Cup holders: My wife and I in the world of car sales.Posted: July 26, 2009
We have started looking for a new car.
While I enjoy the result, I hate looking for a new car. There are just some things that go on that are just ridiculous. Our expedition to the car lots yesterday was not an exception.
When you drive onto the lot, you’re expected to park in some spots right
near the building. Now that isn’t so unusual for a business. I like to park near the building when I go shopping for groceries. Of course, the difference is, when I get out of my car at the grocery store, there isn’t someone standing there wanting to know what he can do to get me to eat some Brussels Sprouts today.
I hate that whole interaction. When I’ve got questions, want to drive a car, or decide I am going to make a purchase, I know where I can find a sales person. Now I don’t blame these guys, it is the system they’re forced into by the business. It is obvious most of them are as uncomfortable standing there waiting as I am getting out of my car to begin the game.
Yesterday, we went to one car dealer and parked at the farthest reaches of the lot. It completely confused the system. We could see them pointing at us and talking to each other about how to react. I think they drew straws to see who had to walk out to talk to us.
I’d be grateful to shop for a car somewhere I could just look at cars and then fire a flare gun or something to let them know I am ready to start the process in a little more depth.
Sales men (I know there are women in the business, I just haven’t ended up with one anywhere I’ve shopped) seem to have typical things they like to show. More specifically, they like to show me the engine of the car I’m looking at. They don’t seem interested in showing my wife the engine. In fact, they joke about how she is welcome to look if she wants to, or that she probably doesn’t want to look. She loves those jokes. She is also at least 50% of the vote on which car lands in our driveway.
When these people show me an engine, I look at it and nod. I have no idea what I’m seeing, what I’m supposed to look for, or what a bad engine would look like if someone showed one to me. I’d venture a guess that most men, if they were completely honest, would have to admit the same thing. It is a box with hoses and wires in the front of the car. We’ve been taught it is a car engine. But it could be a bomb. It could be a toaster oven. So I just look at the engine and nod knowingly.
I am thinking that next week, when the shopping starts again, I will just start making things up about the engine and hurl criticisms. Truth be told, the sales person knows the literature, but they don’t know many more important details than I do. If I say something made up like, “I could never pay that much for a car without neutral bay status indication mode” what are they going to say?
My wife gets to see how many cup holders there are in the car. I have lived with her a long time. I know that she doesn’t really require any more hydration than I do. Apparently she looks much thirstier than that if you don’t really know her, because thats about all she gets shown on cars.
One car had two cup holders up front, and four in the back seat. I guess she will be much thirstier in the back seat than she is when she drives, or rides up front with me.
When it is time to drive, the salesmen always hand me the keys. Twenty years of buying cars together, not once has a salesman handed her the keys directly. Yesterday, I got handed the keys and I passed them directly to her without even saying anything. The salesman was stunned; it was as if he’d never seen such a thing. A man…giving car keys…to a woman?! He even said “oh, she’s going to drive?”
You see, there is something important he really didn’t count on from my wife. In addition to knowing how to drive, she is not deaf, and she is fluent in the English language. We both knew we were not going to buy that car from that guy after that remark, but she drove it like she was in a high speed chase.
I’m a little disappointed in my reaction to the “she’s going to drive” question. I usually have a snappy retort ready, but I misfired this time. I am preparing for next weeks car shopping experience by pre-planning my responses to my “letting” my wife drive. They are, in no particular order:
- Yes, she lacks external reproductive organs, yet she drives. Get in, dude, you’ve got to see this!
- Her last few drinks weren’t all that strong, let’s give her a shot.
- Yes, just don’t mention it to her probation officer.
- Her last dose was at 10, she should be leveling out about now.
The car buying adventure will continue; updates as they become available.
What can you do to put me in this car today? How about taking whatever cash I have in my wallet and handing over the keys? I gotta tell you, I’m loaded this week, I brown bagged my lunches all this week.