I was sitting in my office when the phone rang. It was my boss; he told me not to call other dealerships asking for pictures of vehicles. I listened to what he said; I'm not really sure how I replied, but I know that I will never do that again. More than what he said was his tone; it was short, cutting, and tinged with exasperation. Hopefully I didn't sit there for too long, eventually I snapped out of it, went back to doing whatever I had been unless I started something new, and I thought that was the end of that until someone else stepped into my office. There were papers in his hand. He showed them to me. Then he explained that he had been there when the call went through to me, and he didn't like the way that my boss had talked to me. He explained something I hadn't known, and gave me the real reason the other place was so reluctant to send pictures. Now I know more than I did before.
Wednesday evening I went to ask about getting a vehicle from another location. There were other people in the office when I went to see my boss. He was stressed, she seemed not to be, I could tell that I had arrived at a bad time, but I had someone in my office, and I needed help. They chased me out of there, I went back to my client, and we agreed on a strategy. Later my boss told me that I need to learn how to push through. That's what I thought I had been doing when I asked for pictures of the vehicle from another store. Selling cars is a funny thing; you learn that someone will spend $56K on a brand new vehicle, but not shell out for floor mats. You can offer your thoughts, ideas, and perspective, but until they arrive on it themselves, it probably won't go anywhere. Saturday afternoon my boss said he would move some of the vehicles that were on the showroom floor. My customers wanted to drive the red one. It was the only one we had in that style.
I was shaking inside, fearful of what would happen if we went to all of the trouble to get the vehicle that was furthest from the doors outside, only to have what might have been a sale fall through. The people had walked in without an appointment. In the past, I have done this too, now I know, an appointment is a courtesy. An acknowledgment that you understand others have a life outside of you. The initial meeting did not go well; they were seated in my office and he said they just wanted a test drive. Occasionally I will lose control of a conversation, that day I sat there and took the time to gather more information. I was scared, nervous, upset, and frustrated. We went outside, and I found that someone had hung the keys in the wrong place. That was another bad look for me. We drove one vehicle, but she didn't like the color scheme.
The amount of dysfunction is fairly incredible. A vehicle on the website may or may not be there, exist in real life, be the actual color, there are numerous ways to screw up a posting; none of it makes us look good. Often stock photos are used. People do not want stock photos. When you are spending that kind of money, you want some reassurance that the vehicle you think you are getting is the actual one you will be driving. I didn't blame my client in the slightest. When the man with the papers came into my office he showed me his search. There are two vehicles in the country that are match what my client wants, or so we thought at the time. Then I learned that he and his wife prefer 18" wheels over 19" ones. But sometimes what people say they want ends up not being the actual case. After moving the vehicle off of the showroom floor, and taking it out for a spin, they bought it.
I didn't think they would take my suggestion to go out to eat, but they did. It takes time to get paperwork together, send it through service for a final software update, and send it over to detail so it can be cleaned and filled with fuel. When they got back I had just started working with another couple. The first couple told me that they didn't need me to go over anything with them since I had done such a thorough job before the test drive. The guy who is in charge of detail sent a porter over with the vehicle and keys for me. The porter parked it in the service drive, and I was so happy that he had done that for me. A shiny red vehicle in a mostly white and gray service drive makes a bold statement. My clients said that they could put the license plates on themselves. I hugged her, patted his shoulder, and knew that even though it was her car, I had gotten the sale because of him.
The couple who had stopped by to see me earlier left when they saw that I was still working with others. One thing I have learned is that you have to stick with people during the process, you can't just abandon them because someone else happens to stop by. I juggled people as best I could, you do no one a great service by trying to split your time that way. I haven't really done much of anything today, and I'm glad I gave myself time to sleep, to eat, to do some writing, some thinking, some processing, and to let my ears be filled with the hum of my refrigerator, the drone of insects outside, and the lack of the phones ringing, people talking, tires moving against tile floors, and various other work noises. I don't really know why some people buy vehicles and others don't, I really have no idea if it is me, the vehicle, my manager, the dealership in general, them as consumers, the price, whimsy, or any other factors that might be at play.
Since I have switched from the dating side to the BFF side of the app I have learned how easily and freely women I have met in an online context will share their struggles; deep, intimate, personal stories of heartache, heartbreak, abuse, lies, fleeing from others after law enforcement was involved, tricked into thinking a sterile man could and would give her a baby because that's what he said, their stories come to me in an authentic, broken, and wholly trusting manner. I would never use any of this against them, and I find myself divulging details I could keep quiet about, but that doesn't seem right either. Tomorrow is supposed to be a shorter day, but we were informed that we should expect to stay until close tomorrow regardless of what the posted hours are. A woman asked why I don't work shorter hours, and I didn't have any good answers for her. Today I am happy to be alive; to celebrate the imperfections and imprecisions, the vaguaries of life we experience each day.
All my best,
P.S. This is so crazy, how can any of this be real?