Shopping for a new car to replace the recently wrecked one is turning into a tedious, and mostly disagreeable, exercise.
We have gone out on several occasions over the past week to see what is out there. We have done our due diligence, researching the various cars we were interested in. I spent a couple hours on the net just this morning doing some comparison shopping and checking safety features of new cars. Safety features have taken a front row seat in our arena of concerns since our unfortunate accident experience.
Yesterday we went so far as to inquire on the bottom line on a car we thought would suit our needs. The salesman we encountered was not cut from the usual salesman cloth, e.g. he refrained from the usual jargon that makes you want to slap him upside the head to get him to speak English. He was surprisingly human. The fun began when he had to get the Sales Manager, the guy who actually MAKES THE DEAL, involved.
Now I don't know about you, but every Sales Manager I have ever encountered in a car dealership has graduated from the same School of Sleaze, having majored in Doubletalk. Flashing the golf ball sized diamond pinky ring and shooting the cuffs of their subtle plaid shiney sportcoat, they are immediately, after a too hardy and knuckle busting handshake, your best friend in the world and have only your best interests at heart. They really and truly want to GIVE you the car of your dreams, but the damn owner of the franchise insists that he charge you at least something for the car. And why is it that they all have either a Southern good ol' boy accent, or a mob influenced Jersey, fogettaboudit, demeanor that makes you think that their brother, Guido, is hiding behind the door ready to kneecap you with a baseball bat if you don't like the deal he's giving you?
Perhaps I'm stereotyping, but you just have to laugh when you encounter these guys. I have to suppress a smile of anticipation whenever I see Slick approaching. Mary has an excellent bullshit detection meter that makes her want to puke on the guy's patent leather loafers whenever she meets one of them. Consequently, she shows no mercy when dealing with them. Yes, she is the wheeler-dealer in the family. I like to just sit back and watch the show unfold as these slicksters whither under her English teacher authoritarian deameanor. You can almost feel their cojones shrink and withddraw as soon as they learn she is an English teacher. They become amazingly humble and respectful, as though they know that they are getting graded once again and know they forgot to study for this exam. There are a lot of "yes maams" and "no maams" floating around the dealership when she gets to dealing. It's as though they want to do anything, and do it quickly, to make her happy and get her out of the building without any more damage to their sensitive egos.
And so, even though the search for a new car can be, and usually is, an execise in frustration and tedium, it does have its entertainment value as well. I'm thinking of hiring Mary out as a new car buyer for those who don't want to have to deal with Slick or Guido. We might be on to a whole new career for her when she retires from teaching. I'm counting the money already.