The smary car salesman looked across the table with his beady little eyes. I stared back, sweat coming off my forehead. My wife clutched my hand in a death grip, her eyes darting back and forth between the two of us.
We had been at the car dealership for a good 4 hours and my resolve was weakening. I was hungry and I had to poop. The car salesman had been back and forth between us and “his boss” to see if the deal could be made. I now know that this was a load of shit but the god lord loves the ignorant.
“We can give you 500 for your trade in” he says.
“600!” I yell without thinking about it.
I had made many tactical errors that day and this was just the nail in the coffin. For some reason I wanted the salesman to like me wherever we went, thinking that this would make him give me a better deal. However, this is about money and dealers are like the Mafia with money and I am not a big titted blond. I was sunk before I even started. I even tried to convince one guy that “we were good Ford people” and have never, ever lived that down with my wife.
“Done” he says without any hesitation. This is really my first clue that maybe I had spoken to fast, but I couldn’t take the uncomfortable silence. The awkwardness that follows a finished sentence was to unbearable for me at the time. It is not my nature to sit and stare, I am a man of action and action is what I demand.
Most of the deal was worked out between the car salesman and I. The devil spawn hardly actually talked to my wife. I know that this is because she is a woman. But there is a part of me that enjoyed playing the macho car buyer. Here is even a bigger secret. I know exactly jack squat about cars. I know nothing. If you asked me what kind of car that was on the highway, I would simply state that it was a truck or a car, maybe a Minivan. That’s all I got. My wife on the other hand would know the make, model, year and engine type.
She is also the one in the business world and has way more negotiation abilities than I do. I have never worked in the corporate world and my negotiation usually comes in the form of dictatorship with perps.
So the deal was made and I had known that we had been taken for a ride. I was 24 at the time and my wife’s car was on it’s last legs. We NEEDED a car or she wouldn’t be able to go to work and since we were so young, we really didn’t have a whole lot of credit. This car saleman, the evil that he is, knew this and spotted us as marks as soon as we walked into the dealership.
A couple of years later my truck was about to go and again we had to do this dance. But we picked a different dealer than before because he was a jackass. We were more wordly then. I was 27 by that time and had seen things.
It started off much the same. We arrived at the dealer and settled in for a long day. We picked the car out and the negotiations started.
I was getting hammered from the start. I was another babe in the woods. God have mercy on my soul.
But my wife is crafty. I would never want her as an enemy because I know that behind the scenes she would screw me over and I wouldn’t even know about it. It kind of turns me on when she gets like that, I have no idea why. She stopped the conversation and then took me outside.
“Hossman” she said, “Treat him like a perp”.
This changed my complete thinking about the situation. My mindset went from Dear God please like me to you piece of shit wife beater. I am actually quite good when I get into those types of situations. I can stare down an abuser with the best of them. It’s weird because normally I do not like confrontation but when I get in that situation, I can handle myself. My wife had given the right advice. That is why she is a war time consigliore.
I walk back in and the dealer knows that something has changed. He can feel the hossness radiating off me. I an Krull the Conqueror, beware.
“This is what we are going to pay, that’s it. You need to find a way to get down to that.” I demand.
He hems and haws and then says he has to check with his boss. Yeah, you do that bub.
He comes back and sits down. A sigh escapes his lips. I have seen this play before, I have read the program, I know what is coming next. He says that he got his boss down a little but this is what they have. In my line of work I know what he is doing. He is deflecting so that he doesn’t play the bad guy. He blames his boss when we all know that he is the wife beater. He wants me to believe that “his hands are tied”. This is crap, I’m getting my confession boyo.
Then I see his weakness. The one thing that could turn the situation in my favor. Behind him, and a perfect vantage point for me, is a big screen TV in the dealership. On this TV is a sporting event that I was actually interested in. Nothing can zone a man out like a random sporting event on TV. I had spent years ignoring my wife’s pleas to mow the yard while watching baseball, football even a horse race once. Like every man, I can zone out so that the only thing I hear is how far that putt will be.
“No” I reply. And I say nothing else. I let him sit. I let him break the silence. I’m not saying another thing because by this time I am watching Tiger Woods putt. I am in meditation.
A good five minutes pass and then he comes back. He says that he has talked to his boss again and they can come down to where I want it. I say that is good because I will not jeopardize my families future for a car I could get somewhere else. I have no real reason to say this other than to make him feel like shit. The price is already set, I’m just taking a setup shot for my next play.
“Now I say, I have a trade in as well, let’s talk about that.” That’s the combo punch that sends him down. We get a good deal on the car and I’m ready to slap the perp around a little more, thanks to the good friend that is TV.
I recently had to buy another new car as our first car that we got took on was getting 10 years old. I get into my perp questioning position again. This time out, I don’t even show up at the dealership. I just call. I tell them what I want, how much it needs to cost and what they are going to give me on the trade in. I tell them that when they find the car I want for that price, let me know. He starts to hem and haw a little bit and that’s when I through in that my price should also include tax, title and license.
I walk in a week later and pay EXACTLY what I said I was going to pay.