If you read my post about Downsizing, cows, a one-sided shootout, and The Wedding, you’d know that I moved and am renovating a smaller abused house on a much smaller piece of property. In fact, I’m sitting at my desk in that house writing this post without the HVAC system on, and that’s with the outside temperature at 93 degrees Fahrenheit but a stuffy 81 degrees inside. That’s something I couldn’t have done before I had all the rattling, single pane aluminum framed windows replaced with double paned Melgaard windows, installed two solar powered attic fans on the roof and had the insulation blown into the attic. The idea of paying a huge monthly electric bill for a cooler, more comfortable temperature causes me to lose sleep at night, and to experience what the heat would have been like before the new windows and much needed attic insulation, all I have to do is walk to the garage where it is a blistering inferno that sucks your eyeballs dry and shrivels them.
The wedding is over now and the newlyweds are off on their honeymoon, but the former abused house in serious need of renovation is still there with lots of work left to do.
In fact, after our daughter’s wedding, I worked the next day installing an aromatic cedar floor for the closet in the master bedroom—the bedroom I’m not sleeping in at night, because it is the room currently under renovation. First, I removed the carpet and padding and then, after cleaning the filthy subfloor—it’s amazing what lurks under a carpet—I installed solid tongue and groove hardwood floor.
The challenge has been buying and transporting material to the house for the renovation work, because my car was a 2007 Toyota Camry Hybrid, and it was not designed to carry doors, lots of lumber and bags full of heavy concrete, etc.
Enter the 2016 Toyota RAV 4 that I leased about a week ago and have already used for a much needed replacement door for the house under renovation. The RAV 4 comes with a huge cargo area and a roof rack that can support up to 165 pounds of cargo.
I didn’t start out looking at the RAV 4. I looked at a Subaru Outback first and then a Honda CRV. I was leaning toward the Honda when my Camry’s next service came due, and I took it to the nearest Toyota dealer in Antioch. While there I asked a gaggle of salesman if anyone would help me link my new mobile phone to the Camry, and David Meany stepped forward and patiently helped me link my phone to the Camry’s Bluetooth. Does anyone know why that system is called a Bluetooth—weird?
Anyway, I drove home and continued my search for a replacement car, and when it came time to finally do the deed, I returned to the Toyota dealer in Antioch and asked for David, because he helped with the Bluetooth. To make a long story short, instead of buying the RAV 4, I leased it for three years, because the payments were about half, and I used my paid-for Camry as the down payment.
I do not listen to the radio when I’m driving. I listen to book tapes and this RAV 4 did not come with a built in CD player. The Camry had one that held six disks. David said I could transfer my audio books from CD to a USB thumb drive and play off the thumb drive to listen to the books. Okay. After the deal was done, I drove the Hot Lava colored RAV home and sat down to see how you transfer a CD audio book to a USB thumb drive. It didn’t go well and out of frustration I called the Toyota dealer and said I wanted to turn the car in and lease one that had a CD player.
David offered to drive to my house after he was off work at the Toyota dealership and show me step-by-step on my desktop how to transfer an audio file from a CD to a thumb drive. He arrived about 6 PM and was still there after 8 PM as he took me through the steps.
Now I drive around in the new RAV listening to book tapes using a thumb drive. Tell me, has customer service changed that much in the last 11 years since I bought that Camry Hybrid back in 2006. I bought my first car when I was 15 and that was more than 55 years ago. Since that 1954 used Buick Century with the bench seats in 1960, I’ve bought and leased a lot of cars and probably driven more than a million miles and never has a salesman offered that level of assistance before.
Is David Meany unique or has the business of selling cars changed that much? David Meany is also the bassist with The Midnight Brothers. Watch the video and tell me if you can spot David, who sold me the RAV 4. Hint, he’s dressed in black.
The Midnight Brothers performing at the 2015 Walnut Creek Festival
Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).
Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy followed by his award winning memoir Crazy is Normal.
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