I helped my Mom shop for a car today. And a salesperson got under my skin. And the car was a POS to boot.
It was a major manufacturer’s dealership, & this was an as-yet-uncertified vehicle that, certified, would add $1100 to the price. The car in its current condition was definitely not worth the pre-certified price (it took a manly pull to open the passenger-side door, the A/C was intermittent, the braking was very rough, there were large chips of paint missing from the back hatch, & Mom claimed to sense a weird smell described as ‘barn’ – but my allergies were acting up as we’d already test-driven a car that stank like an ashtray). I’m half-way convinced that addressing all the concerns would not have come back below that price hike, including cert., but I could be mistaken.
But that isn’t was pissed me off.
In talking with the salesperson, he took great pains to identify with us as a hometown boy, b/c his grandfather was from our area. He & Mom knew some of the same people. Hell, we’re probably distant relatives; such is the way of the rural town. That’s fine; that’s part of his job. But he whipped out some uncalled-for sarcasm directed at Mom.
It started with Mom asking…
“Is your price in stone?”
There are many ways to answer that. For someone trying to sell an item worth thousands of dollars, even the most short-tempered professional would err on the side of caution with something like…
That’s the best I can do.
I’ve heard that many time over the years. Sometimes it’s accepted, & sometimes I walk away. That’s the game. But this supposedly professional salesperson said…
Well, I can raise the price if you really need to negotiate.
Wasn’t that a clever line? He was so funny & creative; really, very clever. And as we drove, I wondered if I’d do that thing that terrifies me, that usually gives me a great big knot in my stomach due to my anxiety problems – personal confrontation.
I think it was all those childhood years of the big kids taunting with phrases like “Your mother’s a whore!” Then, “Look! He won’t even fight about that!” (In my defense, I said to myself, “But she’s not,” & the truth of that was good enough for me. So fuck those guys.)
I decided to call him on it. It was peaceable, but it felt good. Despite his assertion that his sarcasm was justified, b/c – & I paraphrase…
I already said I worked the numbers for her.
…I thanked him for the test drive, but nothing excuses his sarcasm to my mother.
The way I see it, rather than just letting it go, I spoke up to prevent the possibility of wishing I had spoken up – y’know? Except now my regret is that I didn’t just fucking yell at him. Was he a sexist asshole, or just an asshole? Or, hey, maybe I’m too thin-skinned (Mom’s opinion). I might be happier now if I’d said nothing, but who knows?
All right, I am now letting it go… except that he & his workplace might show up in an OpinioNation, like another local business did after a representative rankled me by deciding to break the law, which her boss then rectified (somewhat).