Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Humility Vs. Arrogance and More Contrast at Work

I just got home from work for the second night in a row after 10:00 PM. I was so fired up about two hours ago, I couldn't wait to write this down.

I wanted to tell my customer on the 370-z that her "idea" of being a Christian was "Bass Ackwards, instead I bit my tongue and sent her loving energy. I still think she is full of shit , but she got some of my positive loving energy anyway. Maybe she will wake up someday. I guess it's really not my place to worry about that.

So here's how it went down.

Yesterday afternoon, my very best female friend, confidant, former colleague when I was a parole officer, angel, Monika called me to let me know her mom needed a car. We chatted a bit about her wants and needs, and I told her we would regroup in the morning.

This morning she called me and we got it all ironed out. I spent a few hours finding the right car, getting to the right price, and agreeing to figures over the phone. Monika, and Paul (her husband) have purchased four vehicles from me since I started in this business, this one for her mom makes number five. I try and make sure their car buying experiences are as painless as possible. If thats possible

So at about 6:45 PM Monika and Paul, their two kids, and Linda (Monika's Mom) showed up at my work. My "plan" was to get Linda in and out of my business office before my 370-Z customers showed up. I have heard the saying that "God laughs at us when we make plans." This case was no different.

It was the first time I have met Monika's Mom, and when I saw her we locked eyes. She took my hand and said, "I prayed for you alot." I almost started to cry. She was sincere, her voice was that of a caring, humble, kind, person. We sat down at my desk and she told me she prayed for me because she knew my daughter and son needed a father.

Not more than ten minutes of their arrival my 370-Z customers pulled up. They got out of their loaded H-2 Hummer. They went over to the Z and were looking it over. I gave them a few minutes to look the car over and got up to head outside.

I told Monika and her mom I was going to have to juggle two things at once and asked them for their patience, which they willingly gave me.

I walked outside and greeted them with a warm smile. She didn't even really acknowledge me. She immediately went into a tirade about the kick plate on the driver door having a scuff on it. She said it wasn't a "new car." She asked how come it had 260 miles on it, and I again explained we had to send a driver to Bellingham to get it. She quickly took out her I-Phone and calculated it was only 160 miles to Bellinghan and where did the other 90 miles come from. I thought back to her comment in my sales office two nights ago about how "Christian" she was, and her voicemail ends with "God Bless You." and I wanted to say something to her about her being completely confused about what it is to be Christ-Like. In my book its about humility, and grace, and warmth, and kindness, and selflessness....things like that.

In the seven years of doing this business, this woman was the most boastful, arrogant, seflish, pompous, un-christlike person I have ever met...bar none....hands down....and I am here to tell you I deal with some "PEACHES."

The night before, before signing papers (that they were late for) I had to calm her down because she had to wait 15 minutes.

I will tell you this however. The key tag from the Nissan store in Bellingham had this car as stock #1919, and his birthday was 11-19...so i'm sure the interaction was purposeful. I think I have already figured out the "why."

So as all this is going on, and now they are ranting because I can't find the big "window sticker" because they think we are trying to pull a fast one on them...because that's what all car dealerships do right...? (found it balled up in the trash can in my detail department)

I go into my sales managers office and my finance manager and my ex-roomate ask me if I told Monika to have her mom buy a warranty for the car. I always have Monika and Paul purchase extended protection because I think its a good idea on a used car.

But in this case, I told her the car had unlimited powertrain warranty, and it was her choice. Keith and my finance manager looked at each other and them looked at me and said no it doesn't. It wasn't that benign...it was more like, you are fu$@ing crazy.

I purposely called my Chrysler service writer this afternoon to find out what the exact warranty on it was, and his exact words..."Bumper to bumper good for 36k miles or till 3-11-11, and unlimited powertrain." I even asked him twice because it sounded too good to be true.

By this time I have an arrogant customer I don't even really want to deal with, and a dear friend who I care deeply for that was told something that I thought was truth about a car thats not, and my blood pressure is beginning to rise. My Chrysler service writer threw me in the "trick bag" and now i'm going to piss off one of my friends and her mom, lose that customer, and my "Z" lady isn't going to buy the car because it has a scuff mark on a piece of plastic....ArrrgGGGGG.

