Planet Stahl

All Stahl, All the Time


April Fools day… 1996

It may be hard to believe… But I know what I was doing twenty years ago in 1996 on April Fools day.

Its was my first day at Fort’s.

I started on Monday April 1st after interviewing with Jeff Nau a few weeks before.  He hired me…  Begrudgingly, because I pressed to get a job with a Toyota store…  Preferably Pekin.  I was absolutely tired of running the Comfort Inn in Pekin, and decided that a salesman’s hours were actually better than the hotel.

When I came in for that first day of work…  I was told Jeff no longer worked there… And that Rich Younker was now running the desk.  He was still officially used car manager, but was the highest ranking guy at the store.

Rich didn’t want me.  I was a “green pea” and I dont think that I was on his list of things to deal with! Thankfully, he didn’t tell me to hit the bricks one hour in.

Over the next few months I was trained with a few other new recruits on the finer points of selling.  It worked out.

Over twenty years…  I have met some great people… And some not-so-great people.  Its been everything you might expect from this business.  Most people view it from stereotypes and preconceived notions…   A lot of those are based in fact.  But, what you, the consumer,  dont think about…  There are truly great people in this business who care about the job they do.  I have worked with plenty of those folks over the years and I respect them more and more as time goes by.  Its hard to get clubbed everyday and still come back smiling.  Lots of us do it everyday!