Easy steps to a better America

Easy steps to a better America:

1) Vote against ALL incumbents in Washington. We, the people, are the power brokers. Not the lobbyists. Not the big donors. Not the corporations. Us. As in U.S. However, we are a lazy bunch. We don’t want to spend our free time studying every issue. That’s why we have elected representatives. We don’t elect rulers. We elect servants. When, as a class, our servants fail to serve, we should dismiss them. This has clearly become the case in Washington. We hold the leash but seldom do we jerk it. It’s high time we did.

That being said, I do not side with those who want to change the lifetime appointments of justices to the Supreme Court. I believe the Court has to remain free of influence, including influence of public opinion. As we have seen, the general public is emotional and tends to make hasty decisions without proper deliberation (Iraq, racial integration, etc). The Court has to step back, to take a wider view of history and the Constitution. Often it has to make decisions that are counter to the opinions of the general public, but are aligned with our Constitution.

As for elected officials, the Founders were either incredibly lucky or incredibly wise in the term lengths of political offices. Those with shorter terms (members of the House) are more influenced by public sentiment and seem to be more emotional or hasty when making decisions. Those with longer terms (members of the Senate) seem more deliberate and cautious, as they are not up for reelection, and therefore answerable to public opinion, as often. The President is right in the middle, and with the power of the veto, a balance between the hasty and deliberate. The exception to this is the President serving a second term. In effect, the last term is a lame duck term lasting four years. Unable to run again, the lame duck President has the luxury of being more deliberate, knowing there is no reelection with which to be concerned. He/she may want to assure their successor is from the same political party, in order to preserve the legacy they leave behind, but that does not carry the same urgency as wanting to remain President. Those in the legislature, who become lame ducks, only have that fate/luxury for a few weeks. Recently, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas argued that the Senate should not confirm Presidential appointments during the lame duck period as these Senators are no longer affirmed in their office, since they failed to be reelected or have decided to retire at the end of their current term. I disagree wholeheartedly. Senators in that position are able to vote their conscience, without fear of losing their office. We desperately need people who vote their conscience. In fact, I believe it is time to enact term limits for legislators.

I also feel that elected officials, as our servants, should not have benefits unavailable to the rest of us. No special health benefits. They can have whatever programs exist for the general population. No lifetime pensions. How many of you have a pension? If elected officials had to look forward to depending on Social Security, like most Americans, perhaps they’d be better stewards of it. I’m not completely against pensions, as some of us have them. They help insulate our representatives from financial influence. That being said, no one should be guaranteed a lifetime of leisure after a relatively short time on the job. The Founders envisioned citizen legislators that would return to private life after their time in the Capitol was over, but they did not codify this in the Constitution. It’s time we amended it to reflect the reality of our political system.

2) Fire your favorite pundits. At both ends of the political spectrum, radio, television and other media have found that facts don’t sell nearly as well as conflict. Those of us who listen to political discourse almost always choose to listen to those who reinforce our views, rather than challenge our views. Should we just have yes men/women informing us, or should we try to understand both sides of an issue, before taking a position? It’s much easier (and more comfortable) to be told our natural inclinations are correct. The pundits have divided us to the point we can’t speak civilly to those with differing opinions. Don’t believe me? Check out any Facebook posting with a political position. The comments after the posting will be full of vile name-calling. We would not speak to another person like that, if he/she were standing in front of us, so why do we do so when we’re anonymously typing away in the privacy of our homes? I remember a time when news organizations tried to present both sides of a debate. That was a public service. Today’s news organizations no longer do this. We control their funding by controlling their advertising revenue. Editorials are fine, as long as they’re labeled as such and are not the entire program. Again, time to jerk the leash.

3) Trust your fellow citizens. I truly believe the vast majority of us are well-intentioned, kind-hearted people. Just look at how America jumps to aid victims of natural disasters. How many times have you donated to those suffering around the world? Most of us are middle-of-the-road, fiscally conservative and socially progressive.

We have to trust that the vast majority of people on welfare are not cheats, defrauding the system. I myself have collected unemployment compensation, while trying to find work. Sometime, especially during tough economic conditions, that can take a very long time. As it has already been shown in Florida, the vast majority of those on unemployment do not have illicit drugs in their bodies. So why are we throwing away more money for drug testing people on unemployment than we’re spending on those who are defrauding the system? It’s OUR money! Demand that it be spent wisely.

Most of us want secure borders for our country, but not to the point that people fleeing violence or repressive governments are kept out at gunpoint. America’s strength comes from our society being a melting pot. We take the best people have to offer and build a brighter future. We won World War II, in part because brilliant physicists fled Nazi Germany. We landed men on the moon, in large part, by leveraging the experience of those who created V2 rockets that rained down on London. Will our culture change due to the influx of outsiders? Of course! It always has been so. Immigrant waves from Ireland, Italy, China, Vietnam, Mexico and many other countries have changed our culture and language. Do you know the words pizza, spaghetti, taco, huevos, crepes, bon apetit, adios, amigo, slainte, merci, etc? Are those additions to our language in any way threatening?

We all want clean air, potable water, a viable job market, economic growth. These things are not exclusive. At one time we knew that. Conservatives like Nixon championed these causes that the media would now have us believe are the realms of one party/ideology exclusively.

This trust in your fellow citizens is a prerequisite of item #1 above.

4) Accept that might does not make right. We cannot solve every international disagreement militarily, even though we may have the power to do so. By forcing our views on the world, we are growing the next generation of enemies. Are there truly evil foes that can only be defeated by military force? Yes, and our history shows we will shed our blood in just causes. However, our history also shows that the American public will tire and eventually resist conflicts that are unjust or untenable. We need to get better at discerning between the two, when the drums of war begin beating, rather than having to admit that we were wrong, after killing thousands (and losing thousands of our younger generation), in the process.

5) Read, understand and protect the Constitution of the United States. Accept that certain principles were included in it for our own good, even if you don’t like them. Separation of church and state, for instance, is a great idea. It was included in the Constitution because of the repeated civil wars in England. Those wars were fought over different ideologies of a single religion, namely Christianity, but were actually fought to grab political power (as most wars are). Want your child to be able to pray as part of a school function? Accept that if this is allowed, the prayers of every other religion would also have to be allowed, including some you may find reprehensible. (see how the Satanic Church is being allowed to hand out booklets of their religious beliefs, just because a school district allowed Christians to distribute Bibles on campus) Yes, America was primarily founded by Christians (and some atheist/agnostics that might surprise you). It was also founded by slave owners, and those that believed women should not work outside the home, and that women, or those who don’t own real estate, should not vote. At least they were smart enough to realize no religion should be established by the government. We should not deify the founders of our country. We should understand them, warts and all. Sometimes, understanding a person’s shortcomings helps us to marvel at their successes.

In summary, we have a wonderful country that is under attack from within. We alone can protect it and ensure it continues as a beacon of hope, well into the future. In fact, it’s our duty to do so.

You’re invited to a discussion about climate science

You are cordially invited to attend the Humanists of Fort Worth meeting on Wednesday, Oct 8th, at 7:00 p.m. The location is The Westside Unitarian Universalist Church at 901 Page Avenue, Fort Worth, Texas 76110

Here’s the program to be presented:

Are humans causing global climate change? What is the evidence? What will happen to the planet? Why do people disagree about it? What can be done about it?

A lot of people in Texas either (1) deny that the planet is warming , often claiming that it is cooling, or (2) accept that the planet is warming but deny that humans are causing it.

At the October meeting, we are privileged to have Dr. Michael Slattery explain the evidence for anthropogenic climate change. He has spoken on this topic to a wide range of audiences including coal and chemical industry groups. He enjoys speaking to audiences who are skeptical, and he will entertain questions anyone has, during his presentation.

Professor Slattery is the Chair of the Department of Environmental Science and Director of the Institute for Environmental Studies at TCU. He obtained his D.Phil from Oxford in 1994. Among numerous other publications, he is the author of Contemporary Environmental Issues which is now in its third edition.

This will be a fascinating and informative presentation by a renowned expert.

Feel free to forward this to your friends and colleagues who might be interested in attending, but please RSVP to Sam Baker at sambaker@hotmail.com

National Drive Electric Week 2014 DFW: A look back

NDEW in the Service BayI was exhausted after National Drive Electric Week. I had worked “bell-to-bell” at my dealership that week, meaning that I was there every hour we were open, except for leaving for meals and picking up my new iPhone early Friday morning. I had wondered how an entire week dedicated to EV awareness would turn out. Here’s the bottom line:

  • More people came to the dealership or called, specifically looking for EV information.
  • We did not sell a single Chevy Volt during the week, although several customers came close to pulling the trigger.

Was the week a complete flop? In my opinion, it was not because it offered lessons from which we can learn:

Classic Sign & NDEWLesson 1: Organizers have got to start planning earlier. Much earlier. As we kicked around ideas in the DFW area (and we had some great ones) we discovered that the really exciting things we wanted to do could not be set up in time. Specifically, having the event in a park or large stadium parking lot, required coordinating with city government to reserve a spot and police help with directing traffic and setting up a ride & drive area. Getting live music meant finding and networking with local musicians who would donate their talents to the cause. Getting vendors to attend (i.e. electricity providers, solar panel companies, food vendors, etc) would require much earlier scheduling to avoid conflicts with their calendars.

Lesson 2: A better understanding of each group’s motivations and goals is needed. Everyone involved wanted to see increased adoption of electric vehicles. However, EV enthusiasts want to also see their group’s membership (and prominence) increased. Dealerships want to see EV sales and/or dealership traffic increased (without much effort or cost). These things don’t have to be exclusive of one another, but there has to be a frank discussion of goals and there has to be a leader to coordinate efforts to everyone’s benefit.

Lesson 3: The chronological order of events is important. Having the big “meet up” at the end of the week means dealerships don’t benefit from the focus on EVs, until after NDEW has ended. Saturdays are very big sales days at car dealerships and they are reluctant to do anything that might interfere with sales on that day. In my opinion, having National Drive Electric Week begin on a Monday was a major mistake. That makes Sunday, the only day where motivated dealership personnel could attend an event (and bring cars for the public to try), the final day of the celebration with no way to leverage that momentum during NDEW.

Lesson 4: Due to tight profit margins, a long educational sale cycle for EVs and conflicting events (like truck month), dealership participation is muted or nonexistent. I heard from other EV enthusiasts, working for car dealerships, complain that there was no buy-in from upper management. Consequently there was no advertising or promotion of the event included in the weekly advertising cycle of area dealerships. Although there are pockets of cooperation within dealerships (like an excellent effort put forth by the Service Managers at Classic Chevrolet to make a huge Service bay available for EVers), there is largely indifference from other departments and sales personnel.

Lesson 5: As a friend of mine, Charlie Hodges, who runs a public relations firm said, those setting up the event need “to engage a media relations expert with a record and knowledge to attract news coverage. No one knew of these events cause they got -0- media attention.” There are professional who do this sort of thing. Some of them may be EV enthusiasts that, like the rest of us, would donate their time and effort to making NDEW a success. Those of us pushing the movement forward have to understand that there are others who have skills we do not. We have to involve them in the early planning so the event benefits from their area of expertise.

Lesson 6: We need to learn from the success of others. Several NDEW events across the country we far more successful than ours in the Dallas / Fort Worth area. We need to reach out to the organizers of those successful events and learn what they have already learned. Specifically, the event in Austin seems to have been a huge success, even though both last year and this year it rained on their major event day. They had live music, food vendors and others. Time for a pow-wow!

Now that the lessons have been enumerated, let’s move on to what I observed.

Volt DisplayThe salesperson who sits next to me had a great suggestion. He said I should attach a Volt charger to a display we have, touting a free year of charging. That display would be positioned next to a Volt, in the showroom, with the charge cord inserted into the Volt. What a GREAT idea! Why had this not occurred to me before? (have I mentioned I’m not a promotions expert?) This one change at our dealership started more Volt conversations than any other display I’ve put up in the year I’ve been there! Sheer brilliance! Many thanks to my friend, Steve Thomas, for this bit of advice.

Scotty's Tesla RoadsterEV newbies definitely are as enthusiastic as I was, when it was all new to me. Even better, EV oldies (like me) are still very enthusiastic about their vehicles, and look forward to every opportunity to share what they’re learned with anyone interested (and even some who aren’t…). Also, I found that some of the owners can make your dream come true. For example, I made a new friend on Saturday named Scotty. He joined a small caravan of EVs that came to our dealership to speak with anyone interested. I told Scotty I had started getting interested in EVs by reading about the Tesla Roadster before production started and had lusted over them ever since. He was kind enough to offer me a test drive in the EV of my dreams. He even put it in performance mode so I could get the full experience! Zero to sixty in 3.9 seconds. WHAT A RUSH THAT WAS! Thank you, Scotty.

P.S. More photos will be posted soon. For now, I’ve got to stop blogging and go to work!

It’s National Drive Electric Week!

