1. If you take it somewhere for a second opinion, the second guy will screw you too, albeit in a new way.
2. If you try to service your car yourself, you will die in a fireball that will be visible from the International Space Station.
So you loosen your sphincter muscles, take a deep breath, and agree to let the suspicious stranger service your brains out. Your only solace comes from the knowledge that sooner or later an investigative reporter will bust your dealership.
I consider this to be one of the downsides of understanding economics. I know in advance, almost like ESP, that none of you have heard this from a car dealership's service department in the past two months:
Service Guy: "I fixed your ping by removing a twig that was caught under the fender. There's no charge of course, and your car is otherwise perfect. So I will just default on my mortgage and kill stray dogs to feed my family this week. Have a nice weekend!"
Author: Farhad Manjoo, 4/21/08
Scott Adams, the cartoonist behind the middle management-mocking comic strip "Dilbert," says that his work has always been "interactive": "People e-mail me with ideas, I draw the comic, they hang the comic on a wall," he told me in an e-mail.
But late last week Adams and his syndicate, United Media, unveiled a new model in cartoon interactivity -- Dilbert.com now lets fans rewrite Adams' punch lines, and soon it'll let you write the entire strip, too. (Click for full article.)
Author: Brad Stone, 4/18/08
For almost two decades, fans have written to “Dilbert’s” creator, Scott Adams, with ideas for strips, gags and punch lines.
Now they can bring their notions right to the panels of “Dilbert” itself.
In a good illustration of how media is becoming ever more conversational and interactive, United Media, “Dilbert’s” syndicate, is revamping Dilbert.com, letting the fans take up the cartoonist’s pen and tinker with, and then widely distribute, each strip. (Click for full article.)
Author: Lisa Belkin, 4/3/08
ONE afternoon last week I found myself sitting at a desk that was not mine, answering to a name that was not mine, and fielding phone calls and e-mail messages from colleagues who don’t exist. I held a “meeting” with an actor pretending to be a passive-aggressive employee who was sabotaging a new sales plan with his vocal disapproval. I had a “conference call” with an actress who was convincingly frosty as she refused to share key research and manpower that her department had and mine needed. In other words, I spent that day doing what a growing number of employees will do if they are to reach a position of power or potential: I was being “assessed.”" (Click for full article.)
Author: Paul Krugman, 3/31/08
Anyone who has worked in a large organization — or, for that matter, reads the comic strip “Dilbert” — is familiar with the “org chart” strategy. To hide their lack of any actual ideas about what to do, managers sometimes make a big show of rearranging the boxes and lines that say who reports to whom." (Click for full article.)