Friday, July 31, 2009

I hate earwigs! I really believe they are Satan.

I live in an older home and so it has not been unusual to see a few spiders and bugs crawling around. I usually squish them in tissue and flush them down the toilet. However, earwigs are different. They just don't seem to die.

This morning, while taking a shower, I had a brief encounter with a couple of them that has seriously made me reconsider the use of body wash. The experience was not pleasant and they did not live!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

New Car - Part Two

Early yesterday morning, after a night of not much sleep, I woke up and remembered I had purchased a new car the night before! While the previous day had been long, hot, and frustrating, there was a cute, silver, Ford Focus parked in my driveway. The adventure had been worth it!

My family had tickets to go to the Oquirrh Temple open house. I decided to meet them all in Mapleton, giving me a chance to drive the new car, and show my family.

We left at noon, right on time, and headed to the temple. About the time we hit the Provo Towne Center my sister said that it looked like my hood was going to pop open. I pulled off to the side of the road, pushed on it, and it seemed fine. We started on our way.

By the time we'd gotten to Center Street in Orem, the hood was jumping up and down. I got off the freeway, popped the hood, and looked inside. The contraption that holds the latch down had come unscrewed. Unfortunately I had tools in my old car, but not in this one. I tightened the screws with my fingers and headed to my house.

Lest anyone think that I was calm during this, you are wrong. I was far from it. I had an experience when I was in college where the hood popped up while I was driving. While it caused minimal damage (we were only going 30 MPH), it was incredibly scary. The idea that this would happen while I was on the freeway with a car full of people was almost panicy to me.

When I got home, I grabbed some tools and tried to tighten the screws. They were in a very precarious spot and I knew I couldn't tighten them all the way. I did my best, called my parents to let them know we were once again on our way, and started off, again.

Rather than going to the temple open house, we (all 8 of us in our church clothes) headed back to the dealership. One of the salesman from the night before recognized me and came right over. He asked if I was back to sign some papers and I told him the situation.

He came out with a wrench and did exactly what I had done. He asked questions like, "Are you sure you didn't accidently pull the hood release while you were dirving down the freeway?", or "Shouldn't you have had your husband tighten it for you?". I wanted to say, "Why yes, I did actually pull the hood release while I was driving 70 MPH down the feeway. I've always wanted to know what would happen if I did that". A friend suggested that my response to the husband comment should have been that I would have had him tighten the screws, but he doesn't have any hands.

By this point, my temper had risen almost to the same level as my anxiety. I somewhat calmly pointed out to the salesman that I had had the car less than 12 hours, it only had 7000 miles on it and already something was wrong. He pointed out that it was still under warranty and told me that if I took it to a Ford dealership they would be happy to fix it.

I told him I didn't want it fixed. I didn't want the car and wanted to know what my options were. He said I would have to speak to the manger and left to go inside. I mistakenly assumed that a manager would be out to speak with me. However, 15 minutes later, he came back out, alone.

He politely told me that his manager was "too busy" and all they could do was fix the car. "Too busy", I asked. "You've got to be kidding me!"

He responded by saying that it was, after all, a Saturday and they were busy with customers. I tried to calmly remind him that I was a customer, one who had spent several hours and plenty of money with them the night before.

My dad and I followed him into the smelly locker room where the very busy managers were sitting on their behinds doing absolutly NOTHING. Imagine how happy this made me. Their actions confirmed that I was of no importance to them. Once again I asked what my options were and was told the same thing - I was out of luck and my only option was to take it somewhere else and have it fixed. They basically washed their hands of me. I was not their problem.

I took the car across the street and had it fixed. Any excitement I'd felt about a new car was gone. I know it's not a big deal to any of them, but I will NEVER purchase another car from the Larry H. Miller Used Car Supermarket or even consider purchasing one from Riverton Chevrolet. Because of this experience, a friend who had planned to purchase a car this week from that same lot will go elsewhere.

Had anyone validated how I was feeling by saying that they understood how frustrating this was for me or that they were sorry this had happened, maybe I would feel differently now. But no one did. Not even once.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

New Car - Part One

I bought a new car yesterday. It was easily the craziest car-buying adventure I've ever had.

A friend and I started out at 2 in the afternoon. Our first stop was a small Ford dealership. My friend kindly explained to a very pushy man named Bradley, that we were just looking, really didn't want help, and we would find him if we had any questions. He would not go away. So, we quickly looked at a couple of options and left to go look elsewhere.

We stopped at a place where there were several dealerships. During the hottest part of the day, we wandered around for a couple of hours, telling salesmen in several lots that we were just looking, hoping to be left alone.

