Oh, honey, can I tell you about my week with the car?! First of all, I take meticulous care of my car - a 2002 Volkswagen Passat Wagon. 100,000 mile check up for a million dollars, sure, sign me up! Oil changed at the dealer on the regular - usually on the date rather than the mileage, since I don't drive a ton of miles in three months, but the oil does get gunky. I love my car, so I take care of it, so it takes care of me.
I drove to Detroit and back on Saturday with some friends to see Robyn! The show was actually in Royal Oak at the Royal Oak Music Theatre for you Michigan folks who know where that is. The car was a champ. We made several stops - Trader Joe's before the show, McDonald's for fries and cold beverages after the show and Portland for gas to get us the rest of the way home. Not a single problem. Like I said, it's a champ!
Robyn, end of show.
Sunday morning. I made a coffee date with a friend I haven't seen in awhile. Earlier in the morning worked for her, rather than later. I was dead tired, but I rallied and got ready. I was running a few minutes late already when I hopped in the car. Turned the key and nothing happened. Zero. Zip. Nada. I thought something battery-related, but it's unusual for not a single sound to emit from the engine. There I was with my VW stuck in the garage.
Monday morning. Tow company guy (I'll call him Tow Joe. Picture Chris Farley, because that's who he reminded me of.) arrives with this on the agenda: to give the car a jump and/or tow it to the dealer. The jump did nothing. So Tow Joe, the car and I are headed to the dealer. On the way, I heard a bit of gossip from Tow Joe about one of my neighbors. So very interesting. You never know who's going to be out there telling your stories, people, so behave!
Dealer said they probably couldn't get a look at it before Tuesday. At 8:00 a.m. they did not have a loaner car for me to drive. I spent most of Monday in a state of mild anxiety trying to figure out my work/life schedule sans auto. Lovely friends came through and were willing to help out. Then the dealer called, "It's the brain - the part of the computer that controls all the car's functions. It's shorting out, causing the car not to start. You need a replacement." The part was on order. It would be Wednesday before the part was expected to arrive. Mild heart attack, but I asked again about a loaner car, "Any chance you have a car for me now?" "Yes, as a matter of fact, we do!"
If you take anything from this blog post, here's your gold, ask for what you want. If you get told no, ask again at a later time. The situation may have changed and you may get a yes.
Here's the cutie 2011 VW Golf that I drove all week while my beloved Passat was getting a brain transplant.
2011 Volkswagen Golf
Also, when I picked up my car tonight after work - a whole week had gone by - neither of my regular VW guys helped me out - seemed one was gone for the night and the other was helping someone else. After paying, I was walking to my car and my regular guy walked over to make sure I was all set. He asked if I had any questions and thanked me for being patient this week as it took a bit longer than they had anticipated. Then he said something that went like this "I also want to thank you for always being so nice when you come in here. You spend a lot of money with us and you always smile and are nice. We get cussed out on the regular by people, so I just wanted to thank you for always being pleasant."
What a genuine moment!
Sure, it's not cool to spend big coin I wasn't planning to spend this week, but because of the way the guys at the dealer treat me (I know a thing or two about cars and I never feel like they're talking down to me because I'm a girl or like they're being dishonest about what the car needs.), the fact that they loaned me the Golf for the week, that the car is paid off so I don't have a car payment AND this repair bill and that I don't have to buy a new car, I can shrug it off and just say, "could be worse." It's all about perspective. I choose to see all the good. Fore! Good things are all around if you're looking out for them!