The Tesla Wait

Posted on June 3, 2014

Waiting for a Tesla is an exercise in delayed gratification. Not the kind of exercise where you move a few boxes, brush your hands off and wish you’d worn some comfy gloves. More like the kind of exercise where you follow up a trip to the gym with a brisk run and bootcamp.

As they happened, or were promised, I marked each day on my special Tesla calendar, created alongside my work and personal calendars as if it were a whole separate part of my life.

April 12: Day of the order
April 13: Day of confirmation
April 14: Sourcing parts
May 28: 45 day mark

I get excited, things were moving faster than I predicted. I quickly find Tesla Motors Club and start browsing the forums. Based on my readings, I add a new date to my calendar: The 45-day mark seems to be about the time that many have received their P85, despite later expected dates.

April 16: Day of the VIN#

I seem to have gotten my VIN number a bit earlier than some of the other people in my batch. I continue to browse Tesla Motors Club.

By this time my daughters (6 and 2) both know the word Tesla, and even my wife, who is hard pressed to pronounce Volkswagen, has perfect pronounciation of Nikola’s last name.

April 22: Charger arrived

I make frantic calls to electricians to find someone to install the charger. It would be three weeks before I received a quote from one of them (and never did from the one recommended by Tesla – don’t use Erie Electric).

Around this time, I start having dreams in which the status on the “My Tesla” page updates to something like “In Production.” I usually wake up from these dreams with an elevated heart rate only to be crushed by the cold fist of reality.

June 9 @14:00: Scheduled delivery

My wife admits that she’s jealous. She’s never seen me this excited about anything. My mother sets her straight. The last time I was this excited was just before proposing to my wife. I note, though, that the waiting list was much shorter then. Mom gets a bigger-than-usual mother’s day bouquet this year.

May 22: In Production

It takes me 3 hours longer than usual to fall asleep. So, altogether, it took me about 3 hours to fall asleep. I begin to consume Tesla Motors Club, obsessively ensuring that I have read every new post in the ‘Model S’ section after waking, and before bed every night.

Some members of the forum are noting that their delivery times have been delayed. I start to fret.

May 28: Production complete

Production completes at exactly the 45-day mark. I worry that the status on the website is simply hardcoded to produce this message at 45 days, so I plan to call my delivery specialist, Scott, to find out if this dream is too good to be true.

June 2: 50 day mark
June 7: 55 day mark
May 30: Near Salt-Lake City

The dream is real. I call Scott (twice) and he “pings” the car to find out where it is. After finding that it’s just outside of Salt-Lake City, he’s pretty sure I’ll be able to pick it up “sometime next week.” I bracket the week in the 50 and 55 day marks so that I can report back to the forums the exact number of days from order to delivery.

May 31: In Iowa

Scott forwards a map showing me where it is in Iowa for the day. I pull it up on Google maps and am happy to see that it is just over two-thirds of the way to me from the factory in Fremont. I’m starting to need coping mechanisms to get to sleep at night. Reading before bed, calming down an hour before, venting to my to-be-published blog pages.

June 2: Indiana
June 2: Wilmington, OH

It’s just a few hours away. If that truck gets a flat tire, I’ll drive out there myself and change the tire. If he knew to call me to ask for a bite to eat, I’d hand-deliver his preferred meal if would get him to Columbus before the end of the day. Scott promises to call me with any arrival updates. I get almost no work done.

The electrician, Ron Weizer, begins installation of my wall charger. It would take two days to get the setup complete; through the basement, up to the garage, into a subpanel, across the ceiling of the garage, around support beams, and finally down to the charger. I check in on him a bit more often than I probably should.

June 3: Columbus, OH

Scott has a reason to be out of town, but it does make it hard to track down when I’m going to be able to pick up my Tesla. When I finally do track him down through the sales team, my Tesla has passed inspection and is getting all cleaned up for me. He asks when I want to come down and I joke that if he leaves Cinci now, and I leave Cleveland now, we would get to Columbus around the same time.

He didn’t take it as a joke, but Amy shot down the midnight Tesla run anyway. Tonight may prove the most difficult night to sleep.