Even the most mundane task can become joyful when it is done with the right attitude!
I headed out last week to buy a VW van for MotoSoul, which sounds like a boring, thankless task right? So, how do I put joy into that?? Let’s start by the way I get to the appointment – riding a Triumph Scrambler through the countryside in Germany for an hour is not a bad way to start. Some fun back roads, some weather in the air to keep things interesting, add a little time pressure, which increases the throttle just a little more, and voila – JOY!
I arrive to find a very interesting business location. It is a beautiful home, perched on a bluff, which has a garage as big as the house built on the back. The garage has a loft office inside with full glass looking down over the garage, 2 professional lifts and several mechanics working there. HMMM…
A youngish man approaches me and immediately says his English is not great but we can see if this works. He proceeds to show me the car I came to see, along with about 8 others that are all different variations of the same Make and Model of the one I am interested in. He then shows me his personal car and tells me he is in love with the VW T4. He thinks it is the best vehicle ever made, and so he has based his business on doing repairs and restorations of only these cars. The passion he has about the mechanics, the features, and the beauty of what most people see as a utilitarian vehicle clearly shines through. His enthusiasm quickly stirs mine, and before you know it, he has me pretty excited too.
We spend so much time wandering around his yard, that his next client shows up. He quickly has an associate take the next client and says, let’s go for a test ride. He throws me the keys, hops into the passenger seat, and says “we will pick up my kids at kindergarten on the way.” I like this man, he has his priorities in order, and is simply just who he is! He jumps out to grab his kids at the school while I wait in the parking lot and what do I see? Two young boys, one dressed in full pirate regalia bouncing toward the van.
They all hop in, and after quick introductions, off we go. I ask them to strap themselves in, and he says no need, we are just driving around town. Not only does this man have no concern about me driving his kids, he trusts me enough to not have them secured in back, not something I endorse, but it’s his call. They are both so curious about the American woman who rode a motorbike there that they cannot top asking questions. We manage to converse the entire time in some strange combination of English and German and before I know it, we are back at the garage. I show the boys my motorcycle and ask if they want a ride. They jump back in fear, saying no thank you!!
As we inspect the undercarriage of the car and talk about the new things he has replaced, the kids come back, along with a third older boy. They are dressed in their soccer shin guards, knee pads (maybe skateboarding?), and bicycle helmets. They ask if I can give them a motorbike ride now that they are prepared! By now, another client has arrived at the train station so he has to leave again. He offers for his wife to make me a cup of coffee and I offer to give his kids motorbike rides until he returns.
The kids take turns, one at a time doing laps on the back of the Triumph. They get more and more brave, and before you know it, I have two at a time on the back and we are laughing and hollering as their Mom takes pictures of our craziness. They are interested in all of my equipment, the bike, and most of all, the music in my helmet. The picture above shows the sweet little boy and his surprise at hearing the music when I put the helmet on him for the first time.
I finally make it up to the office, we take about 5 minutes to review the paperwork, discuss the work to be done, when it will be ready, how it will be delivered, and that is it. There is no “deposit.” No “negotiating a better price.” No tricky sales tactics. Simply just a fair price, an honest family, and the memory of a fantastic afternoon. I suit back up for the ride home and discover this wonderful little back road, paved in gold… The road less traveled, is indeed the only way to go!