We found the Nissan's to be sort of "chevy" class vehicles. Just
not the same quality that we were looking for in a "long term"
I had noted the "scuff marks" in our previous vehicle. It was
just a niggling little detail that irked me -- the car always
looked like it hadn't been cleaned (on the inside).
Repeating this with the *new* car seems like we failed to learn
that lesson! :-/
I will start looking carefully at the various shoes that I wear
to see if it is a fault of the *shoes*. Then, just eliminate
Opening and closing a door would probably not fit with *most*
folks' idea of use!
"Wow! Why are you selling that vehicle for such a low price? What sort
of mileage does it have?"
"Milagee? *none*! *BUT*, I've opened and closed the doors 372,928 times!"
Hey, you're an engineer, right? :) Any use is equivalent to use. Isn't
that why they test the doors and test the materials they use on the
interior? If the interior materials show wear (or don't handle wear
very well), that's also one factor I look at when I'm looking for a used
These days cars have become such a commodity item that seating comfort
may be the main thing I look for. There isn't a "Chevy" anymore. You
just get a GM and the same parts may be in any car in the line.
I had a Chrysler with a Mitsubisi engine in it.
Now I am in a Honda Prelude and a Ford truck
OTOH my newest vehicle is 15 years old. My wife has a fairly new
Lincoln but I am not that "driven". A car is just a piece of metal
that gets me up to the store. I used to drive 50,000+ a year when I
was working and I am over the car thing.
A while back we went looking for cars and found a subaru that was close
to something I'd want to drive. They dealership wanted a specific
price, but I wanted to pay a different amount. When we sat down to talk
numbers they told me the price was already on the car, and then I told
them how much I was willing to pay for it. The sale man looked at me
and told me that was impossible, but he'd get his manager to come talk
with me. The manager told me the same thing the salesman said about the
price being rock solid on the car, and I told the manager what I was
willing to pay for it. They both looked at me like "well if you want
THIS car you'll pay what we're asking." I looked at them and said, "OK.
Thanks for your time." I got up and walked out of the building and
left the lot. You should have seen the looks on their faces. They
could have sold me the car at my price, but they lost a potential
customer because they weren't willing to come down on it even a little
bit. I've got no problem walking away from a purchase. They thought
they had a sale because I liked the car.
I guess it's pretty bad if the salesman can't answer easy questions!
YOu left out the important part. Did you go somewhere else and get the car
or did you get something else ?
I was going to buy a new car that was one year old at the end of the season
and the credit union had a deal they would beat anyones interist by a
certain percent down to a certain percent. I had worked out a deal on a car
and then asked them if they could match the credit union rate. They could
not. I asked them for a paper saying they would give me a rate near the
minimum of the credit union. They told me they could not and it would be
dishonest.. Said so long to them and went to a dealer with a new car just
like the other but a current model for almost the same price and got the
paper I wanted.
At that time I had the money to buy the car, but the CDs were at 5 % and the
credit was slightly less than 4 %.
I still haven't purchased a car, yet. I'm waiting until I find what I
really want for the price I want to pay for it.
We can get great rates at our credit union, too, but my old van still
runs and it's paid for, and I haven't found the car that has what I want
on it, yet. I'm patient, and will buy the car when I find the one that
has what I want.
I was "window shopping" for a vehicle many (many many!) years ago. I
wasn't yet "in the market" but, rather, just trying to get myself
up to speed on product offerings at a leisurely pace (i.e., if I had
some spare time and happened to be NEAR a dealership, I *might*
drop in). A (pushy) salesman once threw a question at me like:
"What would I have to do to get you to buy that car, today??"
As I had already told him I was NOT in the market, I replied,
"Sell it to me for $5,000" (sticker was close to 30 at the time).
"Well, come sit down and we'll see what we can do!"
I reacted as if I'd been slapped in the face: "Do you REALLY
think I am that stupid as to think you are GOING to sell it to
me for $5,000? You asked me a question -- I gave you an honest
answer. If you *ARE* going to sell it to me for $5,000, then
I'll write you a check NOW and you can hand me the bill of sale.
There's no need to 'come sit down'. So, the fact that you
are NOT ready with a bill of sale in your hands suggests you
are dishonest, insulting or value your time far less than
I value mine. Which is it?"
[If assault was not a crime, I am *sure* he would have punched
me in the face!]
We don't spend much time on price. We figure out what the car is
*worth* to us (we've also got alternate choices to choose from in
our mind when we reach this stage of the "game"). If a seller
wants to hit our price range, we'll buy. If not, we walk. We
don't waste time "dickering": "There's another dealership
across the street. Granted, they don't sell *this* vehicle.
But, they sell this *other* vehicle that we would buy if yours
was unavailable, out of stock, unreasonably priced, the wrong
color, etc. Maybe *they* want to sell a car, today?"
We figure folks sell things for a reason: to make money.
We want to make money in *our* dealings so it's only fair to
let others make money in theirs.
I was sitting down with a client ~30 years ago to draft our
contract. Being young/naive, I was, of course, under the impression
that this was a "competition": each of us trying to get the BEST
deal -- which meant "at the other party's expense!".
The gentleman negotiating for the client was very frank: "Look, Don.
We *want* you to make money on this deal. *YOU* are not our customer!
We're not keen on making you filthy rich -- but, we realize that if
we nickel and dime you, there's a good chance that you'll underperform
on this contract (which means we get something of lesser quality than
it might otherwise be) or, if we cut too close to the bone, you may
simply WALK AWAY from it (which means we've lost all that time you've
spent on it and have NOTHING to show for it -- even if we get to keep
our cash!). If you make money on this deal, we figure you will
be around for the *next* deal. You have something that we WANT to
buy (your expertise) and don't want to drive you out of OUR market
over a few dollars!"
