I found out this weekend that G.T Autos, the dealership where I'd made my success in the car business, is now for sale. While I haven't sold cars in years, I found myself sad at the news.
Most of all I am sad for Elvis, my old boss. When I started, as you can read in my older posts, we got together with the intention of making a boatload of money...and we did. I remember checks and piles of cash stored away as we claimed ourselves as kings of the car sales world. His goal was to create a large enough business so he and his family (I'm pictured with his dad above) could be set. I only wanted to pay off my past debt and prepare the way for Capuchin life.
Even though my Bosnian boss couldn't understand who the Capuchins were or why I was going, he fully supported my in my decision. He and his family were Muslim, and while they were not of my faith, they respected my choice to follow this vocation. He was energetic, funny, and I knew he would succeed at his dream.
With the bad economy and the hit to auto makers, part makers, and sales lot across Michigan, I suppose it was only time before he closed up shop. I feel bad for him and his family. All of us have dreams, and when those dreams are taken away it forces us to change direction and find a new way to live.
In a way I also feel guilty. Perhaps my leaving was so well-timed, I wonder if I sub-consciously knew what was going to happen and made plans for it. It seems ridiculous, yet I feel that I found a way out of the business before I faced any of the loss.
I also realize that my "fall-back plan" is now gone. Where I to leave the Capuchins, Elvis always promised me a job at the lot. With the lot gone, I am at the mercy of the economy should I try make that decision. I've never considered leaving religious life, yet I'm a person who likes to have "all bases covered." As selfish as it sounds, I have a sense of anxiety about the closing of G.T Autos.
I remember my last discussion with him: "You're lucky you got out when you did. Things have gotten really bad. I don't know how much longer I can keep the doors open on this place."
Sometimes it's hard to feel you've done the right thing when you know others you care about are suffering hundreds of miles away.