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January 27, 2011

Getting the Job Done

Joan Marie Aquilino

I haven't bought a new vehicle in so many years I can’t even remember, maybe the 90's sometime. I'm not really all that impressed by new vehicles. Sweating that first door ding or scratch doesn't make sense to me. I use them to get from point A to point B and if I can do that with a used one, I'm good with that.


Now that I'm finally gainfully employed again and doing something I love with people I both love and respect, I thought “what the heck” let’s splurge a bit. I said 'self' how about we go all out and buy a new vehicle and maybe even go one better and get that SUV you’ve always wanted.


Self hesitated, and said 'oh what the hell, let’s do it.'


What ensued I will try to explain in proper language and not revert to what I used at times.


Let's go back to the beginning of this process. I made the decision to buy a vehicle, decided on new, pick a couple models and off I went to research. I goggled. I asked friends. I looked without talking to salespeople. I even got references, checked out safety records, prices, gas mileage, and reliability. I knew what I wanted and went out to get it.


Easy you'd think...........well didn't work out quite the way I 'envisioned' it.


I should have known when friends indicated I would be unpatriotic if I bought anything but American. I agreed at first and then I went researching. American is in the eye of the beholder. I had a so-called gas guzzling Buick that I couldn't afford any longer; but it was American. I loved the car, but when you are facing a 120-mile commute, you rethink things. It's an American that is selling me the car; it's an American that owns most dealerships; it's an American that put the car together in an American factory in America. Might not be union made, but is that un-American?


When you break it down that way and go even further and see where all the so-called American cars and their parts come from, you start to wonder what is and what isn't American.


I got through all the research; now let’s move onto the buying process.


Car Salesmen (as a rule) have not left 1950's mentality. How silly, foolish and non-productive this behavior is; and it certainly doesn't help in selling your product.


Do not tell me what I want! Do not tell me what I can afford! Do not tell me I can't afford something! Answer the questions I ask; and, Dear God, if you want to keep me acting like a lady and using ladylike language DO NOT tell me to settle for what you're offering.


Men get real and figure it out. Women control a huge portion of today’s wealth. We don't need hand-holding in this area, and we certainly don't appreciate condescending talk. No, that wasn't an anti-male speech; it was an unexpected and shocking example of what I don't normally encounter. The men I deal with on a daily basis and respect would never even think of talking down to anyone, male or female.


When I did come across a decent male salesperson, the sales manager behind the scenes pulled the same antiquated behavior.  Dumb move, if you are going to play bad cop with me at least get your stories straight and don't tell me something you can't back up.


I loved this one: ‘I can’t do that and if you don't take this vehicle at this price someone else will and I will sell it today.’ Guess what, I turned and walked out in total shock, didn't take the car and neither did anyone else – at least not that day.


I drove by in my identical new vehicle nearly a week later and – oh my gosh, by golly – how foolish they were because their vehicle was still sitting pretty on the lot. Funny how that happens.


I'll give kudos to King Kia in Gaithersburg for stepping up to the plate and being straight with me from the get go. I told them what I wanted. They said yes. I drove down, signed the papers and they ‘delivered’ the car to my door. There was a small mishap of something forgotten but they brought me a loaner, fixed it and brought it back to me the next day. I was never inconvenienced.


One more thing needs to be installed, but it’s no biggie; and, when I can, they’ll take care of it I’m sure. Poor guys. They know if they don’t, you will all hear about it.


Half an hour in and out, now that's what I'm talking about, Mark Rodriguez and the rest of the staff at King Kia, thank you very much. My brother will be calling you soon. He now wants a Sorento just like mine, but I’m guessing he’ll want the moon roof unlike his cheap sister.


. . . ’til next time. . . . .


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