(Oh boy, this is a long post folks, but it may actually be fairly funny rather than my silly Video Game posts)
As an intro to this blog entry. Two weeks ago, I was involved in a car accident. Was my fault: I was driving on Route 1, and I looked over to see about traffic on the right, and suddenly the cars in front of me were in a dead stop. I slammed on my brakes, but it was too late. I rear-ended the Nissan Pathfinder in front of me. My car went under the rear of the Pathfinder, totally crunching the front part of my car. I was not hurt. The person who I hit was taken away in an ambulance, due to pain. The cop said that they were probably just shaken up, as I only was going maybe 15-20 MPH when I hit the car, as my air bag didn’t deploy.
Now, my car was not ‘destroyed’ (in fact I even started the engine after the accident), but it was totalled by my insurance company, which is what I wanted. The car was useful to me, but I had no affection for it, and as my wife and I were planning on buying a car in 2007, I’d rather take the cash and buy early than have them repair the car and get less value for a 13 year old, body repaired car.
Now, onto the point of this blog entry.
My wife and I went car shopping this weekend. We had decided before that since we have an offspring on order (wait 8-9 months for delivery, some shipping and handling charges do apply, not valid in Las Vegas, New Orleans or the Island of Samoa), that a ‘family vehicle’ is in order. By a family vehicle, we really mean a car that can handle (potentially) 2 car seats, and other stuff.
Now like most god-fearing, anti-communist, love the environment but don’t tell me what to do, middle-class American familiies, we hate minivans. But, I’m not so sure this means that I want to be a contributor to the purchase of a pseudo-offroading vehicle (my wife already owns a Chevy Blazer but that was purchased prior to our merger and acquisition).
So, we had a bunch of cars that we wanted to see in person to determine if they had the size we were looking for. Now, we are kindof between the real price groups for cars. We want more than the entry level, but not quite all the way to the higher-priced luxury vehicles.
So, we go to a fairly well-known car dealer in lower Bucks County. One of those that has like 10 different car brands at one MEGA LOCATION (but next thing you know, on Action News, there’s the reporter, “Blogs like “The Blog from Room Five” have been slandering local businesses, and finally one car dealership decided to take action with a law suit). There happen to be several brands we are looking for there, so we begin our journey there.
The salesgirl who greets us is about 22 years old, piercings all over both ears, and isn’t really a master of communication. A lot of “Ya know”, and “Like”, and “And stuff” in her conversations with us. We ask her about this one car, and she has no clue other than, “Ya know, I’ve been thinking about getting one of these, cause I’m having another baby in a few months. I just found out that I was pregnant five months after the birth of my first son. When are you guys due?”
(no not really, she was married and a perfectly productive member of society, but still FIVE MONTHS AFTER?)
(look at all my little miracles)
So, first off, she’s supposed to take us to the Service Deparment for our vehicle. Aparently Uber-Autoworld has dictated that everyone who comes in gets a visit to the Service Department. And she doesn’t know how to get to the Service Department.
She works there, and doesn’t know how to get to the service department.
Okay, this is a huuuuge place. Like 20 acres big, maybe more. There are at least three service departments depending on the vehicle type. So, it’s not like it was in back of the building and she couldn’t find it. But still…. This is her job…
Now, we finally get to driving the car around the ‘test track’. (Don’t get excited, it was not a car with a great engine, and better ‘test tracks’ around a mall at night). And she telling us the exciting features of the car, by READING THE SALES STICKER ON THE CAR.
So to recap, she’s unprofessional in her dress and language, she has no idea where buildings are located, and she doesn’t know anything about the car she is selling, AND isn’t good enough of a liar to bullshit her way through without both Suzanne and I picking up on it.
And the icing on the cake, which wasn’t her fault, is her insistance on trying to give us finance information, because “How can you really judge this against other cars unless you know what your payments are going to be?” Ummmmm, how about from the sticker price of the car and a calculator. Now this is straight out of the Selling Car handbook by this dealership. They said to their trainees, “Don’t let them leave without working out their monthly payments”. But still we had to get out of there.
Place #2 was much better. A Toyota dealership nearby, that I went to once before. The salesman was professional and knew his stuff perfectly. However, as we drove up, we saw 4-5 salesmen (not a woman in sight) standing out front. Every single one of them wore a white shirt, neck tie, and black slacks.
Now after complaining about the dress of the salesgirl, it may seem hypocritical to complain about the uniformity of the salesmen at this place. But, there is something to individuality. I mean they looked professional, but so do the waitstaff at Olive Garden. Without the flair that is.
(Oh, and remember, next Saturday is Casual Saturday. So you know, if you want to you can go ahead and just wear a white shirt and black slacks, without a jacket.)
Finally, on Monday night we go to place #3. It is a miserable day/night. Pouring rain outside. We decide to go to a dealership in New Jersey. Now, we arrive at 7:30 PM, and they close at 9:00 PM. However, they were still open, and supposedly still there to sell cars.
We go in the dealership to look at the car that is in the showroom. The guy who approaches us says, “So, why are you folks here tonight?”
I should have told him that we were here to do our laundry, and wondered what the cars were doing here in the middle of the floor.
(Here’s your sign.)
We then go over to the car we are somewhat interested in, and he proceeds to tell us….
Total silence from this winner. He had the personality of a wet sponge. He told us nothing about the engine. Nothing about the car. And didn’t even offer to take us out for a test drive, work out pricing, or anything. We asked for a brochure and we left without him trying to sell us the car, take one for a drive, or getting our information.
Now, maybe he was a manager who doesn’t sell cars, and is merely there to be a jerk to the employees.
(PUT THAT COFFEE DOWN. Coffee is for closers.)
I mean, I don’t want to go back to the era of slick-backed, old-boy, car dealers, who you feel you have to shower in pure alcohol to remove the stench off of them. The type who would say, “Do you need to check with your husband before you make a decision like this?”
But is total incompetence the reverse. Our waitress the other night at the Michael Tavern, who told us all about how good the Country Ribs special was that night, was a better at selling than two of the idiots we dealt with. And she didn’t even need to sell us on the food, as you don’t enter a restaurant just to browse and walk out.
I’ll let you know when it gets worse.