Several years ago, just before Christmas, I bought a second hand car from a family friend. He'd had it from new and I got it for a great price. About 6 weeks later, as I was sitting in rush-hour traffic on a roundabout, having just come off the M25, there was a shunt in the back of my car, where (apparently) the driver behind me had been sitting too close and someone had hit him whilst turning up a slip-road, causing him to hit me.
The damage didn't look too bad, but it ended up being a write off. I was gutted. And in need of a car!
Fast forward a few months and the insurance had finally been sorted out, so off I went to buy a new (second hand) car. It was fairly slim pickings to be honest, finding something near by, within my budget and with the specs I was looking for. But find something, I did.
After a very brief test drive (they didn't have trade plates for me to take it on to an actual road (I know, red flag!)), a quick check online for any untoward-ness, and a look-over from and a relative, I bought the car with the insurance money. But, things soon started to go wrong.
4 weeks later, I discovered an oil leak, which the purchase guarantee wouldn't cover. Then, my washer fluid kept disappearing. Exasperated, I took it to a local garage who did a full once-over, phoned me up and basically told me to take it back to where I'd bought it.
The MOT wasn't worth the paper it was written on.
I won't list everything that was wrong with the car, but suffice to say, we had an issue. What followed was weeks upon weeks of calling Citizens Advice, talking to solicitors, learning the law surrounding consumer purchases and trying to negotiate with the garage who had sold me the car. They weren't having any of it.
It was clear this wasn't going to be resolved without the help of the Small Claims Court, so that's where I went. The weeks before my hearing, it was like having another full time job; collecting evidence, writing my witness statement, sending the correct things to the correct parties... but finally, court day arrived.
There were a lot of procedures to follow (most of which the other party hadn't adhered to) and being in the room, facing the other party was pretty nerve-racking. But, I was proud of myself; I'd written a comprehensive statement, put all the evidence together myself and spoken clearly and confidently at the hearing.
And in the end, I won.
I'm sure the other party, the garage, didn't think someone like me would follow through and actually take them to court. I'm sure they were banking on me getting scared and pulling out before we even entered the room. But I didn't. Because I knew what was right and I knew I had to stand up for myself and all the other people who they'd taken advantage of.
It was then that I learnt how much tenacity I possess and what I'm willing to do when I know something is unjust or unfair (fairness is one of my biggest values!) and just how strong I can be!
All this to say, whenever it feels impossible, like its not something 'someone like you' would or should do, like you just can't do it; you never know what you're made of until the situation arises. Remember, it is possible; why shouldn't you do it? And yes, you absolutely can do it!
Diamonds are made under pressure!
Here's to the tenacity in all of us!