Grateful Heart Monday

Welcome to this week’s Grateful Heart Monday, where I reflect on a single piece of gratitude to start my week off on a positive note, which for today is for two local automobile places, Tireman (on Alexis Road) and Jim White Toyota.

I’ve always been wary of any place that deals with either automobile sales or repairs. So many dealerships and repair shops have swindled far too many in this world, including me. Hence the reason why I tend to get quite wary when I walk into one of these types of establishments. Thankfully though, I’ve discovered two very reputable places here in Toledo, Ohio that I am grateful for and feel I can honestly stand by and support 100 percent.

The first is Tireman, a place that does vehicular repairs. While there are a number of them in this area, I have come to really appreciate the one nearest to my home, that being the one on Alexis Road. I have been to them plenty of times since moving to this area and have never found them to be dishonest with either of the cars my partner Chris and I have brought them to be serviced. I’ve always found their prices to be consistently lower in cost, even as their quality remained higher in standard and never did I feel like they were trying to sell me a repair I knew I didn’t need. Over the years since first finding them, I came to know two of its managers, Randy (who’s since moved on to a new position a few years ago now) and Matt (who’s the current one). Their friendliness, willingness to answer all my questions, and expert customer service has always been something pretty spectacular, given how often I’ve felt brushed off and unimportant at other rival repair shops. But far more important is the trust they always placed in me. In fact, on more than one occasion, when I wasn’t confident that my repair job was truly fixed, they trusted me enough to drive my car away without paying and to come back only after I was confident the problem was fixed. That says something given how many repair shops seem to care about nothing more than the money they get for the job itself. I’ve never found that to be the case at this Tireman location, as there, I’ve always felt valued and appreciated as a customer and haven’t had to witness my personal bank account being depleted in the process.

Similarly, I have much gratitude for a local dealership, that being Jim White Toyota. Recently, Chris and I began looking for a new vehicle after learning that his existing 2006 Kia Sportage was literally on its last legs with a completely rusted chassis that’s about to separate from the body of the car itself. Because of the incredible longevity of my current 2007 Toyota Camry Hybrid, Chris became interested in looking at what Toyota had to offer in the SUV line of cars and thus we went to the closest dealer to our home, that being Jim White Toyota. Normally, I don’t like car dealers because I feel hounded from the moment I walk into their doors, where the only thing that seems to matter is the sale of their next vehicle. I never once experienced this at Jim White over the past bunch of months when this car shopping process ultimately began. Upon walking into their doors for the very first time in this car search for Chris, we met a saleswoman named Cara who was so upbeat and cheerful, it actually felt contagious, something I’ve needed far more of lately. Attentive to our every need, even on down to offering us beverages and snacks any time we stopped in, Cara has been such a positive blessing to our car shopping experience. I never once have felt hugely stressed when working with her, unlike how I’ve felt in almost all of my prior car shopping experiences. From her finding the exact car we wanted, to getting it at the cost we could afford, to making sure she answered every one of my endless questions, I honestly have a tremendous amount of appreciation for this woman. But even beyond that, I also have immense gratitude for her general manager, Vinnie, who worked diligently, and put up with my incessant demands, to ensure Chris and I were not only completely satisfied, but also helped us to reach a more than fair selling point on just about every facet of the vehicle Chris and I ended up with, that being a RAV 4 XLE.

So, as I continue to go to the Alexis Tireman location for my aging Camry Hybrid, while my partner begins a new relationship with Jim White Toyota, I am filled with much gratitude for both, knowing that Chris and I have places we can take our vehicles here in Toledo where we’re not only truly appreciated and valued as customers, but also where I feel we’re treated like family…

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson