,Yes, my time at Dagenham Motors is coming to an end and I feel the urge to pay tribute to some of my dear colleagues in the only way I know how - in blogosphere.
Ten months have passed and I have enjoyed every single minute...umm... almost... apart from the very very long hours, the weekend work, the morning meetings...no no, seriously, it has been a pleasure.
OK, now for the good-byes.
A fond farewell to...*drum roll*...Jay Maisuria!
Full name: Jay "Low" Maisuria
Jay "Low" is a quiet, softly-spoken (hence the "Low" tag - not because he's got a cute butt, which he hasn't) guy who ironically comes from a background of loudspeaker sales. Jay keeps himself to himself and never gives much away. He recently got married and most of us didn't even know it (no invites, anyway). I thought he was out to lunch but he was on his honeymoon! Jay doesn't rush anything, hence the assumption.
Rumour has it that Jay "Low" once tried to describe to police a fight he witnessed between a snail and a tortoise and he said he couldn't remember it because 'it all happened so fast'!
On another occasion, according to local folklore, Jay was asked what school his son went to and he replied "no disrespect but I'd rather keep that to myself". It could be that Jay "Low" is worried about kidnappings in the North West London area - all too common apparently...or is that in Mexico?..or Brazil?.. no, not Brazil, that's where his Bravox speakers come from.
Brav who? I hear you ask? Precisely. I have no idea either.
And then on to...*drum roll*...Graham Anderson!
Full name: Graham "Sandwich" Anderson
Graham is our resident "walking menu". When Graham is not eating he is planning his next meal and always starts the day by asking everyone if they want toast from the cafe. Graham is also leaving after 6 years of loyal service and I hear through the grapevine that the cafe next door is up for sale; the proprietor knows his business won't survive the sudden loss of revenue. Raspberry ripple sales will decrease also (cheap joke, not PC, but who cares...its my blog). Graham has a big appetite...but an even bigger heart. Thanks Graham.
And then onto...*drum roll*... Sumit Kanwar!
Full name: Sumit "It" Kanwar
Conceited, big-headed, egotistical, chauvinistic and grumpy are adjectives some people may attribute to Sumit, but not me! I don't think he's grumpy.
Sumit is the top salesman and makes sure everyone knows it; and for the benefit of new customers who don't know it there are countless reminders such as awards and diplomas plastered around his work area.
Sumit is undoubtedly a top performer (at work, not in bed, according to rumour) and consistently sells more cars than anyone else in the country (his humble words, not mine).
Oh yes, I nearly forgot, Sumit wears a Rolex watch and is always ready to prove its authenticity by showing the Argos receipt.
Good luck Sumit, keep it up (selling...that is)
And also...*drum roll*...Alvin Castillo
Full name: Alvin "Bruv" Castillo
A recent addition to the team, "Bruv" has stormed into the showroom like a whirlwind; full of the kind of enthusiasm and urgency only seen in salesmen of perishable-goods about to go past their sell-by date. Alvin is indefatigable in his quest for deals and stores up future sales like his chipmunks store nuts for the winter. He is hungry enough to succeed, but not hungry enough to snatch the 'best customer of R Cafe' title from Graham.
Good luck Alvin.
Moving on to...*drum roll*...Leon Franklin!
Full name: Leon "God Boy" Franklin
Leon, aka "ten to two", is the freshman of the team. A recent arrival who is slotting in nicely due in part to his amiability and sense of humour. Leon left Mercedes for Ford; a decision akin to Ashley Cole leaving his beautiful wife Cheryl for that dodgy looking bimbo whose name escapes me. I'm sure he has his reasons and one day may even tell us, if we don't read it in the papers first.
Leon spends a fortune on sweets - yes, fruitellas, sherbets, jellies - and has been the kind of God-Send to the local shop as Graham is to the cafe next door. I'd go as far as saying these two are responsible for half of the total consumption of food and confectionery in Alperton.
And finally...*drum roll*...Peter Lawson!
Full name: Peter "Griffin" Lawson
Peter is the manager who manages to entertain and punish us in equal measure. Always has something to say and is always right - even when he's wrong! Our very own "family guy", Peter has a great sense of humour (supports Doncaster Rovers for a start) and tells the odd joke after laying into us in the morning meetings.
Peter has been on a diet ever since I started. I think its the "mañana" or "see-food" diet. I know he's on a diet because he always asks for brown bread toast and rubs his ample mid rift as if checking progress. Brown bread toast smothered in butter and marmalade must be some kind of low calorie food in his diet.
Peter has been my mentor, tutor and friend, and for that I am eternally grateful. Thanks Peter
Last but not least, hugs to;
Ivan, Dawn,Carol, Karen, Paris, Gwenne, Val, Dot, Vlad, the Service crew, the Parts crew, the Bodyshop crew, the Business Centre crew, Valeters and car-park Michael.
It has been a pleasure working with you all.