National Drive Electric WeekIt’s that time again! This week is National Drive Electric Week. What does that mean to you? Well, that depends on where you are in the electric Vehicle (EV) world:

  • If you’re curious about what all this electric vehicle hubbub is about, you have a chance to meet owners of EVs to get it straight from the horse’s mouth. No salesperson trying to get you to buy something, but real honest-to-goodness EV owners who want to share their experience with you. Their experience can help you select the right EV for your needs. (yes, just like old-timer gas-powered cars, not every EV is right for everybody)
  • If you’ve made the leap to EVs recently and want to learn more about EVs and the things associated with them, like:
    • charging stations
    • electric utility discounts
    • ways to increase electric range
    • renewable energy sources to power your EV (like solar or wind power) or
    • cool ways to customize your EV
  • If you’ve been driving an EV for a while, this is your chance to move this revolution forward. You can go to a public evert and share your knowledge with those thinking about stepping into the future of transportation. It’s also a chance for you to meet like-minded people (at least in regards to EVs…) and meet new friends. It’s a chance for you to make a difference in your world. EV owners come from the entire political/social spectrum. There are conservatives who want to free our country of its dependence on foreign oil and military entanglements. There are environmentalists who want to stop pollution and curb global climate change. The are budget-conscious people who are looking for a less expensive mode of transportation. There are gadget fans who want to play with all the cool toys. And yes, there are performance enthusiasts who love the torque and acceleration of electric motors.

No matter where you are in your electric vehicle journey, there’s fun to be had out there. So check the National Drive Electric Week website for links to events in your area and have a blast!

P.S. If you’ve found My Electric Vehicle Journey to be helpful in your journey, please let others know about it so they can benefit as well. Thanks!Plug-in Day Event
#MEVJ #NDEW #EV

August 2014 Sales Numbers

The news is mixed this month, with some plug-in sales increasing, some decreasing and some about the same. Let’s dive in.

Sales, compared to the previous month, looked like this:

  • Chevy Volt: up 24% (2,511 vs. 2,020)
  • Nissan Leaf: up 6% (3,186 vs. 3,019)
  • Plug-in Toyota Prius: DOWN 40% (818 vs. 1,371)
  • Tesla Model S: down (estimate) 14% (1,200 vs. 1,400)
  • Cadillac ELR: up 4% (196 vs. 188)*
  • BMW i3: UP 282% (1,025 vs. 363)**
  • Ford Fusion Energi: very slightly down 0.3% (1,222 vs. 1,226)
  • Ford C-Max Energi: up 26% (1,050 vs. 831)
  • Chevy Corvette Stingray: down 12% (2,679 vs. 3,060)***

*The ELR’s adoption curve reminds me of the I-MiEV. Great car (the ELR, not the I-MiEV), but price may kill it…

** Charles & I recently test drove the i3 for a couple days and shot a video review. Stay tuned…

*** The switch from the 2014 Stingray to the 2015 model year occurred mid-month in August, which may explain the drop.

The increase in Volt sales, combined with the major drop in Plug-in Prius sales has placed the Volt back ahead of the Prius (year-to-date). However, this year, the big news seems to be the year-to-date dominance of the Nissan Leaf. In the U.S. this year, the Nissan Leaf has outsold the Chevy Volt by 44%! (18,941 Leafs vs. 13,146 Volts) A friend of mine who was looking into leasing a Volt, ended up leasing a Leaf. He told me that the leasing incentives were so good that it was like getting a free car, when compared to the gasoline-powered vehicle he’d owned before. In his opinion, Nissan is “betting the company” on the Leaf. At the current pace, total sales dominance by the Leaf is still about ten months away. Long before then, the new Volt design will be out. The new Volt design, the first major change for the Volt, since its inception in December 2010, is set to be shown to the world at the North American Auto Show in Detroit. I plan on being there to cover it, so stay tuned…

August 2014 Sales NumbersSales, compared to the same month a year ago, looked like this:

  • Chevy Volt: down 25% (2,511 vs. 3,351) This is the same decline as last month year-over-year.
  • Nissan Leaf: up 32% (3,186 vs. 2,420)
  • Plug-in Toyota Prius: DOWN 54% (818 vs. 1,791)
  • Tesla Model S: down 33% (1,200 est. vs. 1,791 actual)
  • Cadillac ELR: (did not exist a year ago)
  • BMW i3: (did not exist a year ago)
  • Ford Fusion Energi: up 104% (1,222 vs. 600)
  • Ford C-Max Energi: up 69% (1,050 vs. 621)
  • Chevy Corvette Stingray: way up 309% (2,679 vs. 655)

Gas prices continue to decline with the end of the Summer season but do not seem to be impacting EV sales.

