January 13 – service oriented

173/365 – people to thank who have had an impact on me. Some of my posts are thought out ahead of time, some are fluid and written in the moment, none of them are written beforehand though. Today’s post came to be based on my interaction of the day. Over the weekend, my Range Rover’s headlight gave out yet again. I texted my service advisor who happened to be a friend from the gym that I worked out at -Arthur S. He instantly accommodated my request and just put me at ease saying it would be taken care of. I have never had a service advisor. I would just take my car into the dealership or some private repair shop and let them do what they had to do and hope I wouldn’t be robbed blind. I’ve never dealt with the same person and established a relationship but with Arthur, this has not been the case. I have to say that Arthur is one of the nicest guys I have ever met. He has a smile on his face and a genuine concern for how you are doing and will have you laughing within minutes. And this is outside of the Range Rover dealership – nothing to do with the job. However, on the job, he also has that same welcoming persona which makes the process that much more smooth flowing. He has been my jedi master in terms of Star Wars and we share the same affection for Orphan Black as well as making excuses for not working out which I am king at!! 😉 We are often quick to complain about poor service but rarely commend exceptional service and hopefully, in addition to my thanks for Arthur being a friend, this post also shows how great customer service is in retaining a person – what a simple smile and going that extra mile does for a person. I try to do that in my life and I think this is why Arthur and I find it so easy to get along. Thank you buddy for giving me advice (don’t sweat the small stuff), taking care of my when I know nothing about my car and validating me for not working out when I can’t. In your honour, I hand over my keys to your trusting hands!

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December 26 – let’s make a deal

155/365 – people to thank who have had an impact on me. It’s Boxing Day. Am I out shopping today? Nah, not really into it this year but I do remember what I was doing two years ago on this day – dealing for and then purchasing myself my Range Rover. Yes, I bought it on Boxing Day and I couldn’t have done it without Don S’s advice. An owner of his own luxury car dealership, I met Don at the gym and got to know him there and at a few wine events. My son told me more about Don than I knew as my son is very much into cars and had heard of Don’s auto dealership. As I spent months and months doing research and looking for my Range Rover Evoque (slightly used and either red or blue), I was almost about to give up until I happened upon one on Craigslist Cariboo. I was even willing to drive to the interior of BC but was surprised to discover that this was some type of marketing by the local Kia dealership in town and the Rover was not locally advertised. They had the exact Range Rover I wanted (one month old) all under warranty so I quickly drove to the dealership heart pounding. There I was and it was true. The regular price was $60K new, their selling price (as it was one month used) was $50k. I phoned up Don asking him what to do. He told me that it was the end of the year, they want to get rid of this vehicle, especially since it’s not their make/model and they will negotiate. The dealership dropped down to $47k. Don told me to offer $45k and walk away. “Are you sure?” I recall asking and he said do it and they will negotiate. I got it for $45.5K with lifetime car washes included! I am not a wheeler-dealer by nature and I so appreciated Don’s advice and guidance in the quick purchase of my vehicle. Oh, and I also have to give Don one more prop – for interviewing my son last year. First interview ever and my son had no clue what to do and of course gave honest, yet not very-job getting answers LOL but what a great experience. He didn’t end up getting the job but my son is motivated to try again once he gets his Learner’s license this February and I’m glad that my son is actually wanting to work part-time and willing to try again. Thanks Don for helping me out with my big purchase and giving my son a chance at what he’s interested in. In your honour, I learn a little more about my Range Rover while I get my son schooled on how to drive 😉 Cheers!

December 20 – shut up and drive

149/365 – people to thank who have had an impact on me. Okay, kind of weird but this is a post about inanimate objects. I know it should be about people but hey, I talked about my dog in this blog so this is also warranted 😉 It’s just shy of two years since I got my new vehicle. I absolutely love it. Bittersweet in that my dad passed away but my subsequent inheritance allowed me to afford the one month used 2013 Range Rover Evoque – I tell everyone my dad bought it. I have always been taught to buy neutral colours for cars, phones, etc for resale value and I usually listened until this purchase. I went for a fire-engine red one. I don’t regret my decision at all. Yes, some may say I’m privileged and I won’t argue that but I’d rather say I’m fortunate – I don’t take things for granted and I work hard and this was a necessary treat. I have a great history with cars and I “love” (use that term loosely) every single one of the three cars I’ve had over my lifetime as there have been great experiences in all of them. My old vehicle – a 1998 Nissan Pathfinder bought brand new – was basically driven to non-existence over 16 years. The Pathfinder was there to drive to the hospital and bring back my new son. The Pathfinder was there helping move into our first home in Steveston. The Pathfinder helped get my daughter and son to their various commitments/activities growing up. The Pathfinder was an integral “member” of the household. Towards the end of its life, this was also the Pathfinder that would, if coasting under 5 kilometers, shut off automatically. I had to time traffic lights from a distance and adjust my speed accordingly. This was the Pathfinder that would suddenly accelerate because the pressure you put on the gas pedal somehow wasn’t enough – hard to explain but if you’ve experienced it, you know what I mean. For all its faults in its later years, it was a great vehicle. I was very sad to sell it on Craigslist and giving over the keys was a very hard thing to do. Prior to that, my wife and I bought a very functional car – simply a white Honda Civic. Probably my least favourite as it basically did the job but offered nothing more. Selling it when it was on its way out wasn’t a hard thing to do – maybe because it was so generic but no tears were shed. Not the case with my first vehicle – a dark blue/almost black Acura Integra. Bought it brand new with help from my parents and on day two, someone keyed it. Oh, that was painful. I adored that car as well – it was my first and you never forget your first 😉 It was stylish and enjoyable to drive. Of course, I was very cautious with it and maybe that first keying was a sign of things to come as it was stolen in its second year with me. It was not discovered until two weeks later (settlement cheque already processed) and I had to go to the impound lot to get my belongings from it. I actually shed a tear – sad as it sounds – as it was all gutted (speakers ripped out, rims taken off etc). As I walked away, I literally looked over my shoulder and felt a great deal of sorrow having to say goodbye. It’s weird that I had these different feelings for the vehicles I have been lucky enough to own. I never thought a car could move you – no pun intended – but they do become a part of your “family” in a way and I am very thankful for being fortunate enough to be able to afford to drive a vehicle in this day and age living in the suburbs. Thank you to all the cars that have come and gone with the changes in my life. To all of you vehicles, I fill you up with premium unleaded!