Sunday, April 25, 2010

MTB: not just a buisness

The business is getting to the point that people expect it to act like, you know, a business. Every now and then -- and more often than usual -- customers say things like "I called your office," or "Where are you based out of." They also ask if I have an assistant from time to time. Pretty soon, I may indeed have to get an actual office, assistant and the other accouterments of a "real" business. But for now, it's just me and my wife, supported by numerous buddies and their buddies.

What I'm trying to say is that there's a very bright, clear line from what I do for customers and our material well-being. There are virtually no layers or cushions between the service we provide and whether we eat or pay rent. This is a huge reason why I strive to keep getting five-star reviews on Yelp.com. It literally pays our bills.

What's this got to do with anything? Well, today we bought a car, and I can't help but be astonished and extremely grateful for this common event. I won't get into it too deeply, but the short story is that the last few years have been hellish. My wife and I have called it "Crisis Mode" during this time. It started when we realized that we'd bought too much house when we first got married, which coincided with the news of our first child. The numbers didn't lie -- we had been stupid, and unless something changed, we were going to go under.

And then I was laid off from my day job. And that was just one of many setbacks...

MTB was nowhere near ready to support our family, but through generous applications of literal blood, sweat and tears, we eventually dug ourselves out, and "Crisis Mode" gave way to something more normal. Everybody struggles, and at some point during the last few months, we realized that we were, in fact, going to make it.

At least until the next giant roadblock/hurdle/kick in the teeth. Lol.

Buying a car is huge. HUGE. And it's not a luxury expense. With Baby #2 on the way (due June 7th), we absolutely needed a new car. For one thing, the old car was falling apart. I had to refill the power steering fluid reservoir more often than changing the oil. The lights had long since given up any form of reliability. I think we replaced the axel on at least one wheel at least twice. And then there was the space -- two adults and one child filled the little Nissan to capacity. Throw in another child and a bigger stroller and, well, it just wasn't happening.

Until today, I couldn't even think about it, and I was worried that "Grace" was going to be stranded with little Joe somewhere. And now my pickup is showing signs of age...

Being able to buy a new (used, actually) car means that, for a little while, at least, we get a reprieve from one gigantic stress. If all else fails, at least we'll have reliable transportation for another 100,000 miles or so.

This is thanks to the many people who have used MTB over the last year, and who have told others about us. So, thank you. Thank you so much.

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