A couple of days ago the phone rang and I was too busy to notice that Val’s mood had changed completely after she had hung up. ‘What is wrong?’ I asked after I realised that my girl was moping and looking sort of depressed at the other side of our little three by three room. ‘The mechanic from the garage has just called’, she said ‘he does not want to continue on our bus and wants us to come over as soon as possible to explain why.’
It felt like a meteor had just hit me. Why would he say that? Two weeks ago he was fully committed to get our bus ready for inspection and now this? I saw our dream crumble before my eyes. It can’t be true, is what my first thought was, no way this was happening. I had to keep an open mind and hope we could convince him to continue to work. So, the next day we drove up to the garage to ask what was going on.
When we arrived, I immediately looked at what he had done so far and I was very impressed with the quality of his work. He had done some great welding and had reinforced a lot of beams; he even had screwed on some good-looking iron plates on a part of the bottom of the bus. He certainly must have worked quite a lot on it already and in everything he had done, you could see his craftsmanship.
A few minutes later he walked up towards us and started to explain he didn’t want to continue working on the bus, because it was simply taking up too much of his time, which made him neglect his regular customers. Not only that, if he would continue at this rate, it would cost us a fortune to get it all done. He had already put in 60 hours, at his normal rate this would cost us 3000 euro and he hadn’t even finished a quarter of the job. He is also leaving for four weeks and has not a lot of time when he returns.
Can we just drop our dream? Do we really have to? There must be a solution to this? What is the best way to move forward? So many questions popped up in my head, it was hard to get my thoughts straight. We have spent so much time and money in this project and so many people seem to believe in our dream, is it really time to end it?
My mind kept rambling on, so I tried to get it on track and think logically; we have come this far, from buying a bus in the US, shipping it, importing it, converting it and finally finding this guy, we are at the final stages of getting this on the road, there must be a way to convince him. Besides, this mechanic is really professional and a super-friendly human being who definitely has a good heart, which is a rare quality in a car mechanic.
‘Maybe we need to give you more time’ I said, ‘so you can work on your regular clients and work on the bus whenever there is time left. You could also tell us when you’ll work on the bus, so I can find a couple of people to come and help. I have met some amazing people thanks to this project, who are very skilled and probably willing to help, if we can schedule it properly.’
‘All right’ he said, ‘I’ll think about the options during the upcoming weekend, please call me back on Monday.’
‘Yes!!’ I thought to myself, ‘Maybe we can come up with a solution after all, we are so close, there MUST be a way.’ So, fingers crossed for Monday and if any of you want to help, please let us know, we’ll be eternally grateful!