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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Baby Can I Drive Your Car?


So as I continue to ignore pretty much everything on my ‘Wet Hot American Summer List of Things to Do before Grad School’ in lue of finding a new car, I have to say something about this whole car-getting process; what the hell is going on here? 

I went into this situation with my skepticism hat firmly in place and my mistrust suspenders strapped on tight.  Every movie, TV show, anecdote that I’ve ever absorbed has led me to believe that car sales people—especially used car sales—are snakes in the grass ready to gobble up your wallet.  Any misstep you make, they’ll see it and pounce.  And above all, they’re ferocious selling machines who would sooner smash their hand with a hammer than see you walk off their lot. 

They’re like that dude during last call at the bar trying to make a deal; “so what do I have to do to get you in this bed tonight?”.  As soon as she walks out the door, she’s lost, it’s the end of the world, and he’ll do what he has to do to prevent that.  That’s the dude I prepared for, but what I got on my first time out was the strong, independent woman more interested in the relationship than closing the deal. 

Actually, the sales person was a little blonde girl, probably younger than me, with hot pink nail polish and lip gloss.  I could easily imagine her watching a Twilight marathon with my little sister and talking about how Zach Effron has gotten just so totally gross now, ew.  But here she was at the dealership, my epic foe in my quest to buy a car, but not the foe I was expecting.

During the test drive she was more interested in learning about me and relating it to her own experiences—“Oh, I loved going to summer camp too!—than listing the car’s features in what my mistrust suspenders told me was an attempt to gain my sympathies and lower my guard.  Yeah, nice try, Bella. 
JD says to never be the first person to speak in a negotiation, ever. 

She never put out any prices.  In fact it almost seemed like she was actively trying to avoid doing so.  Instead of the guy at last call who puts everything on the table to close the deal, Bella was the coy, guarded girl who refuses to admit that she likes you for fear of looking desperate.   It’s the notion of he/ she who speaks first is the weaker.  I believe Jack Donaghy has some business models suggesting the same.  

So we’re now we’re playing the car equivalent of “Well, do you like me?  Because maybe if you like me I like you, but you have to say it first”.  It’s a game of price chicken where the person who cracks first loses the upper hand, I think.  I’m not sure.  I’ve never fully understood the game in relationships and adding cars into the calculation doesn’t help.
 
Why can’t I just find a dude who tells me how totes ripped he is, how lucky I’d be to sleep with him, and then cuts like $1500 off the sales price before taking me back to his garage apartment under his parents’ house?  Sheesh!  

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