My weekend: sundries

Friday I had another informational interview about a possible job that would have me working for the same company as

– the work sounded like fun and they sounded interested in continuing forward to another interview, so I’m cautiously hopeful. 

Last week K came home and said “The Saturn has the check brakes light lit and there’s this nasty burning smell that wasn’t there before.”  This would be the second time in a month it’s been in the shop; it’s been averaging every couple months in the shop all year, at a few hundred bucks every time.  So when he asked me if I thought it was safe to drive it to the shop or better to call a towtruck, I suggested that we carpool that day, he take a taxi to the airport the next (he had an overnight to Ann Arbor), and then we spend the weekend buying a new car.

So Friday after my interview I sat down with the phone and an internet connection; called several area Toyota dealers and said “By this time tomorrow my husband will be driving a new Prius.  What I want you to do is tell me what cars you have on the lot, what their feature packages are, and what is the rock-bottom price you’re willing to sell it to me for. When my husband gets home tonight, I’m going to give him this list from all the dealers in town, we’ll pick the best deal, and we’ll go buy it tonight or tomorrow morning.  If yours is the best price, it’ll be the easiest sale you ever made.  If it isn’t, well, you didn’t waste too much time on me, just giving me the list”.

Several salesguys refused to take me seriously, simply saying that if I wanted to see their selection or talk prices, I had to come in person to their dealership.  One gave me a list of available cars, but just listed the MSRP price – although I’d already told him I had a better deal than that on my list.  One gave me a halfway-decent offer but it was on a black car – which gets hot, here in Houston.

One of the sales guys said “You know, I’m not allowed to determine the pricing.  Let me talk to my manager and we’ll call you back.”  The callback was from the manager, who directed me to a web page that explained how much of the MSRP is profit to the dealer – and then he offered me a deal that basically handed me back 75% of that profit.  And threw in a couple extra things that cost him labor but not cash. 

So that’s who we bought the car from, Friday night.  Total time on phone – maybe an hour (spread out over a couple hours, with gaps between calls).  Total time in dealership, filling out paperwork – an hour or less.  End deal, pretty good I think. 

Then I ordered myself a new camera (Canon digital Elph – I like having a little camera around to take shots of the cats and I ought to return the one I’ve borrowed) which should be arriving tomorrow. 

Saturday I slept in, worked out, acquired insurance for K’s new car, then lazed around until evening, then went to have dinner with friends.  There was wine and italian food and cards and conversation and much, much laughter.  Made me very aware of how lucky I am to have such good friends.

Today I worked out, had brunch with a friend, did all my clinic paperwork for the week, went and bought silly toys for my cats (I’m slowly redecorating my entire home in cat furniture…), worked a little on a handicraft project, and caught up a bit on email.

Have finally figured out ideas for K for Christmas.  I’m gonna make him a wallet of classical CDs for his car – should be able to pack a lot on a CD since the car stereo will read MP3.  And if I can find a nice one I’ll replace his ratty old bathrobe.  Any suggestions where I should go for that?  He also needs long-sleeve, button-up shirts, preferably not stripes or plaid or blatantly Hawaiian.  Any suggestions there?

Still need to write a holiday letter and put up associated holiday website.  Let me know if you want a paper snailmail card or just the weblink – probably will be new-years cards at this point.  Still need to do my annual charitable contributions both for myself and for Xmas gifts for my family.  Still need to set up the annual donation to my brother’s student loans.  Still need to find actual tangible gifts for the nephews and nieces on both sides, and for a few of my good friends here in town.  Still need to… aagh. 

So yeah, it was a good weekend.  Hope everyone has a good week.

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