They ascended upon me as got out of the car.
My keys were handed over to them for "inspection" of my long time friend.
I was whisked into a holding room.....(well....it was really a cubicle)...and asked if I'd like anything to drink. Was this my final meal before execution? And then the hand-offs began.
I was watched and prepped by a "trainee" who referred to herself as the "product expert".
After realizing she did not have a clue what she was doing, I asked her how long she'd been on the job. Two weeks. Yes, I can see how she would be an expert, can't you? She fumbled through some papers and the computer screen, constantly shuffling the papers....obvious she didn't know what she was looking for. After what seemed like an hour, I was handed off to another "manager" who was helping out the person who had met me at my car. He was apparently "busy" and needed lots of helpers. It takes a lot of people to help someone be able to stand in the middle of a large showroom and do nothing. This new person proceeded to ask me questions that all had to be answered with numbers:
1. spouse's date of birth
3. social security
4. work telephone number
5. insurance policy number
6. how many miles on your car
7. how many years do you plan to keep your new car
8. how many miles do you plan to drive said new car in a year
9. my date of birth
11......get the picture????? AHHHHHHHHHH!
Well, my head started spinning.....my vision blurred....my heart began to race.....my palms started sweating.....
Was I having an......anxiety attack???? (Get a hold of yourself, woman!)
After this person got through leading me down a path of total confusion, I was given the news that the long time friend I'd dropped off upon arrival was in "fair condition"............FAIR CONDITION??? I wouldn't go that far!!!! Sure....... she had some cosmetic issues and needed a little repair.....but don't we all? I wouldn't say that I'm in "fair condition". I was offended.
I picked up the cell phone and called my husband who was at work............WORK! Is work more important than keeping me from drowning in the sea of ignorance? I called and broke the news that our friend was in "fair condition". I returned to the holding room (the cubicle) and told the man that my husband was on the phone. I began listening to their exchange and then the truth came out. Not only were they listing our friend in "fair condition", but her value was even less, simply because her parent company is now financially unstable and has "taken a turn for the worse" in their business. And this is my fault?? And so I pay the cost for their downward spiral? ---sigh---I took good care of my old friend and what did it get me??? Not much.
Well, at this point I am HANDED OFF.....yet again. I was to wait for the next available team member to tell me how "lucky" I was that they were giving me such a great deal. Time seemed to creep. Then.....I spotted them. They were rounding the corner with folders in their hands, dark suits, cufflinks, "clicky shoes", and the look of starved animals on their faces. My heart began racing again, and the room started to spin.
(Concentrate. Focus. GET ME OUT OF HERE)
I was told that they were working as a team today for cross-training purposes. Man A stood against the wall silently observing. Man B sat across the table from me and started his statements and questions.
"How many miles will you put on this car in a year, m'am." (stare)
How am I to know? I can't see the future. Is it any of his business? Quick....try to divide the number of miles on my long time friend by her age....wait.....how old is she? How many miles were on it? carry the 1, subtract.......AHHHHHHHHHHHG!
"If you or your husband become ill or incapable of paying for this vehicle, how will you make the payments?" (stare)
Ill? Unable to make the payments? I DON'T KNOW!!!! "I'll let my husband worry about that." (I laughed...they didn't")
"How long do you plan on keeping this vehicle, m'am?"
"Until it quits!" (I laughed, they didnt. They stared at one another.)
Where is the "wining and dining" I should have been treated to? I'm giving them my business for goodness sake!
Then they told me they were ready for me........Ready for me? I was finally taken to the room.
The room where I would have to negotiate the payment process. (panic......I can't breathe....I just want to run out the back door and go home.....but wait! I have NO CAR!!!!!! It's gone. Poof. Disappeared!)
So I did what any smart, intelligent, (anxiety stricken, palm-sweating) woman would do! I called my husband and sat the phone down right there on the desk and said, "My husband is on the phone....make sure you speak loudly enough that he can hear you, too."
At this point it all becomes a blur. All I really remember is my husband said, "We'll finance it elsewhere." Then they shook my hand and said it was nice to do business with me. They gave me a loaner until my car was ready to be picked up.
It felt strange driving away in a little bitty car to pick up my children. Then we headed back to pick up the new vehicle. Now that it's all over, I can honestly say that
I WILL NEVER DO THAT ALONE AGAIN.
I went to bed exhausted......physically, mentally, emotionally....and numbers were swimming in my head....which was about to explode from a headache caused by the people who acted as if I were on trial.
So I will drive this new car until it quits.