits to having someone of my stature in the triathlon world (ahem, 4th place in my AG at Evergreen Lake) riding around on one of their bikes, looking sporty and athletic and promoting their brand. Not to mention the tens of readers I attract here on a monthly basis, reading about the adventures of Sálome and I in the hinterlands. But I guess they’re too busy designing the Felt B2R 2009 or whatever the hell it is, and this year’s customers are next year’s chopped liver. Hmph.

Hey, I know! Maybe, since Felt has twiddled their thumbs on this and they now seem to be having a tough time tracking down a fork that they could have sent me 5 MONTHS AGO, they can take this fork and fix it.......perhaps while the girl with cancer who enjoys nothing more than riding her bike for hours on end is recovering from future surgery and thus unable to ride? Yeah, that’s it. Brilliant. Idiots. Why don't they try to kick my little dog too now, while they're at it.


D said...

See, that's what you gotta do. Call them up and use the cancer card. I wouldn't expect a no then ;)

Tasha the Triathlon Goddess said...

You know it, sister! Hey, when it comes to the bike, whatever it takes. ;-)