Monday morning 11.30am. We’d just had our weekly editorial meeting and everyone had rushed back to their various articles / beauty reviews / fashion collaborations. I had met the deadlines that I had been set and was waiting to hear from my editor what format he wanted me to write the next article in, so couldn’t really start anything. My ever so brief moment of pondering on what to do was quickly forgotten, when said editor questions: “Lisa is your afternoon today really busy?” Um no. “Ok, could you pick up the car for me?” Now before you label me the magazine minion / Meryl Streep’s bitch in The Devil Wears Prada, I think it’s important to point out, that in every issue of the magazine someone test drives a car and reviews it, a job I was secretly hoping to get, but that doesn’t go to the interns. So obviously I was being sent to fetch this car.
An hours train journey later I was at the Toyota dealership sat in a sparkling brand new Toyota Yaris Hybrid. Easy. Not so much. The car had so many functions and features I barely knew where to look. But it was only then that the situation became clear in my naïve mind… Picture little Lisa: proud owner of a British driving licence for 3-and-a-bit years. I drive a manual, 52 reg VW Polo (class of 2002) on the deserted country lanes of the Cotswolds. Here I was in a so-new-it-still-smelt-new fully automatic Hybrid and being told to just drive into Zurich; i.e. motorway AND inner city driving all on the right hand side of the road. Un-ideal at the best of times.
I just figured that the more I thought about it, the more I would freak out, so I may as well just drive and drive I did! Whilst I’ll spare you all the technical jargon, it was a surprisingly smooth drive and the male satnav voice was very friendly…I fo sho trust this guy!
Apart from the odd panic here and there, I made it back to the office in one piece. I was SO relieved to arrive at my designated bay in the multi-storey, that I pretty much just left the car and got out… to probably the worst parking ever committed. I definitely couldn’t leave the car like this. Sadly, getting back into the car, I couldn’t turn it back on. I kid you not. I pressed the button, put it from ‘Parking’ into ‘Natural’ into ‘Driving’ and back into ‘Natural’ mode. Nothing. For about 15 minutes this continued. I even read the owner’s manual!! Then I experienced the enlightenment when I lifted my foot off the pedal and the car moved...it had been on the whole time!! Hybrid = silent engine. Simple.
By now I am drained of all energy and emotion. I storm back into the office, banged the keys onto my editor’s desk and snarl “What a load of hybrid @!?$” His reply? “I look forward to reading the article.”
I guess I got the job.