I managed to get my shit together this morning and was sat at my laptop ready for the first call of the day at eight o'clock sharp.
The call was to take on a project from a colleague who is leaving the company and within 30 minutes I had a reasonable high level view of what was required. There are multiple, complex technical solutions that sit at the heart of this project and I will need to understand a whole lot more before I am done with it.
This relatively early morning start seemed to be just what I needed and I approached the day in a much more productive fashion than yesterday. As the morning rolled on I heard the 'phone ring and 30% answer it …
… From the half heard, half conversation it became apparent that it was Hogan Bros of Redditch. 30% had called them earlier about a Defender 110 Station Wagon they had for sale and within minutes I was summoned to see when I could take an hour out of my day to pop over to see it. After checking my calendar it was agreed that I would turn up at two o'clock to check out the car.
The excitement of this obviously the cause of a fair degree of distraction, but I did manage to get my head down and do some work before I eventually clambered in to the Range Rover and headed down the road.
As I drove through Astwood Bank the heavens opened and there was a tremendous hail storm. I realised that I had no coat and considered the forthcoming experience of looking around a car in a storm. Fortunately the storm subsided and ceased as I approached the dealership.
The Defender was pretty much as described; a 2009 model with 16,000 miles on the clock. It had a couple of minor blemishes on the paintwork, but these are nothing that Chips Away cannot sort out. There is a seat lever missing, but these are a few quid to purchase and there is some corrosion on the alloy, rear view mirror arm. It drove really well and was much more car like than the TD5 I sold last year. The Ford Puma engine was remarkably civilised.
I decided I could certainly live with it and the Salesman offered a part exchange price on the Range Rover that was better than that offered on a brand new car at the weekend … still not great … but five hundred quid better than before. We shook hands on the deal and I left to inform 30%, perform an HPI check and then transfer a deposit to the Seller's account.
Within ten minutes of being home the 'phone rang … It was the Salesman. He informed me that he no longer wanted to proceed with the deal as he didn't want to be stranded with a Range Rover that might be difficult to sell. It is fair to say that I felt somewhat deflated. I kept my cool, avoided using any expletives and ended the call.
It is fair to say that 30% was not impressed either and, as I wandered back to my desk in a state of dejection, I heard her on the 'phone again. This time she spoke to one of the partners, who she politely informed of her displeasure as they had backed out after shaking hands on a deal. The partner said he would look in to his and call back …
… I am guessing that there was some serious arse chewing that happened in the next ten minutes as, good to his word, he called back and told us we could proceed with the deal. He also told us far more about the car including the warranty replacement of the gearbox at 6,000 miles and the fact that they had been servicing it for the past few years.
I am now convinced that all second-had car salesmen are arseholes and got that deposit transferred straight away.
The rest of the day trickled by and, as the afternoon faded in to evening, 30% and i took a walk up to the playing field to throw a ball with the dogs. I am delighted about the new car but nervous of the seller in view of today's reneging experience.