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Published: February 18th 2012
It's true... as they say, buying a new vehicle whether it has zero-kilometers/miles or thousands can be nerve wracking, make you stressss-OUT and even make you lose sleep. I know. You shouldn't let it get to you. But what if it meant the difference between getting the job you love or not having that job?
That is exactly how all this started. I was offered a job in another small town about an hours drive from home. I accepted. Then declined. Nerves. "How could everything be working out this easily?" I thought. Its not the usual suspect with me. I'm use to working odd jobs while the job I'd prefer is still dangling out there in front of me with the usual labels: over-qualified, too much experience, not enough history.
I've heard it all. I always thought travel broadened my horizons, not limited them. Guess it depends on who you talk to?
I was working at a local newspaper, getting paid waaaay too little but the commute was great! That's when it happened. I applied for a job. "The Job." I had a great phone interview. But the people on the other ended used those "labels" and were unsure
this would be satisfactory for us all? Either way, they couldn't find anyone else whom was close by, qualified or even willing to relocate. Its a bit farther north than Edmonton, after all.
We met. We wooed. We cooed. We laughed. We all got along splendidly. That's when the nerves kicked in... "I needed to get a car! A reliable machine. Not the usual $5,000 jobbies... something with a warranty... something I would want to drive. I had 10-days to get this together."
I FREAKED OUT!!!
And that's when it happened. I talked myself out of the job. I couldn't do it. I couldn't drive it. I couldn't do this to myself. How do I do this to myself. I called them back. I passed. I turend them down. After accepting. Then the inevitable happened. The shitty job paying me waaaay too little fired me! Their reason, "you are too good! our readers cannot understand your 'international language.' you should work at a BIGGER newspaper like Edmonton Sun, Edmonton Journal or..."
I smiled. Laughed bitterly. Unpacked my desk. Closed up my lunch pail. Trashed all my files. Delete! And walked out of their offices. For two weeks,
I searched. High and low. I spotted an advert for the original job. I thought... I should email them. It took three days. Then I did just that. I emailed. "Hey, saw your advert, did you find anyone? If not... would you consider me?" It took less than 24-hours to hear back from the editor. "We haven't found anyone. Zero qualified people. Are you really interested?" I could hear the skepticism in her voice. "Yes. But I need that letter of employment, so I can get a ride." "No worries. Use the other one." "I would... but I trashed it." Laughter on the phone from both ends. That's when they sent me the letter.
That day I turned the car towards Edmonton... instead of going to an interview at the Airport. I called and cancelled the interview. And went vehicle shopping instead. Our first stop Derrick Dodge because they are always having deals. We test drove a 2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee, a 2008 Jeep Wrangler Sport and a 2008 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited with a 3" lift. They all handled well. Drove nicely (around the block!) and then they wanted to talk numbers. We sat. We listened. We even met
the Used Car Manager! Nice guys... they were... but I had to go see Toyota before I would sign any dotted lines.
We drove across town with the Derrick Dodge business card in my pocket. We stopped at Mayfield Toyota. Looked around the lot. Saw a couple of Tacomas' and a couple of FJs'. I had once read you should test drive all the vehicles you are interested in, on the same day. This way you know the insides and can make an appropriate call about what you like and dislike about each vehicle.
"Hey, can I grab your license from you. I'll make a copy and grab the keys," said Dominique the sales guy. Upon his return, I had been in the lot scoping out other vehicles. He says, "Here's the keys. Take the FJ for a spin. Enjoy it. Then come back and we'll chat." Seriously! Holly Mackerel! They are giving us the keys to the FJ. We have FREEEEEEEEE run of this Toyota FJ Cruiser! Wicked. It made an impression with me, immediately. We drove. We took off. We drove the highway. We drove the streets. We returned. And went home because I had my
eyes on another FJ Cruiser Trail Team Edition up in Peace River.
Tuesday morning, I phoned Chrysler in Peace River to inquire about the FJ Cruiser Trail Team Edition. The salesperson and I bantered, back and as I asked 100s of questions. Eventually, we talked warranties then price. I put up offers. And was settled on a number. It would have been fantastic. Even the bank lady said purchase price was near Canadian black book value. Salesperson wanted a deposit. I denied it. But asked them to email me a car proof (carfax) and safety inspection report. They did. I mulled it over. And sent my younger brother several emails inquiring about purchasing a vehicle at a dealership because he was the one person I personally knew who 1) has purchased several Toyota’s and 2) is a financial thinker. His information proved to be invaluable while talking to all the dealerships and sales people.
By Wednesday, afternoon I had narrowed down the field of choice to Toyota Tacoma or FJ Cruiser. Jeep was out. Mini was out. Ford and everyone else, o.u.t! Emailing my brother we bounced question after question off him. That night, I started
becoming more and more stressed out. I was getting nervous. I could feel it. My sleep was being affected. I couldn’t eat. It was taking its toll on me, this undue stress of needing to purchase a vehicle. I went to my Search & Rescue training as my nerves unwound. Thankfully it was a light session. Ian, a guy at S&R gave me an opinion about buying a vehicle in Peace River. His thought was that the colder weather in Peace River would add undue stress to the engine from being started and idling longer. It surprised me. But I thought, it could be possible.
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