National Drive Electric Week, September 15-21, 2014

Drive ElectricIt’s that time of year again. National Plug-in Day has morphed into National Drive Electric Week. This year, the dates are September 15th through the 21st. The week is set up for those curious about plug-in vehicles to meet owners of plug-in vehicles to get answers to their questions without the pressure sometimes associated with a trip to a dealership. Many people have commented in forums that, when they went to the dealership to discuss plug-ins, they knew more than the salesperson! Here’s a chance for those of us “in the know” can share that information with those “dying to know!”

Together, we can move this revolution down the road a bit. You may find more curiosity about your EV when you’re out and about that week. Be ready to discuss your EV experience with those seeking information. If you’re especially industrious, consider printing your story, including results pro and con, to hand out to others, when they approach you. We don’t want to spread propaganda, but instead we want to help people understand if a plug-in vehicle is right for them. For some people an EV will be a godsend, for others it just doesn’t meet their needs.

Plug-in Day EventThe area in which you live may have events scheduled at parks or dealers. Drop in and meet other early adopters, like yourself, who’ve taken the plunge. I’ve met lots of EV owners and they are a fun bunch. Paraphrasing Will Rogers, “I never yet met an EVer I didn’t like.” They’re all interesting, a bit daredevil, forward-looking individuals. You may be surprised to find people with whom you have a LOT in common but that may look different from your usual social group. Take my advice: Get to know them. You’ll end up with a great, new friend!

If you’re in the Dallas / Fort Worth area, there are week-long events planned at various dealers. The dealers who have signed up for this have people on-site that truly understand the value of their brand of plug-in and may even know the competition pretty well. I have volunteered to work from open to close every day that week (except Sunday, as we’re closed then) to be there to discuss the Chevy Volt, as well as other EVs, with anyone wanting to learn more. There will be drawings to win really cool stuff at the participating dealers. Check for both local sites and the national site (linked above) to find out when and where the events in your area will occur!

I followed this advice last year and ended up in a whole new, wonderful career! If you are in the DFW area, come on by Classic Chevrolet, in the DFW suburb of Grapevine, and say hi! (I’m located in the main showroom).

Go get ‘em, gang!!!!

The Dream

It’s just before 6:00AM, and this morning I woke up, during a dream. Like most people, waking from a dream can leave me with vivid memories of it, for a short while… then it fades away. I’ll admit it seems strange writing about a dream in “My Electric Vehicle Journey,” but this one has so much to do with the journey that I think it fits, and writing about it will help me move it into my long-term memory. I need to remember this.

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you may want to skip past my history…

First, a little background: Leasing a plug-in vehicle changed the course of my life. Actually, it goes back farther than that. A car accident changed the course of my life. I was just like everyone else that had never owned a plug-in vehicle. I had not given EVs much thought and considered them something interesting that would come along as a viable option in another decade or so. When the Tesla Roadster hit the streets, with a price tag of over $100,000, I lusted over it but knew I’d never own one. It cemented in my mind the impression that affordable electric cars were far enough in the future that I didn’t need to spend much time thinking (or learning) about them.

Back in the mid-70’s, I started my career in outfield manufacturing, working the night shift in a factory and attending college during the day. I started as a drill press operator and progressed to CNC machine operator, CNC programmer and eventually CAD/CAM specialist. The oilfield economy collapsed in the early 1980’s bringing with it, layoffs, high unemployment, a real estate bubble burst (in Houston anyway). I moved to the Dallas / Fort Worth area to find work in a new manufacturing industry and have lived there ever since. Within a few years of moving to DFW, I came to the attention of a recruiter in the CAD/CAM software sales industry and transitioned from using CAD/CAM software to selling it, as the technical person on a sales team. I absolutely LOVED that time. I was highly valued for my real-world experience, using the software in industry and my ability to speak in front of an audience. I won a prestigious company award. My income tripled in a relatively short time. I traveled all over the U.S. plying my new trade. After years of working on a manufacturing shop floor, wearing safety shoes, jeans and t-shirts, smelling of cutting fluids and hearing the whine of CNC machines all day, I was now wearing suits, flying around the country and helping companies working on advanced designs and manufacturing processes. I was in heaven! I was a jet-setter! Everyone I worked with said I should be in sales, not just the technical person on the sales team. I demurred, preferring to learn the intricacies of software rather than the intricacies of the forms of persuasion.

Then 9/11 happened.

