I consider myself to be an honest person, sometimes brutally so. I have a deep dislike of people who lie to me and I usually know when this is happening. Thus, most salespeople are already pre-qualified for my personal Douchebag Bin sight unseen. The reason why I mention this is that I've spent the last two days car shopping.
In my mind, the customer/salesperson relationship is one of pure mercantilism; two parties negotiating to maximize their respective self interests. The part of this process that I despise is when the salespeople try to circumvent these boundaries with slimy attempts at making personal connections with me. I've got plenty of friends--business is business.
Nevertheless, I go out of my way to be polite and appear generally innocuous, at least until it's time not to. Yesterday, I was at a dealership when I was approached by a saleswoman. She was a drop dead gorgeous, blond, 25 year old, who was wearing an expensive form-fitting outfit. In other words, she was dressed to promote Bad Penis Syndrome (BPS). BPS is a very common male affliction, where the gigglestick overrides the brain and causes poor and often expensive choices. As we were looking at the cars, I noticed that she was being evasive about the prices, preferring to discuss monthly payments instead. This is Financial Assrapery of the Highest Order, because it involves lengthening the loan terms to reduce the payment amount without reducing the actual principal. It only benefits the dealer and it leads to borrowers getting upside down and higher interest rates. Regardless, I took her flirting and attempts to rook me in stride and chalked it up as par for the course. For awhile, anyway:
Saleswoman: I'm sure we can get your payment down to around $475. You could take it today.
Me: That would be a definite improvement. Are you talking about a 72 month loan?
Saleswoman: Yes, with A1 credit you'll get a low interest rate. Most of our customers do at least 60 months with no problem. We can start the application now.
As she made the last statement she did the intolerable--she placed her hand on my back. I absolutely detest strangers, beautiful or otherwise, touching me. If I know you or touch you first, it's different. This changed the tone of our conversation somewhat:
Me (wriggling away): Cool it, sugartits. (Yeah, I really said that). I wouldn't pay $475 a month on a borrowed kidney. I'm sure as hell not going to spend it on a vehicle that's guaranteed to depreciate faster than I can pay it off. Getting upside down is for suckers.
Saleswoman (stunned): I..um..uh..I didn't mean to insult you. I..uh..just thought...
Me: You thought you had a live one. Here's the news: If you can't tell me what the prices are and how you're going to reduce them substantially, we don't have a lot to discuss.
Saleswoman: Let me talk to the manager and see what we can do.
Me: You do that. In the meantime, I'm going to the next dealer. See ya.
This exchange had me thinking: Maybe there is a way that I can avoid such misunderstandings in the future. Here's what I came up with on Cafe Press: