Saturday, September 24, 2011

Week 38: Early Mornings and A Lazy Day Part 1

When you work in retail you spend a certain amount of time, at a certain time of year, preparing for the busy holiday season which basically begins on Black Friday and lasts through the first few weeks of the new year. This prep time is important, because if you don't spend the proper amount of time prepping you'll never catch up once business starts really picking up. 

At work we have hit that point in the year where we begin preparing. We've started making the proper layout adjustments to the setup of our floor, adjusting the placement of product and moving out the old to make room for the new. This kind of preparation means that I've been working the early shift all week, as in 6am early...

Now, of course, there are perks to working such a shift such as getting out in the early afternoon and getting the entire weekend off. These things, of course, are nice. The thing to remember here though is that by the end of that shift, not only are you tired because you've been up since 6am (and probably didn't sleep much the night before if you're like me), but you've also got the rest of the day ahead of you. 

This week, most of my days after work were filled with various errands and most importantly hashing out the debacle of my car. As you may recall, last Saturday my car mysteriously died and we were therefore forced to push it from my sisters driveway to the parking lot of a local mechanic. 

Seriously, Saturday was only the beginning of the craziness that was going to take place this week. 

So Monday, since I was at work as of 6am, my mom called into the mechanic and let him know that my car was in his driveway and the key in his drop box. She also filled him in on WHY it was there, obviously. Of course, he had a pretty packed schedule for the day and said he probably wouldn't be able to get to it until Tuesday, which even though it wasn't ideal for us, mom said it was fine because really what else could you really say?

Within no more than an hour the mechanic calls back with a diagnosis. According to him the engine was blown and it would cost nearly $3,000.00 dollars for him to replace it. Obviously, I was a bit stunned with this diagnosis, and dad was a bit hedgy as to the veracity of it. How could it possibly be the engine? There hadn't been any oil when we popped the hood, it hadn't been leaking oil, and I take really good care of it. I get oil changes regularly. How could it be the engine?

Then of course it was down to weighing the options. There was no way I was paying this guy nearly three thousand dollars to put a new engine in. There is just no room in the budget for that. So then I started researching what it would cost to buy an engine myself and have my cousin install it. That would be manageable, but do I want to put that kind of money into this particular car? It might be better to get a new used car.

The more we considered the guys diagnosis and how quickly he had come to it the more unsure of it we became. It just didn't sound right, you know? By Tuesday night we determined that we wanted a second opinion, and that if it was the engine then it would be best to buy a new used car as long as I could get financing one way or another. 

With this plan in place, my mom called in to the mechanic on Wednesday, because once again I was working the 6am shift, and asked if we owed anything for him looking at the car and let him know we planned to come in that evening and pick up the keys/car. He said that there was no car, and asked what we planned to do with the car. Rather than say that we planned to get a second opinion, we told him we were going to push it to the Ford dealer down the street and see about a trade-in. He said that with a blown engine they probably wouldn't offer us much and asked if we'd let him know what they did offer.

This, again, made me a little suspicious. We think he probably wanted to buy the car to fix it up and re-sell it. 

So we get there, and he had told us my car would be moved out of the back lot and we'd have access to it, but we don't see it anywhere. Dad and I go inside and tell the woman at the counter we are there to pick up my car, and she at first has trouble finding the key. She does eventually hold up a key and ask if it looks like that one and would be untagged.

I tell her that yes, that is my key and she hands it to me and says that we are all set. But then, we remind her that we actually need to know where the car is... So doesn't know either, so she heads out into the back to ask someone else, having re-taken my key. 

She tells us it is probably in the back lot and they will drive it around, and as she leaves dad and I look at each other and wonder how they are going to drive a car with a blown engine around front. We wait a few minutes before heading outside to wait by my dads van. As we are waiting and looking towards the back lot, she yells over to us that the car won't start and they have to jump it. How do you jump a car with a blown engine? Of course it won't start, that is why we brought it here. That is why we PUSHED it here....

We wait another minute or so, and then head back inside thinking she and this other guy don't know the real deal with my car. She isn't at the counter, but we stand there and wait in case she wanders back so we can clue her in to why the car may not be starting. I'm looking out the front window when all of a sudden I see my car drive out into the front. HOW DID THEY DRIVE A CAR WITH A BLOWN ENGINE AROUND TO THE FRONT!

I tell dad that they've just driven my car around, and we both go out to investigate. The guy that drove it around has popped the hood and is looking under it when we approach. He says that it's "running rough". No, really? He says that in order to keep it from stalling out, you have to drive it with your feet on the gas and brakes at all times. 

With this tidbit duly noted I jump into the drivers seat and put the car in gear. I drive out of the driveway with my feet on gas and breaks. Dad is right behind me in the van as I turn onto the road. The car stalls out halfway to the dealer, and so dad pushes it the rest of the way just like Saturday. 

And that is where my tale stops this evening. But I promise there is more, and if you click back tomorrow you to will know the rest of this fascinating story. Until then, I have some reading to catch up on and a desk to finally clear off. 

I'll talk to you soon. 

No comments: