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Category: moonlighting

02/25/12 03:51 - ID#56132

Hall Monitor

For the unitiated, I do extra work at the First Niagara Center for events as an usher. All about not working terribly hard is me. For the Sabres/Stars game, I got the fuzzy end of the lollipop of assignments. It was nice to get the call as it had been a few weeks, but I was given a door to watch over, near restrooms in a little alcove. The door behaved itself. I couldn’t help but wonder if I was getting punished, but they were filling in the blanks. The usual doormeister was gone so I got the call. It is mostly boring, you can’t see the game very well, so you people watch and that is a festival as you might expect but you feel a little weird as half your sightline is folks entering the bathrooms. Had an awkward reunion with a guy I never really got along with in jr. high. That was weird and sort of set the tone for the night. He relayed to his date that he gave me a hard time and said he was surprised I never beat him up. I allowed how there was still time.

I was occasionally sneaking game glances but you did have to watch out for interlopers sneaking up the stairwell. The middle level of the place is restricted during the game to the folks who pay for the privilege, but that doesn’t stop some smoothies from taking a shot at getting in. I had a guy whose invisible wife was killing him to get a handcarved roast turkey sandwich (yeah, sure), a few other ner do wells, but my favorite was the guy who tried to talk his way up to see Sabres Broadcaster Kevin Sylvester, while Mr. Sylvester was speaking….on television. Something tells me that isn’t the best time for company to drop by, especially when they don’t seem to grasp the nature of your job. That same something told me that the gentleman in front of me knew Mr. Sylvester, from watching him on television like the rest of us.

The Sabres won in a shootout, so I’m thinking all the people who left early trying to “Beat the traffic” are feeling a little foolish, but I showed that door who was boss.
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Category: cars

02/25/12 03:48 - ID#56131

Farther On Up the Road

Continuing my car-ma theme from a couple of blogs ago, I did find a nice one. It's in the journal below, but it's acquisition was in an interesting tale as I don't think I want to buy that way ever again. But if I didn’t really like and I do, I might have walked away again. I went to recent used car warehouse sale at Eastern Hills Mall, largely to just see what parked out there behind the food court. There were some vehicles parked in the mall, but I took a “what the hey” stroll to see what was out and about. Now, it should be said, that volume used car shopping is bound to be a little bleah, beige, exciting as watching paint dry, etc. And going to one of these sales is something I don’t intend to repeat.

Anyway, nestled among some overpriced SUVs, Rav4, and other oversized trucksters, I found the Corolla. It looked great, inside and out. You knew it would be worth taking a swing at, so I flagged down a Sales rep to talk more. I had him go get the key after hearing his platitudes. He returned after disappearing to an “office” the dealership set up in an empty store front. I railed at him about all the stuff I wrote about in the “carma” blog two entries ago, so why surprise him with being a jerk later, might as well let him know where I stand from the get go.

We did a couple of laps of the mall and the car and I bonded. This is where the fun stops. I tell my new best friend, Tim, that this car and I are a good match. Let’s go talk to those who need talked to

We journey into the mall “office” where more sales reps, credit people are strewn across a network of card tables and water bottles. We start the ball rolling where an hour of waiting, while furious typing breaks out buying out the rest of my existing loan, evaluating the grand am that I was driving, and the dealership deciding where they will meet me on price. Where I screwed up was telling them to give me the best you can do from the start. Forgot to check on that, but learn from me dear reader. Tim reappears and advises me to follow down Transit Road to his actual office where we will get the papers signed, he’ll get the car inspected, detailed, and ready to go.

I get to meet the finance woman. Prior to arriving, I called my dad who was the wingman on my older sister’s recent lease from the same firm. I wanted to check when his finely honed b.s. detector went off. It was at this conversation. The finance “Expert” showed my deal. Then, the “genius” revealed all these other options available for my protection to further protect my car and my investment, since “Toyotas are complicated and foreign.” That sadly is an exact quote. This car was built in the exotic foreign land of…..Kentucky (thank you Car Fax). I managed to hide my contempt for this financial whiz kid, didn’t even ask her if when her boyfriend blows in her ear, does she remember to thank him for the refill. If she was the first person I met, this wouldn’t have happened.

With most of the staff at the mall, it seemed forever to get the paperwork done, a mere four hours after I stopped by, automotively six years and 40,000 miles younger. Not a perfect transaction, customers shouldn’t have to be on guard and reps shouldn’t be like vultures, and more importantly, the dealer’s staff shouldn’t have such contempt for clients that they barely mask their misinformation to get a deal done. Positives outweigh the negatives, but there shouldn’t be negatives.

Is that so wrong?
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Category: cars

02/06/12 11:20 - ID#56032

Fresh Hoopty

Picked up a new car on Saturday after spending some afterwork time looking at new used hooptys. After getting the run around at one sale on Thursday night, I found the 06 Carolla in the photo by chance. I'm laughing a little as the Rep from Thursday called Friday wanting to know if they could get in my price range would I come back. My thinking was if that could be done, why wasn't it the first time?

image

Found this one and kept a straight face while telling the Thursday Rep why we are done.

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Category: cars

02/04/12 11:39 - ID#56023

My carma ran over my dogma

While cursing how the office’s enewsletter client decided to fail me, I was distracted again by a car salesman.

I’ve started shopping. While as a friend pointed out, a new ride is an absolute blast, new thrills and all. What wrecks that for me is the crap you have to wade through to get to the thrill point. Thursday night, I met up with a rep who I purchased my last car from at a “Warehouse” sale out at the Fairgrounds. Four years ago, I didn’t give a style or make in mind, just a dollar amount. I didn’t have to have “the car” just four wheels that weren’t trying to kill me.

So, four years later, I’m employing the same methodology as I’ve started to think about the next vehicle. I’ve been looking online for awhile and the danger about that is a simple inquiry gets you lots and LOTS of follow up. So, off to the ag center I trudged, looking for adequate doesn’t exactly get you all a flutter.

I tried out a Vue, a Monte Carlo, a PT Cruiser, a Nissan, Kia Diamonti, an Ion, a Sportage and finally a Camry. There was an Escape in there too, but I got serious about a Camry. Figuring that you can rarely go wrong, we filled out some papers and it could be done at a rate higher than I cared to pay monthly. So, after almost three hours of mucking about, I got up and walked. Crazy, right? Sales rep lets me sit in an Alero and I think I’m done and head for the door. Suddenly, the finance manager wants to talk some more.

And I tell him that the Camry is a nice car, but they want too much for it. I’m sure they can get from some guy, but it isn’t going to be this guy. I set a budget for car payments and that wasn’t a ballpark figure and bid them goodnight. I go about my business today, including layout out a newsletter whose software lopped it in half, subscribers of which will be receive by-weekly since the damn thing apparently can’t handle too much data. Repairing to a local tavern to hear a favorite band and have a beverage, my phone rings. It’s the sales rep wanting to know my thoughts, what do I think, and what if we can get you to those numbers, etc

This is why people do not like buying cars, do not trust car dealers, enter into purchases trying to minimalize their screwing…..

It shouldn’t come to that. Customer should be able to say and have their thoughts taken seriously the first time around. It shouldn’t take all the dickering around, the parades to the “Finance Guy,” the convos with the Sales Manager, as it is all bullshit. That is the part of the car industry is messed up. Sure, it is great at selling cars, but twisted at customers, fine at acquistion, shitastic at retention.

If we can give me more for my trade, then DO IT!!!

See, delete the crapfest of dealer shenanigans, and people become regular customers.

Maybe if the customers weren’t rogered, or have to be brace themselves, the gaggle of sales reps would seem less vulture like. Maybe an atmosphere of all cards on the table on both sides FROM THE START would be good for less grief for customers and less angst from commission hungry sales folks.

Maybe that wasn’t a pig flying by my window……
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