My books can be purchased as e-books for only $1.99. If interested, just click here: Books.
Match Play is a golf/suspense novel. Dust of Autumn is a bloody one set in upstate New York. Prairie View is set in South Dakota, with a final scene atop Rattlesnake Butte. Life in the Arbor is a children's book about Rollie Rabbit and his friends (on about a fourth grade level). The Black Widow involves an elaborate extortion scheme. Doggy-Dog World is my memoir. And ES3 is a description of my method for examining English sentence structure.
In case anyone is interested in any of my past posts, an archive list can be found at the bottom of this page.
My newest novel, Happy Valley, can be found here.

Sunday, September 15

Sands of Time II

Sands of time again, this time at the Kia dealership. I’d made a 9:30 appointment but got there just after 9:00 because I had to make sure my car would start, and if not, I’d need time for the road assistance guys to arrive to jump the car. It started . . . just barely. So I got to Kia just under thirty minutes early. But they took my car in and I went into the customer waiting area for coffee and a complimentary Danish. I joined some eight or ten others waiting for whatever service their cars required. I had a book with me (I go nowhere without a book), Lee Child’s newest Reacher, so I read and tuned out the overhead television and the endless cell phone conversations and the chats between service people and customers. I read for nearly an hour. An hour to check my car’s electrical system? That seemed unnecessarily long. But then, maybe my car was queued up behind other cars, waiting for someone to look at it. I sighed and put away my Reacher, and sat and watched the circus around me. I was surprised by the number of employees who didn’t seem to have anything to do—men and women in different colored shirts, red and white and blue, the colors of which seemed to have something to do with their Kia duties. There were three men in blue sitting behind a raised desk near the front, all intent on computer screens. A red shirt approached, taking orders for a MacDonald’s run he was making. Three or four women in white sat at desks, not doing much of anything I could see. Five salesmen lounged out in front of the building, waiting to spring on anyone who approached with a buyer’s gleam in the eye. I wondered how they determined which of them got the potential buyer. Whoever was quickest or did they have a first to last order they observed? I thought what an awful job that would be, selling new and used automobiles at an auto dealership, your income determined mainly by how many cars you could sell . . . or not sell. It reminded me of that summer in my youth when four of us traveled around the country, visiting various military bases, trying to sell encyclopedia sets to unwilling and unwitting military personnel. Oh, what an awful summer that was. All I learned was that I never ever wanted to be in sales of any kind—not encyclopedias, not women’s lingerie, not MacDonald’s big or little macs, and certainly not cars. After thirty minutes of people-watching, red-shirted Paula, my service connection, found me to inform me that it was a dead battery, which had been replaced. I went to the back window and saw my car parked in the customer pick up area. Good. It was finished. But another thirty minutes passed before I was called to the counter to sign completion papers. It took at least half an hour to get the paperwork from the service area to the checkout area? That’s unacceptable snail delivery. The counter woman, wearing a white shirt, told me my bill was $228. I said, what, that much for a battery that was under warranty? She said she’d go back to service and check with Paula. So I stood there and waited for her return, ten minutes later. It seems that Paula had punched the wrong number into a computer system that still had some bugs and that there was no charge for any of the service I’d received. I got my keys from Paula, climbed into my Optima, and drove away at 11:30, two and a half hours after my arrival, two and a half hours of my life I’ll never get back. I held up my hand and waved my moving finger in farewell to Kia.
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