The economy went into a recession. The company I was working for, at the time, laid off all their field engineers but one. The sole remaining engineer was working with our largest client at the time (believe it or not, a large U.S. automobile manufacturer!). Once again, I was laid off and wondering where my life was headed next. (and getting a little scared…)

As it turned out, one of my clients had always wanted me to work for his company and found out I was unemployed. He asked me to come to his factory for a tour. It was a new industry for me, aerospace manufacturing, and I would be going back into being an end-user of CAD/CAM software (albeit as a manager) instead of helping sell it. I spent five years there, working very long hours and earning very high compensation but was not happy.

An opportunity to work for Apple as a Business Manager presented itself and I jumped at it. I had never owned a Windows-based computer although I had used UNIX- and Windows-based machines my entire career. As a Business Manager, I was tasked with building a team in my Apple Store that specialized in selling to businesses. The pay was less than half what I had been making, but it was an opportunity to work for a company I idolized. I was there about 2 1/2 years, when the car accident happened.

My car accident happened at a time when I had no funds set aside for my next vehicle. I thought I’d be driving it for another two to three years before getting my next vehicle. After an exhaustive search, I ended up with my current (no pun intended) vehicle, the Chevy Volt.

Much to the annoyance of my friends, I couldn’t stop talking about it, so I started this blog. I had always considered myself an environmentalist. When we hiked in the National Parks, if we came upon a discarded can or plastic bag, we’d pack it back out. We had been a customer of Green Mountain Energy for twelve years, so that we could use wind-generated electricity.

However, owning the Volt made me much more aware of environmental issues. Global climate change became a real, urgent threat to everyone I cared about. I wanted to make a difference, so I ended up working in sales at Green Mountain Energy. I was a complete flop! Almost no one I spoke with cared about the environment. Global climate change was seen as a liberal conspiracy. Even if I could save people money, they felt it was just too much of a hassle to change.

Then National Plug-in Day came along and my life took another major turn. I went to work in car sales at the number one Chevrolet dealership in the U.S. as an EVangelist (Volt sales specialist). It’s been challenging, exciting, grueling and enlightening. I had (and still have) much to learn, but that’s one of the things I need, in my career, to keep me happy. I’ve been fortunate to work with some of the nicest, funniest and helpful people I have ever met. In my eleventh month, the month that just ended, I earned more in a single month than I have ever made before. Right now I am exhausted, happy and eagerly looking forward to the future of my career.

For those skipping my history, you’ll pick up here…

The very night that completes the best month I’ve ever experienced in my career, I have this dream:

I was dressed in a suit, walking toward a very nice office building. The courtyard in front of the building had gardens and statuary. There were wide steps leading up to a glass entrance. I was there for a job interview. In fact, my manager and a manager from the truck sales department of my dealership had set up the interview for me.

The receptionist welcomed me and knew of my appointment. A very professionally dressed woman emerged from a nearby elevator and welcomed me. She was the person who would be leading the team that was interviewing me. We entered the elevator and proceeded to the interview.

The office space was very expansive and we sat down with a small group and began the formal interview. Everyone seemed happy to meet me and the interview process seemed more like a nice group conversation. It seemed to be a foregone conclusion that the position would be offered to me and that I would accept it.

As we discussed my duties (I was going to be back in the design software field, as an end-user) and my schedule, I detailed my schedule at the dealership. Apparently, I saw the new job as an augmentation to my job at the dealership but the interviewers saw it as a replacement for my job in auto sales. Although the offices were very plush and I loved the feel of the suit on me and looked forward to dressing as I had earlier in my career, I did not want this job to replace my career at the dealership.

I asked about compensation but never seemed to get a straight answer. As the interview concluded, the woman who had led me to the interview was leading me back to the elevator. She entered a large tiled opening, and as I followed, I realized we were heading through the women’s restroom and showers (I’m not making this stuff up!). It was a large facility, sort of like a restroom in a large airport, where a person walks in through an entrance, proceeds through the restroom, and leaves through a different exit. I could hear women’s voices, echoing off the tiled walls ahead. In a panic, I did an about-face and left through the opening through which I had entered.

Then I woke up.

Upon awakening, I realized fully, how much I like what I am doing now. I have customers that have become friends, but I’ve always had that happen wherever I have been in customer-facing roles. I have coworkers and managers (mostly) who are generous in their help, knowledge and encouragement. I don’t always get to sell Volts, but selling a Corvette Stingray can be fun too. I help people find or build the perfect vehicle for their needs/circumstances. Sometimes I am able to help a person out of a bad spot when they thought there was no way possible. I love what I do and I think my dreaming self wanted to make sure my waking self knew it as well.