Saturday, August 18, 2007

Notes: Car, Carpet and Other Things

"We'll come up with a good number." Butch said before he disappeared into his general manager office with the child salesguy and his mentor salesguy, who may or may not have been the one who left the note on my car. I didn't really catch his name for sure. "Then you can sign a deal or we'll walk away as friends."

I turned to Friend in the moment when they left us alone. I had the bad habit of saying, "We've been talking and I don't think..." when the salesmen returned to the table and they had quickly decided to try to keep Friend's unimpressed influence to a minimum. She was very quiet through the process, sitting unsmiling while I made friends with the young man they gave me to start.

"I hate that." She said at one point when he left. "Let's build a relationship! Since we have so much in common! 'I have a gmail account too,' he says. 'My mom does that. My wife has one of those. I feel the same way.'" She shook her head.

"Oh, am I supposed to feel a bond with him now?" She nodded in response.

"I don't feel badly for you." I informed him when he returned. "Young salespeople who work in the heat ended up in a gnat infestation the last time I fell for it. So I'm getting better at saying no."

Some two hours after we arrived, they came back with numbers. $10,995 difference and I quickly shook my head. "Look," I said, "I understand your position. My car is a 2001 with nearly 94,000 miles. The only car I'm even vaguely interested in is a 2006 with less than 10,000 miles. But my car's accessories are far better and I don't have problems with it. I haven't ever had a car payment and am not eager to experience that unless I really love the car. And I don't love the car nearly that much."

They kept pressuring me to name a number, name a monthly payment, write something down, sign here dammit! I continued to shrug and started feeling as unimpressed as Friend.

"We have a buyer for your car so we're willing to give you an excellent deal. $3000 is probably more than it's worth."

"Probably." I agreed easily.

"What did you say it blue book was?" Friend prodded, attempting to speed the process along as she kept an eye out the window to keep track of my car so we could escape. I'd given them the spare keys and felt good about leaving anytime.

"Over 5." I said. "Private seller." The salesmen shook their heads.

Butch returned with a final offer of $199.70/month for 75 months. "That's a lot of months." Friend offered, then lapsed into silence while I frowned at the paper.

"I don't like the car that much." I said. "But I'll call my dad just in case."

"No." He said immediately. "They had that car for $12,500 online and it wasn't really worth that. Marking it up to $14 is ridiculous. Walk away. They're trying to rape...er, rip you off."

I thanked him and smiled when Butch returned from his office.

"We're done." I chirped after shaking my head at young salesguy. He smiled and nodded.

"Wonderful!" Butch said, chest puffing out in his pale peach polo shirt. "We have a deal!"

"We're walking away friends." I corrected him and he scowled at me. As Friend and I finally drove out of the parking lot, she told me I wasn't getting invited to the barbeque at Butch's house this weekend.

"I don't think he meant it about being friends." She said and I nodded with relief and not having done something I'd regret. So my car sits in its garage, washed, vacuumed and with no problems at all.

*****

"I don't feel like this is working!" I complained to Friend as I went to steam the carpet with Cousin's cleaner. "Nothing gets hot or wet, so the steam part appears to be broken!" She moved down the hall to help and pressed the trigger located on the handle.

"Water's coming out." I announced, bemused.

"So what was wrong?" She asked, not comprehending my confusion.

"No water came out before." I told her, sheepish.

"Did you turn it on?" She asked and I was momentarily offended.

"Of course I turned it on! I just...didn't know you had to use the trigger. I thought the machine just knew I wanted water."

She shook her head, sighed and returned to her work. I happily cleaned carpet, exclaiming over the dirty water I flushed as I moved through the house, picking up stray clumps of pet hair the cleaner left in small patches. It's quite fun, but I got tired. I'll do more tomorrow now that I know how to work the carpet cleaner.

*****

I finished my slides for my upcoming talk. I also made plane reservations. I am not yet nervous and hope that lasts. The talk is quite pretty.

There's a party across the street. It's very loud and Chienne is tempted to bark at them for a really long time. It does not help. We're not really a party neighborhood. They moved in recently and I hope they shut up soon.

Regina Spektor was recently added to my iPod, based upon Carrie's recommendation. I love that album (Begin to Hope). Highly recommend it.

*****

I went to bed last night in a mango soda/peach schnapps fog. While I was drifting to sleep, I thought of three things I wanted to fix in my book. I vividly remember thinking 2 things: 1) They were good ideas and would help the flow considerably. 2) I was highly unlikely to remember what they were.

I woke up last night around 3, unable to sleep. But I decided to read blogs instead of writing anything myself. I showered and went back to bed around 4. When 8:30 this morning found me putting in a load of laundry and picking up clutter while coffee brewed, I tried to jog my memory for even one of those ideas I had.

In college, I had an unfortunate habit of being almost asleep then rising with the certainty that the solution to a physics problem had magically come to me. I was never right. I would get up and write down some nonsense, stare at it with bewilderment, then try to relax back into sleep. So I stopped getting up to act on my strokes of sleepy genius.

But I did remember one thing I wanted to change and quickly added the appropriate paragraphs where I thought they should go. I nodded in satisfaction as I read it back - it worked well. So I struggled to remember my last 2 ideas, realized one of them would work, but not how I thought and still can't get the third back. I'm working under the assumption that it wasn't worthwhile.

In the event that it was something cool, I'm getting sleepy again. Perhaps it will come back to me tonight.

3 comments:

EA said...

...all that with the car makes me wonder if the note they left in the first place was just a ploy to get you in the dealership... :oP
...glad you stood your ground when the deal wasn't what you wanted...

repressed librarian said...

Good for you for standing your ground at the car dealership!

JustMe said...

yes, good for you!

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