After a very hot afternoon and some good sunburns, the choices had been narrowed down to 2. We got some much needed drinks and headed back to do some test driving. We went to the first place (yes, back to Bradly) and took a drive. The car was fun to drive, but Bradley's conversation about his love life, his pleading with us to give him a good review (he was new, after all, and it would really help him out), and the three times he told us he wasn't there to ram a tailpipe down our throats made the car not so appealing.

At the second spot we were helped by a man we shall call "Mike". Since we had already been here and had asked questions, we knew what we wanted. Earlier in the day we saw a sign in front of this dealership advertising a great deal on a specific vehicle. We'd asked why it was so good and they explained that it had been a dealer demo and had around 6ooo miles on it.

We told this to Mike, he confirmed what we'd been told earlier, and we took the car for a ride. I loved it!!! It was quiet, powerful, comfortable, fun, and in my price range. I was giddy with excitement!

We left for a couple of hours and then came back to buy the car. It would be impossible to describe my level of excitement.

Mike was thrilled that we were back, sat us down at the table, and began the process. Since I had already been pre-approved through my credit union, there was little we had to do. Mike made a phone call to the secret mafia man that all car dealers have, said "uh-huh" and "right" a bunch of times, hung up the phone, and then proceeded to tell us that the only way I could get that price on the car was if I owned a Nissan or an Infinity. Really?

I was so annoyed. Not once during the three times we had been there had anyone said that. He left to pull some numbers, I sat there and stewed for a few minutes, and we decided to leave.

Mike was standing at the front of the building, right by the entrance. We told him we were going to look around for something else, walked outside, and jumped in the car. He, of course, was watching, ran out after us, and we tore out of the parking lot!

To say I was disappointed would be an understatement. Plus, I was angry. We parked the car down the road and started walking though car lots once again. I drove another car, just around the block, however, because the windshield wipers broke in half when I turned them on. At this point it was about 8:45 and I was tired and frustrated.

Then we saw it, well actually my friend did. It was a silver 2009 Ford Focus, leather interior, moon roof, and a 6 CD changer. I took it for a test drive and I really liked it. They managed to get the price down where I wanted it to be, and told me it would just be a few minutes. By then, it was about 9:15.

They put us in a room that was terribly hot and smelled like a locker room. I sat there for an hour, while they kept coming back every few minutes to tell me it should only be a few more minutes. I was tired, really needed a shower, and just wanted to go home.

We finally told them we were leaving and would be back in the morning. This was about 10:30. Of course they did everything they could to get us to stay. They offered an entertainment package if we would stay for just 10 more minutes. After 10 minutes, we were ready to leave. At that point, two salesmen were crossing paths, trying to see what they could do to get things to happen. It was actually somewhat comical. Neither one of them knew that the other was trying to do the exact same thing. One of the options was to push us a head of a couple with a two year old. We declined.

Finally, they magically had paperwork for me to sign and I got in the car and drove away. While driving home, the gas light came on. No one had bothered to put gas in the car. There were drink stains on the console, and the dealership floor mats were still in the car, with the actual mats in the trunk, indicating that no one had cleaned or vacuumed it.

"Oh well", I thought. "At least I had a nice, new car."

Boy, did I get a surprise this morning...

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

For Good

Today I attended a funeral of a woman I have known since I was very young. Since I heard of her passing, my thoughts have been full of all sorts of memories. She lived across the street from us and I spent a lot of time at her home while I was growing up. I remember her telling me how much she loved cream cheese. When I was getting ready this morning and putting hot rollers in my hair, I remembered that she used to do that. I remember her taking us to Riverton to visit her parents and younger sisters. When I was old enough I would tend her kids.

But, the thing I remember most is that she would do anything for anyone. She loved like the Savior loved. She had a great laugh and seemed to always be smiling.

She made a difference in my life and I'm sure she never knew that. I feel some regret for that, realizing now that I will never be able to tell her.

There are countless people in my life who have influenced me for good. Most don't know it. I need to fix that.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Weak Things Become Strong

For the last couple of weeks I've been made aware of things about me that I need to change - things that are holding me back, keeping me from progressing. While the thought could potentially be overwhelming, it has been welcome and encouraging after the last few months.

There's no need to list all of them here (although, some may have thought of weaknesses I have that I haven't even considered. Feel free to speak up!), but I'm anxious for the arduous process that lies ahead as I work on the long list.

Just this morning, an incredible weakness I have caused me to hurt someone. I was quick to pass judgment and was even accusing, all because of my own insecurities. For that, I am very sorry.

I appreciate those who put up with me in spite of my weaknesses, those who can see that there is more to me than that, and those who have hope that at some point those things will become strengths. Thanks for sticking by me, for understanding, and for forgiving.