Archive for January, 2010

Careful when you take your car to the shop!

January 29, 2010

Incredible but true: you take your car to the Renault shop in Grenoble for some work  (in this case rear bumper), you pick it up, it looks great on outside, but inside it smells like somebody poured out a can of solvent!!! My god, you say, what is it? Your wife didn’t think to ask at the shop, so you search around under the seats and what not thinking maybe a solvent rag was left behind, then you notice that the child seats smell quite strongly, so the only explanation has to be air freshener. First of all, wtf would they spray air freshener in the first place, and secondly air freshener that smells like triclorethylene or some other sort of highly toxic solvent??? Are they completely MAD? And of course it’s the middle of winter, with temperatures below 0° C, and you have to drive around town with your windows wide open in order not to be intoxicated. And the smell lasts for several days, with windows widely-cracked open 24 hours a day.

So next time you take your car to a shop in France, be sure to tape a note on the dashboard saying:

 “Pas de parfum d’ambiance, pas de neutralizateur d’odeur, aucun produit de nettoyage, AUCUN produit à l’intérieur de l’habitacle de la voiture. SVP !!!!”

(By the way, beware of their windshield spray products too. Outrageously perfumed of course, so I have to use plain water with vineager or rubbing alcohol. You may want to put a note under hood saying “N’ajouter aucun produit de lavage de parebrise, SVP !!!”)

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Fragrance equals clean, but of course!

January 17, 2010

I heard this argument yet again in my new building, from the cleaning guy, as he was mopping the entrance floor today:

(paraphasing) “Yes, I understand the smell (fragrance) bothers you, but most people like it, because when they smell that smell they know that we’ve been by to clean the floors.”

I’ve heard this at least 4 times now, in four different locations.

This is typical French marketing/sales BS. In other words, the cleaning product makers tell potential customers, “Oh, you need a strong smelling, long lasting smell cleaner, because otherwise people will think you didn’t clean the floors”. (And of course ours smells stronger and lasts longer than the competition’s!) And the French are absolute suckers for any such BS sales argument. (It’s really unbelievable how gullible French can be, but that’s another story.)

And you can easily imagine the nod and wink about how, well, sometimes you miss a day of cleaning here or there, for reasons beyond your control, of course, and well, what they don’t know won’t hurt them, and after all the fragrance will still be there 5 days later…