So I just let it all go.

I walked outside and told the arrogant "Z" lady that if she didn't want to buy the car, we wouldn't hold her feet to the fire if she wanted to back out of the contract, because they are a premium car, and we could probably find someone off the street who would be willing to pay a profit. The net profit to my dealership was 400.00 on a $42,000.00 sports car, and in the end they really thought they didn't get enough discount. She was unkind and demanding through the entire process. In the car business we call them "mootches." The ones that have money, yet don't think they should pay a profit to a car dealership, even though they pay markup and profit everywhere else they spend money. I don't think they probably argue over the dinner bill, but probably are shitty tippers, because the meal was too much...or the service was bad. I doubt they argue their costco bill, or their food bill, or their furniture bill, etc...etc..etc. I mean don't get me wrong, ask for a little discount, thats good business. I do it wherever I can But be willing to pay a fair profit. I do.

I walked back inside and told Monika what had happened with the warranty after I had calmed myself. I told her we would discount the car more if we had too, but instead they sold her a "wrap" warranty at cost, which in the end was a better deal. While Monika and her mom were in the finance office, my British ex-roommate Keith explained to me that the Chrysler "unlimited" powertrain warranty wasn't worth the paper it was printed on. In effect it covers only "defect's", not normal wear and tear. I guess it's always good to read the fine print. A wrap warranty is a bumber to bumper warranty to 100,000 miles. If anything happens, she is covered, and she will have a car to drive while we are fixing it.

So heres where the contrast comes in if you haven't already figured it out.

My Z lady. She and her husband make about $500.000.00 a year. He drives a loaded up H2 and now she drives a 370-Z. They probably look out their windows to see if passing cars are looking at them with "envy." As she was explaining why she was picking apart the car we got for her, she made it clear she had just had a "fiasco" with a $300,000 motor home they had purchased, because there was some damage to it when they delivered it. She wanted to make sure she told me the price. She was over demanding, yet unwilling to pay any profit on the car. She was not friendly, nor kind, nor humble, nor anything else I would equate with someone who's Christ-Like. I did my best to give her warmth. I wanted to hand them the keys, and very poetically and politically correctly let her know she was clueless what it is to be Christlike. What struck me the most during the 72 hours or so that I was graced with her presence, was the amount of time she spent on telling me how "Christian" she was. I'm shaking my head still trying to figure out how come she doesn't get it.

Monika's Mom. Prayed for me while I was sick, and I told her thank you because it worked and I meant it. Looked me in the eyes and I could feel her warmth and kindness. She has been working for The State of Washington for the past 20 years taking care of seriously developmentally delayed folks...at the same place, and comparatively speaking makes "nothing" financially compared to my "Z" lady and her husband. The car was on the lot for 12,999.00 on , 11,999 on the internet, and I got it discounted to 10,699 for her, because she needed to be at a specific payment, she was Monikas mom, and because Tony and Marshall were reminded we sold them them two other cars. She didn't try to haggle any more price, she didn't get upset when I screwed up, and she gave me a hug before she left. The dealership made a little profit, I can put a few meals on my table, maybe share with someone else, and she was happy yet a little sad. The car she had been driving before she decided to get a new one was a 1988 Ford Festiva. I told her she definitely deserved a new car. She has some sentimental value attached to the car. I told her to keep it around for a second car, but Monika said they are out of room in the driveway.

She never once told me how "christian" she was...but I could tell just by hanging out with her she got it. I'm pretty sure I will be seeing her more.

If I see my "Z" lady come back i'm going to head the other way.....LOL

I had numerical phenomena going on simultaneously. When I went to put gas in Linda's car it was 1:11. One of my phone calls with Monika was 1:11 long. I hopped in Linda's car when I got back from lunch to make sure it was cleaned up it was 4:44 on my cell phone. That's a short list.

Crazy couple of days. I'm smiling right now wondering what tomorrow holds. When it's like this its very dreamlike.

Present Moment Awareness. I highly recommend it. Magical moments await.

Peace and thanks for reading!



ONE LOVE!!!!!!

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