The last year has been a struggle starting a new business, but as things have gotten busier, it’s self supportive and I found myself needing a new work rig. I gave it some time and one day, it just happened and the problem was solved. Now I had my old pick-up and no real reason to own four rigs, so I decided to sell it. It’s just a 1989 Ford F-250 with a Diesel engine, but she’s a good old rig and I took plenty of time writing the ad to make sure it was accurate and noting anything I could think of, including all the work I’d done to it.
A little time went by and I got a call from a young guy who wanted to see it, so we set up a time for later that day. I got home from work and shortly after he pulled in and we shook hands. Immediately I could tell he was trying to seem like a bit of a know-it-all and tough guy, but I didn’t let it bother me and proceeded to show him the old Ford. I held out the key and stated that I hadn’t started it in about two days, which was the truth, so he could see how it started and ran. I suppose my first clue should have been that he didn’t know about the glow plugs, but I have many years as a training instructor under my belt, so I explained it to him and told him when to crank it. Well, he tapped the key and let go. I don’t know how many of you have ever cranked a 20+ year old Diesel engine, but it didn’t start like that, it takes a little more turning over. So, I told him to just do it again. Apparently he didn’t think he needed to ask if he didn’t know something so he turned the key back, not realizing there is a release lever on the column. So at that point, he just twisted it back harder and I heard a pop.
He tried cycling the ignition again and now it wouldn’t work. “Hmm, seems like something is wrong with it.” He said casually. I traded places with him and sure enough, now you couldn’t turn the key far enough to crank the motor. I got agitated but kept my head as I started working on figuring it out. “Wellll, if you get it running, let me know and maybe I’ll come back out.” He said nonchalantly as he headed for his pick-up. He high tailed it, and after it was all said and done, I can start and drive my old rig, but to fix it, the easiest thing to do is replace the steering column. WHAT?? Yes, that’s what I said too. I found one a buddy has, but that’s over an hour away. I messaged this kid again offering that if he paid $40 for fuel so I could get the part, we’d call it square. His answer? “It’s not my problem your rig broke. Find another buyer.” And nothing since.
Now I know there may be people out there who would accuse someone of breaking things just for a free fix, but the fact of the matter is I take care of my stuff and make a living by my reputation. Lying to sell an old pick-up sure wouldn’t help that along in a small community. But how someone thinks that breaking something and then playing tough guy and not taking responsibility is alright is in for a rude awakening. It’s true what they say, what goes around, comes around. I for one, sure hope that when it does he remembers it and actually learns a lesson from it. What I take from this is that stuff is only stuff, it works, it breaks, that’s just life. It’s the human element that’ll really mess you over, and while I got the short end of the stick this time, it’s fixable, and life goes on. I’m not going to search high and low for the guy and pistol whip $40 out of him. That wouldn’t really solve anything. It’s just another day, there will be more- some good, some bad, but always worth waking up for.