A Part Time Job

Well, school’s been in session for some time, and so far, I haven’t missed it. I’ve been able to fill the time with a variety of activities: games of golf, interviews for news stories, completion of “honey-do’s.” I keep waiting for what people told me would be that empty feeling. Thankfully, it hasn’t shown its ugly face. Still, it looks as if I’ll have to scout out a part time job.

For one thing, I am a social creature. Other people are important. I’ve spent most of my retired days by myself, except for my little buddy Snoop. If there’s one thing I do miss from my teaching career, it’s the communication with fellow teachers and with students. Laughing at jokes and engaging in heated arguments are things that I’ve always enjoyed. Snoop is good company, but the only communication coming from him is an occasional bark and constant growling. I figure he’s had enough of my being home all the time. It cuts into his sleep time. A part time job will allow me to be with people and Snoop to catch up on some much needed rest.

Another reason for finding a job is that the extra income will come in handy. I’m not going to make a fortune, but what money I bring in will level the financial playing field to what it was before calling it quits. The cash can pay a couple of small bills, and some of it might be squirreled away for a weekend trip to some place that Amy might like to go.

Working somewhere also gives a bit more structure to life. Whether or not they admit it, people feel better with a daily routine. It sets the parameters for the things that come in life. Work takes a hunk of time, and we divvy up the rest for other things to which we are obligated or for recreational activities that we enjoy. For some, work dictates bed time. Having to put feet on the floor at 5:00 a.m. causes folks to turn in before Monday Night Football is over.

A part time job prevents some terrible things. One is boredom. I’m not close to being bored, but when cold weather arrives and I’m stuck inside, the days will grow much too long. Being a captive in the house leads to a miserable attitude that frustrates me and tortures Amy. Reporting to work stops folks from taking themselves too seriously. Excessive amounts of time bring on worries over things that aren’t. We imagine the problems and let them grow until they’ve consumed and smothered us in a gray funk.

I know I will need to find a part time job before long. Doing so will keep everyone in my life happy. I don’t want to work more than a couple of days each week, just enough to get me out of the house and to make some extra “jingle.” To put more time than that in a job would defeat the purpose of retirement. Worse than that, too many hours at work will greatly affect my writing time. That’s one of the reasons I felt good about leaving teaching so that I could spend more time at the keyboard.

I’ll see how things go and begin to look for that part time employment. I’d rather not work some in a business where former students and their parents will see me and ask, “What are you doing here?”

Buying a Car

The news says that the economy is sluggish at best. Skyrocketing fuel prices lead to more expensive clothing, appliances, and food. Gloom and doom set the mood for the country. With that outlook, it’d seem that car dealers would fall over each other in an effort to sell a vehicle. Instead, some of these businesses employ practices that have stained the industry’s reputation for years.

My old Pathfinder still chugs along, but it’s not dependable enough to take on a journey to Chattanooga or Nashville, cities where my kids live. The 2009 models were coming out, and I figured the time would be a good one to get a good deal. So, I visited dealerships in the area. What transpired is what only can be called nightmarish.

One dealer advertised a couple of used cars in the morning newspaper ads. One was a subcompact; the other a compact. The stated prices piqued my interest enough that I made the trip to the lot. I’d written down the stock numbers and registration numbers of the cars to make sure I got the right one. By 10:00 a.m. I arrived and waited for the first salesman to swoop in. He did in about a second and a half. I showed him the stock number of the first vehicle and told him I’d like to see it. He looked at his list, and then back at me.

“That ones not here anymore,” he said.
Stunned, I looked at him and said,
“How can that be? It was just advertised in the morning’s paper.”

Then, this guy has the gall to look at me with a straight face and reply,
“We sold it at 8:30 a.m.”

I glared at him in angry disbelief. However, I another car appealed to me, so I asked him about it. The salesman said he wasn’t familiar with that one. He suggested we go to the showroom so that he could look at the log sheet that listed all the cars. I followed him, all the while resigned to the belief that the day was going to be a bad one.

This salesman didn’t do anything to contradict my feelings after he came back to me in a couple of minutes.
“Hey, you’re not going to believe it, but we sold that car at 8:30 too. Man, we had people lined up and waiting to get to these babies!”
By then my mood had gone from excited to ticked off. I looked at the salesman and said,
“Don’t blow smoke up my tail. I was born at night, but not last night. You guys lied. It looks like a bait and switch move!”

As I turned on my heels to leave the showroom, I told the salesman loud enough for everyone in the place to hear that I would never buy a car from his business—EVER!
A salesman at another dealership told me he was giving me special deals because we had a mutual friend. I thanked him and told him the vehicle I wanted, and he gave me a figure. The close of business was near, so I contacted him the following morning and asked that he give me an “out-the-door” price for the car. He promised to call me back in “a few minutes” with the number. Two hours later I called again but could only leave a message since the salesman wasn’t available. Another two hours passed and I called the third time. The guy forgot what I wanted and faithfully promised to call me in a couple of minutes with the total. At 7:00 p.m. I called the last time.

Now remember, this guy is going to give me a special deal. What he gave me was the shaft. From the time I’d called him that morning until that evening, the price of the car had gone UP $2000.00. He offered some dribble about having to pay someone to make sure the new vehicle had all the fluids, that it was washed, blah, blah, blah.

I was furious by that time. I asked him why he wanted to treat me as he had done and called him out about the continuing hike in price. Then I told him to take the car and drive it up a dark orifice and that I’d go somewhere else to buy any future vehicles.

I bought a car, but it wasn’t from a dealership in town. I hate to buy cars anyway, and when guys jerk my chain as these salesmen did, I vow that my next car will be purchased from some little old lady who will at least tell the truth.