We spent most of yesterday doing our research and becoming familiar with road worthy certificates, cooling off periods, consumer affair policies and Vic Roads policies. We have been doing a crash course in car buyers rights and dealers rights and the benefit of an independent pre-purchase check of a second hand car.
We have a plan for Clover, so that is great, we know our rights and responsibilities and we still have some hope the dealer with be reasonable, but also know how to respond if he is not. Dealer beware!
I feel good this morning, but at 5pm last night I wasn't on top of things yet and then Erik told us of his early morning adventure at the bus stop...
You know, you think you've clued your kids in on stranger danger and the perils of hopping into cars with people they don't know, and then the kid comes home and tell us the following.
He caught the first bus to school with Ari and I as I was taking Ari to kinder, then we caught the second bus together but Ari and I got of several stops before Erik. He got off at the large shopping centre and sat to wait the 15 minutes for his third bus. It seems the third bus didn't park in the usual bay and by the time Erik got to where it had parked, it was pulling out. So he went back to the original stop and waited for the next bus, which didn't turn up - dontcha just love public transport? At this point, a kid from year eight and his older sister were being picked up by their father and they offered Erik a lift to the school.
On the face of it, this was a very nice gesture - they obviously recognised his uniform and realised he had also been stranded by the unreliable bus service - but...
And this is a big BUT!
He couldn't even tell me the first name of the year eight student.
He should have politely declined the invite and just been late for school - we would have backed him up.
It's not that I believe the father of the year eight student was serial killer, but rather, that had the car been side swiped by a truck or something we would have had no clue that Erik had even gotten into a car, let alone who it belonged to or where they had gone. He didn't even have his mobile on him - because it had not charged when plugged in overnight (there is something wrong with it again, that's the second time since Christmas).
He felt safe because he 'sort of' recognised the year eight kid, though he had never spoken to him.
Obviously, Erik received a refresher course in, 'What the hell were you thinking???' Complete with me showing him all the missing kids profiles on Facebook, and reading him a news article about how many children go missing in Australia every year, and recounting the Daniel Morcombe story (Daniel was the same age as my son is now, so it was particularly relevant to him in that sense). It's amazing how parent accumulate all this information in the recesses of their mind and it all comes flooding forth when they are faced with their worst nightmare, isn't it?
Then I sent him away to think about what we'd just discussed and I called Lukas and Bryn into the study and refreshed them on stranger danger and what our expectations are of them in different situations, and who is a 'safe' person to get in the car with and who isn't. I didn't show them the Facebook links or the other links because I didn't want to scare them, just refresh them - it's really hard to know where to draw the line though...
And then I cried.
What a shocker. I actually thought Erik knew better. My bad!
In other news, this morning, around 10am, there was a knock on the door and two council workers said they wanted to inspect our back yard in regard to the dispute the owners were having with the council over getting a building permit for the townhouses they want to build.
I was still in bed when they arrived, and Dave was on the phone to Vic Roads and Consumer Affairs, so I had to hurriedly put on a nightie and answer the door. I probably looked a sight.
I gave these guys what for!
'Listen! You two are the second lot of people to come to the door unannounced and it's not on. You're supposed to give us 24 hours written notice!'
'Oh, we don't represent the owners, we're from the council.'
'That's irrelevant! This is a matter concerning the owners and you should contact our real estate agent before just rocking up. People work shift work in this household and you can't just turn up whenever it suits you!'
I said I'd let them in the side gate.
By now Dave was off the phone and was ready to rip these guys heads off (we've been kind of stressed, right? Stress just brings out the angry beast in him). I told him I'd already given them the sharp end of my tongue, but he went out and drove the point home nonetheless. The councillors told him they didn't realise it was a rental property, he responded, 'You have a file on this property? You would have listed in that file the real estate agents name, so don't give me that *rubbish!'
So, I'm stifling a laugh, because of course this is all happening to us in the span of less than a week, that is exactly how things seem to work around here.
I have a friend who used to tell me that if themes seem to constantly repeat themselves in your life, if you always seem to have the same kinds of issues over and over, it's God's or the Universe's life lesson for you...
I can't figure out if our lesson is to learn to roll with the punches or to learn that no one is trustworthy and people can be completely unscrupulous and GET AWAY WITH IT! Or if we're learning to better appreciate when things actually do go our way - a lesson we're probably completely failing at because really it doesn't feel like things ever really go our way, so if they are, we're really not seeing it.
* He actually used a string of other words which I've chosen not to repeat here to protect the innocent.