I’ll tell you what happened when I came to buy my new car …
Lorna’s New Car
I had fallen in love with the car the instant I saw it. The trouble was the young guy I had been dealing with could tell, and my attempts to get him to drop his price even a little were falling on very stony ground. I had been counting on a reasonable trade-in for my old one, but I just knew the guy would do what he could to push that down. Every time I made what I thought was a good point, the young guy would suck in his breath and mutter about how Martin wouldn’t let him do that. The conversation looked like it was going nowhere, the coffee he had fetched me was going cold. I drank it quickly, grimacing a little, then decided some time out would be good. A brief comfort break to collect my thoughts, I decided. When I came out of the customer loo an older chap was waiting to go in. He must have seen the furrowed brow!
‘Penny for your thoughts?’
‘Oh, nothing really, just having some murderous ideas about bright young car salesman,’ I said, ‘the thing is I like the car, but I do think he’s asking too much. And he keeps stonewalling by going on about Martin. His boss, I think. He sounds a right….well, a right one. You get the picture. I’m just wondering if I could do the pair of them in with a hydraulic jack and still claim it was self-defence.’
He chuckled. Nice laughter lines appeared at his eyes.
‘Oh, that sounds unfortunate! It is a lovely car, mind. I really liked the look of that myself. Stylish, roomy, but deceptively lively when the need arises.’
He smiled and raised an eyebrow. I got the distinct impression I was being flirted with, and it lightened my mood a little.
‘Speaking of needs arising, if I could just…?’
He nodded past me, and I realised I was standing in the doorway. A little flustered – I seemed to have been daydreaming slightly, probably about the car – I apologised and let him pass. As I walked back to the main office I saw my salesman laughing with another of the younger guys. I distinctly saw him rubbing his hands together and my cold mood returned. We glowered at each other across the desk and started a rather tight-lipped discussion about what could be thrown in to try to sweeten the deal. Things were not going well. Then a voice came from behind me.
‘Tricky customer, Duncan?’
‘Ah, Martin! No, not tricky, the lady’s just driving a hard bargain.’
‘I can imagine,’ came the reply, ‘she looks the sort to know what she wants and go for it. And that’s a good thing too, isn’t it? It’s a good deal if both sides feel like they’ve got what they wanted from it. But the customer needs to be sure she’s getting what she wants, first, wouldn’t you say?’