"What role does this dipstick play -- tranny, power steering, etc.?"
The fact that you don't know means you aren't INTERESTED in your own
product! It suggests that he wouldn't BUY his own product!
When I talk about something I've done/designed/selected, I'm *excited*
about it; I want to *share* that excitement with others so they can
appreciate the points that I'm describing. To just rattle off
details in a flat monotone (or, not even know those details) suggests
a "ho hum" event (decision, product, etc.)
Most people are easily intimidated/coerced. They don't have strong
opinions because they haven't *thought* (using their own braincases)
about the issues they are facing. Easier to "go along" with an
outside force than to *oppose* it!
I had a couple of good clients/employers over the years. But, by
far, most were pretty bad -- especially the Manglement folks.
An employer at a summer job (while in school) once called me into
his office to lecture me on my "brutal honesty" in filling in
my timecard (I didn't have to "punch a clock" -- office staff
could "write in" their arrival/departure times). If I showed
up at 8:03, I wrote down "8:03" -- AS IF I had had "punched"
the clock! Of course, I wouldn't leave until 5:03PM (or later)
so I wasn't cheating them out of any time!
His objection was that my honesty put *him* in a touchy position:
why haven't you *disciplined* this employee for being habitually
This was interesting, to a youngster. I'd naturally assumed the
risk was entirely *mine* -- I was the "offender"!
No one wants to listen to an accountant recounting the mundane
calculations in the P&L he prepared. OTOH, they *might* be interested
in the story *behind* those figures!
I get into trouble with some people because I reject the notion that
they even have the authority or right to tell me what to do or not do.
I'll make up my own mind and once I do I'll stick with my decision. It
would be easier to just go along with some people, but it depends on
what they're wanting from me.
Societal and social norms allow select people to have greater control
over our actions at different times/situations.
A police officer pulls you over and you *will* stop. When he requests
your DL+registration, you *will* provide it. You surrendered these
liberties when you consented to driving a vehicle.
When you visit a friend, colleague, you are morally obligated to honor
their wishes regarding your behavior in their home. If they ask you
to leave, you *will* leave. If they ask you to take off your
shoes ("please"), you will or will not enter, etc.
At work, your employer has control (to a large degree) over your
actions, etc. You're not free to exercise your will or opinion
regardless of how "correct" it may (or may not) be.
The times where no such implicit constraints are imposed on your
behavior is the most interesting: are you cooperative? obstructionist?
We don't smoke. If I'm in the middle of a public field (outdoors,
beyond the reach of legal restrictions on smoking) and the person
I'm speaking with chooses to smoke while speaking to me, I have
- do I ask him (politely) to please not smoke around me (why not??)?
- do I object to his inconsiderate blowing smoke in my face (not
intentionally but, rather, out of sheer ignorance)?
- do I put up with his habit recognizing he has little physical
choice in the matter?
- do I walk away?
If I'm throwing a dinner party, do I feel obligated to invite him
if I *know* he won't honor my request NOT to smoke?
For a humorous alternate example, imagine having a friend with
a health condition that results in excessive, fragrant flatulence...
do I invite him to that same dinner party -- knowing it may make
my other guests uncomfortable? Where do my obligations end
and my freedom of choice take over?
Had one of my sons X girl friends get in the middle of a family
disagreement while she was at my house. I asked her to step outside on
the porch and wait for us to talk, and she refused. I nearly picked her
up by her ear to escort her out, and my son could see THAT look in my
eyes, too, but I could see the look in his eyes saying to me "Please
don't do that...", so I didn't toss her out on her ear. BUT, I REALLY
As I said, it's a *moral* obligation. There are many folks who see
the world as revolving around themselves and don't feel "obligated"
to play by social rules.
I tend to be very clinical in dealing with "boundaries".
Many years ago, I was invited to my boss's home for dinner. It
was early November -- T-day on the near horizon. They had a
young daughter (8?). I showed up with a Godiva chocolate *turkey*
for her. She was clinging to her mom's leg as I walked in.
I handed the turkey to the *mother*. She looked at me, puzzled:
"But, isn't this for <daughter>?" I said, "Yes. But, I don't think
she should be accepting a gift/candy from a stranger (despite the fact
that Mom & Dad obviously *both* know me!)"
I.e., daughter knows where the turkey came from. Daughter knows who to
thank. *Mom* will decide when -- and if -- she can eat it. I have
no role in this beyond my giving.
Likwise, I am "honorary Uncle" to many kids (some of which are now
considerably "grown"). And, have been welcomed into many families'
"inner circles". So, I see the families "in their normal/home
environments" -- with all the blemishes, etc.
Over the years, have seen many arguments (between parents), many
times watched kids being chastised/disciplined, etc. Not my
business to interfere. Not my business to offer advice (unless
directly asked). I should do my best to not make any of them
more uncomfortable than they probably are, already (i.e., they
KNOW I am present and yet have allowed things to escalate to this
Also, not my business to share what I've seen/heard with anyone
outside that group (e.g., *their* inlaws, aunts, etc.)
OTOH, I have seen others in similar situations quick to volunteer
advice, take sides, etc.
Perhaps one day Uncle Monster will relate how he'd
handle the situation. Probably pick up the little
girl, throw her to the ceiling a couple times,
chew on her arm till she gets hiccoughs from
giggling too long, and then throw the girl over
her shoulder, carry her in to her seat at the
table. Followed by a raise, promotion, and an offer
to be babysitter for the girl.
Christopher A. Young
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