When my late beloved husband Mario realized that his position was no longer needed in Phoenix, AZ. (after he honestly told them what all the doctor visits were about), he decided that looking for another job was not an option (the Parkinson's was becoming more apparent), so, instead he started earnestly looking for a business that would provide for us in the present and hopefully, secure our future. He searched and searched and then researched various businesses and discussed them with me. Finally, he felt he had the answer, so we plunged our savings into it and went forward, knowing he would be at the helm of this venture while I continued with my part time job, still being his support. He is the one who took the three day preparatory classes and then immersed himself in the business. He did ask if I wanted to go to the classes, but since it was such a male dominated field I decided against it...that was one WRONG decision on my part!!!
areas of business
of which I knew anything about managing!!!!!!!!
We became the proud (confused on my part) owners (although it was really just a lease) of a:
are you ready for this??????......
are you sure?........
Union 76 gas station
(these gas prices are from 4 1/2 yrs ago when it skyrocketed in Phoenix)
Learning to order and manage gasoline is a real challenge!
With a convenience store that sold soft drinks galore, bottled water, candy, gum, cigarettes, ice cream, coffee, snack foods, first aid, etc....you know, all those necessary life sustaining items.
Here's part of the crew...Randy, my Service manager in the bay, me, Tina, my head cashier and our lead mechanic whose name eludes me at the moment but you don't know him so I can even make up a name, so let's call him Helmut...
This is a peek inside of the convenience store with Tina waiting on a customer and me peeking through the window from the bays...
Here is a look from the back of the station and into the repair bays where cars would drive up for servicing. Can you see that partial view of the storage shed to the far left? There was quite an adventure for me one night there:
We communicated with the mechanics through this window so that we could give and get keys to vehicles as well as the work orders that were printed up after work was done. I would work evenings and all day on Fridays (as well as being on call 24/7, as in when the alarm would go off):
We also filled propane tanks and vehicles that ran on propane. Here's a picture of Randy and me in front of the station where the repair bays are (I won't tell you who's on the right or left...you'll just have to guess on this one!)
Here's Randy trying to figure what's cooking (or not cooking) under this hood. He too was a master mechanic and could help out when needed:
Some of you got surprisingly close on this guessing game, so i am going to put everyone's name who guessed (every third guess will get your name in again) and have Kelly or Michael pick it out of a bowl (TinkaBelle's swimming pool is way too little and we don't have any of those stick thingies like Eileen, unless she lets me come over and borrow them??)
Now let's bring on the sunshine along with the Son shine in our lives:
1. Pull up to Jiffy Lube when the mileage reaches 3,000 since the last oil change.
2. Drink a cup of coffee.
3. 15 minutes later, write a check for $20.00 and leave with a properly maintained vehicle.
1. Go to Pep Boys and write a check for $50.00 for oil, filter, oil lift (AKA kitty litter), hand cleaner and a scented tree.
2. Discover that the used oil container is full. Instead of taking back to Pep Boys to recycle, dump in hole in back yard.
3. Open a beer and drink it.
4. Jack car up. Spend 30 minutes looking for jack stands.
5. Find jack stands under kid's pedal car.
6. In frustration, open another beer and drink it.
7. Place drain pan under engine.
8. Look for 9/16 box end wrench.
9. Give up and use crescent wrench.
10. Unscrew drain plug.
11. Drop drain plug in pan of hot oil; get hot oil on you in process.
12. Clean up.
13. Have another beer while oil is draining.
14. Look for oil filter wrench.
15. Give up; poke oil filter with Phillips screwdriver and twist it off.
17. Buddy shows up; finish case with him. Finish oil change tomorrow.
18. Next day, drag pan full of old oil out from underneath car.
19. Throw oil lift (AKA kitty litter) on oil spilled during step 18.
20. Beer. No, drank it all yesterday.
21. Walk to 7-11; buy beer.
22. Install new oil filter making sure to apply thin coat of clean oil to gasket first.
23. Dump first quart of fresh oil into engine.
24. Remember drain plug from step 11.
25. Hurry to find drain plug in drain pan.
26. Hurry to replace drain plug before the whole quart of fresh oil drains onto floor.
27. Slip with wrench and bang knuckles on frame.
28. Bang head on floor board in reaction.
29. Begin cussing fit.
30. Throw wrench.
31. Cuss for additional 10 minutes because wrench hit Miss December (1999) in the left boob.
32. Clean up; apply Band-Aid to knuckle.
35. Dump in additional 4 quarts of oil.
37. Lower car from jack stands.
38. Accidentally crush one of the jack stands
39. Move car back to apply more oil lift (AKA kitty litter) to fresh oil spilled during step 23.
40. Drive car
What They REALLY Mean In Classified Ads
If The Ad Reads . . . It Really Means
Rough condition: Too bad to lie about
Parts car: Beyond repair
Clean: Homeless dude at 5th and Main did the windows
Immaculate: Recently washed
Contours: Recently waxed
Good transportation: It's ugly
Engine quiet: Uses 90-weight oil
Needs minor overhaul: Needs engine
Needs major overhaul: Phone the junkyard
Burns no oil: It all leaks out
Rebuilt engine: Cleaned the spark plugs
Engine blueprinted: I don't know what it means either
Excellent gas mileage: It's slow
Low miles: The odometer was turned back
One owner: Can't give it away
Sure to appreciate: That's why I'm selling it
Drive it away: I live on a hill
Drive it anywhere: Within 10 miles
Desirable classic: No one wants it
Rare classic: No one wanted it even when it was new.
Stored 20 years: In a lake
Ran when stored: Won't start
Never apart: Bolts too rounded to loosen
Solid as a rock: Rusted solid
. .or best offer: I'm guessing here
Restored, with 0 miles: Won't start
Faster than a 'vette: A Chevette
Restored, with 2 miles: Won't stay running
Older restoration: First owner washed it
Good investment: Can't be worth much less
No time to restore it: Can't obtain parts
90% complete: You do the other 90%
95% complete: Other 5% doesn't exist
One owner: Hertz
Great enthusiasts car: I'm looking for a sucker
Good tires: And that's all
House forces sale: Neighbors complaining about car
Trades considered: I'm desperate
Other interests conflict: Spouse's ultimatum: "Either that #!!@&## thing goes or I go!