A case study in empathy

I came out of the local grocery co-op this morning, bag full of organic produce. I walked to my car, the one with the “No One Trumps the Constitution” ACLU bumper sticker. I have one of those remote key fobs that I don’t even have to pull out to unlock the car, I just open the door. The keys are in my pocket. For some unknown reason, in between the time that my car recognized my key fob to allow me to unlock the car and the time I put my grocery bag in, buckled up, and pushed the button to start the car, the car no longer recognized my key fob.

That sets off the alarm. I grabbed my key fob and started pushing buttons. No luck. I got out of the car and pushed buttons. No joy. I’m scrambling through the owner’s manual trying to find the solution while my horn blares and my lights flash.

An Asian woman approaches the car parked next to mine. “What happened?” she asked. I shrugged, showed her my key, and told her. “Oops,” she replied, and left. 

Horn is still sounding. A pickup truck stops behind me. Two young men are in the cab. “Hey, your horn is going off!” the driver shouts. I turn and look. “I know,” I answer. “Go Trump!” he yells and laughs as he drives off. Clearly he saw my bumper sticker.

Later, in the manual, I find out that the alarm will sound for two minutes before silencing if it is not deactivated. I have failed in any attempt to deactivate it. I’m trying to decide if it will shut down on its own or if I’m going to have to resort to more drastic measures, like maybe disconnecting the battery, which I really don’t want to do and I don’t know will work. I wouldn’t design a security system that could be bypassed that easily.

While I’m still leafing through the manual looking for answers, an African American gentleman  comes over and asks if I need some help. I explain the situation, he takes my fob and tries, but about that time, the two minutes are up. We have a nice discussion, I thank him, and I try again. Fortunately, everything works this time, and I drive home.

For future reference, in the Acura owner’s manual, information about the car alarm system is found in the index under “security”, not “alarm”. It’s hard to think of all the alternatives when the system is going off in a very public place, very loudly.

Author: sherrinichols

I got things to say!

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