Sunday, January 15, 2012

travels through the bizarre world of car sales

I've been driving my mid-life crisis car for a few years, a VW beetle that I bought from a wonderful friend- easy peasy. It's not fancy but it's mine and I love it..... it has heated seats and when I get in on a frigid day it wraps me up in a big warm hug. I spend, what feels like half my life in that little buddy. Driving to drum lessons, youth group, school, pizza hut (Mitch's job) and Jugo Juice (Chloe's job) etc. This last year the bug has been our only vehicle and it is not so convenient for this life of hauling kids, groceries, large canvases and a myriad of other jobs we've stretched into it. It's just not working so I'm going back to a mom mobile of some sort. Yesterday I hit the bizarre car dealership circuit. A study in culture I would have preferred not to have.

First was Kelowna Hyundai where a nice older gentleman showed me couple of minivans. He brought his manager over to meet me and I almost lost my breakfast, the guy had the most disgusting, contagious eye infection. He should have been sitting in the emergency room with an IV drip of brood spectrum antibiotics, instead he was micro managing his employees and shaking hands with customers! (yes, I shook his hand and I'm having post traumatic stress right now)

Next, I moved on to Orchard Ford where Mike has been trying to find me the right car, I felt confident that I could get a reliable car there but nothing fit my very meager (artists) budget. Thanks for trying Mike. He showed me a loaded Ford Freestyle, I loved it but way out of my price range. I dreamed, for a moment that I was financially flush and could have any car I wanted. (mental note to look for Freestyles in a lower price point)

Then, I entered a den of tenebrous confusion and at the Dodge place, Kelowna Chrysler .... I very clearly asked for a used minivan under $8000. After being dragged around the showroom to meet 4 different managers, fill out strange questionnaires and  generally feel manipulated they brought out a $13,000 PT cruiser. Seriously? Talk about misogyny and abuse of someone's time. an hour and a half later I dashed out while the used car salesman tried to drag me back in to see yet another manager. In all that time I DID NOT get shown any vehicles!

At that point the snow started to fly and the wind howl and my heated seats were the only saving grace. I pressed on to the other Ford Dealer and met Calvin, a very respectful experienced salesman  who heard exactly what I was after and quickly got keys for me to drive the 3 minivans he had on the lot. There was a Pontiac Montana, a loaded but older Windstar (what a boat) and a Dodge Caravan. After driving those bad boys I was cold-to-the-bone and just wanted to sit in a hot bath. I couldn't think straight enough to decide which one made sense.

Me and the bug had one more very important task, Pick up Chloe from work and deliver her to a friends house. Then, I came home to a quiet house and had my scalding hot bath and put on about 10 layers to stay warm. Still no car but maybe I'm getting closer.

I drove away from the day feeling so grateful for my dear little silver bubble that faithfully transports me warmly wherever I need to go. I'll be sad to say goodbye.

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