Why is buying a car so ridiculously stressful? Shouldn’t it be fun and exciting? I have been lucky to be sheltered from the stereotypical experience growing up with family in the auto industry. No haggle, pick it out, done. Easy peasey. Until now.
I started my nail-biting search with Craigslist thinking this would be a good option to find a used vehicle since there are only 3 dealerships in Wasilla. I just couldn’t compete though. People here are able to pay CA$H on the spot. I have a sinking suspicion that Abby and I are the abnormal with regular 8am-5pm jobs. The majority of people I talk to are business owners, fishers, guides, charter operators, and a lot of the work is seasonal. Many don’t work during part or all of the winter, vacationing in Hawaii or the Caribbean Islands. It’s the work to live mindset in full blast.
One of my customers was teasing me about fishing season coming up. He’s taking us up in his plane on Thursday and told me he’d be at the Palmer airport about 4pm so we could leave around 4:30pm. I told him we’d love to go and could be there about 5:20pm after we close the store. He started laughing, saying “Oh yeah, that. You know you’ll have to change that one fishing season comes.” I asked “Oh, you mean we’ll need to extend hours because there’s more daylight?” Now I really had him rolling, “No, no! People will be inviting you guys to go out and you’ll need to close up early; like half days.” I told him I did’t think the headquarter office would go for that. But, I’ve heard this before. If it’s a pretty day out, shops just close and everyone goes to play.
Back to the car search though…
I get that Alaskans have no problem driving a beater of a Dodge Neon and getting stuck is a normal occurence. But, this Texas girl can count the number of times driving in the snow on one hand. My deal breakers: 4WD or AWD and an SUV so I have clearance. I need to feel safe.
Abby convinced me to just drive by the dealerships even though I have looked online. So, I bit the bullet and accepted. We see some potential at one and dared to talk to a salesman. At first we think because he’s new, he’s just goofy and doesn’t know. Remember my deal breakers? Don’t show me a front-wheel drive Ford Focus! He’s in shock when I show him I have everything lined up: pre-approval loan, down payment, all paperwork needed. Dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s.
They have 12 Nissan Rogues sitting there on their lot and he stated we could get one at what I thought was a fair price, but I want to research. And talk to my dad. This has already been such a painful process and he has talked me through many tearful conversations. I am not afraid to admit I am a daddy’s girl and will always go to someone who knows more than me on a subject for advice.
So I called the next day with my offer and preference. It now turned into a total disaster. He made promises he couldn’t keep and I think his sales manager hates him. He wanted to split hairs with me; literally stated he wanted me to spend more of my $$$ so he could make the deal and get on the board! He’s an idiot and I hung up on him. Let those Rogues sit there. I doubt they can sell all 12 in a month. He then had the nerve to call Abby and discussed it with her!!! He was riding my last nerve…
He finally got his manager to agree to what he originally offered me, but had to put in one last dig, “The offer is only good for tonight.” I told him to bring me the paperwork and have the vehicle ready by the time I got off work. I’m a lady, so I resisted the urge to sucker punch him when he showed up.
But, after much smoke coming out of my ears and swollen tear ducts, TAAAADAAAA! Here’s my baby:
My pretty black Rogue, all shiny!
And of course I get her stuck in a snow bank on the 1st full day of ownership! Over thinking backing up out of Abby and Danyel’s horseshoe drive way. I did it totally find the night before with it was dark out and with some apple pie in me…
Already stuck. Note to self: need shovel, brush, ice scraper and blanket for Rogue. You can totally make fun of me since you can see there is lat least a foot of clearance on the other side. You sink so quick in the soft powder!
So, once again it was Danyel and Abby to the rescue!
Abby laughing at me and helping dig out Rogue. She's a pro (and a superhero)!
Auto-start and rubber mats are installed. Now I just have to find that darn block heater! But, spring is coming and it’s in the 40s, so I have some time to figure that out. I think I’ll just call her Rogue too. The perfect play on words from Palin’s comments on going rogue in Alaska. Rogue was also my favorite X-Men character too (I was closet comic book junkie as a kid – shoosh! Our secret!)
Big thanks to my poppy, Abby and Danyel for helping me keep my sanity during this process. I was very close to needing a rubber room…