HELLO FROM EAU CLAIRE, WISCONSIN - merchants slogan: "We don't have it but we can get it for you."

Saturday, April 7, 2012


A couple of weeks ago I went around to all the local automobile dealerships, applying to be a "courtesy" driver - you know - the guy who gives rides to people whose car is being worked on at the local garage.

I struck out all morning and my last chance was Markquart Motors out in Hallie, exit 92 off Highway 53N. After filling out an application for employment I was offered a job not as a courtesy driver but as what I call a "car wrangler" - that is, when I get a call from Markquart, I am assigned a car to drive to a dealership that wants to swap that vehicle for one on their lot that Markquart is interested in.

The following tuesday, I got my first call to duty! I was assigned a Toyota Scion iQ (pictured). My fellow driver, Don Luedtke, was assigned a full size Toyota.

After affixing a dealers plate to the rear of the vehicle and getting briefed, I followed Don, as he has been on the job for quite some time and knew exactly where we had to go to deliver the vehicles.

On an ordinary day, driving the Scion iQ would have been a lot of fun - it is not much larger than a "Smart" car. However, once we got out on Interstate 94, I became aware of how windy it was - with cross gusts up to 45 mph - and it was a bit like riding a bucking bronco!

I made it, white-knuckled, in to the dealership, went through the necessary paperwork, switched the plate over to my return vehicle, a top of the line Camry with all the bells and whistles.

Needless to say, the trip back was much easier with the heavier vehicle.

I have had two more days of work since then and I am really enjoying my new-found "day gig". as an adult, if you think about it, I made my living driving so I feel quite comfortable at this job.

The other really cool aspect about it is that I am getting a chance to drive a lot of the brand new models of Toyotas on the market.

Good to be employed!


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