"What a wonder life I've had! I only wish I'd realized it sooner." Colette

May 8, 2018


I tried to be polite, but Ted, the car salesman, kept on pushing until Amy had enough. She gave him an earful, most of which you may have already read in Po’ Folk Car Shopping, but with the audible inflections not possible through blogging.

And then some, such as comparing their upscale business to Joe Sleaze on the Corner, yes, I did. I felt emboldened after hearing a piece on car loan rate discrimination based on color, and how dealers try to unload cars they aren’t moving on to them at these outrageous interest rates; so I threw that in to the mix as well, only adding ‘the poor’ to the argument.

Well, he asked for it. I got a phone message from Ted after I'd cancelled our appointment that if the car payment of $225 per month was too high, after 6 months I’d be able to refinance and bring that down.

“Yeah,” John, a camper living in his car, said, “(they) told me the same at the place that charged me 29%. But when I went back to refinance like they said, they didn’t approve me.  They do that so's they can repo.”  

What I NEED is a balloon payment; lower to begin with in order to start earning some money by selling art to galleries maybe, or driving to a job. THEN in 6 months I'll be better equipped to pay the higher rate, and you can still repossess my car if I can't. I know, I'm in La-La Land.

John paid for the bundle of wood and tried to offer a buck to help with my financing. I refused, but was grateful and told him so. Too bad Mom’s not still alive; she might have co-signed a loan.

Ted kept digging himself a hole, saying that they have a less expensive car on their lot (which I asked about last week but he said, ‘No’); that there’s a less expensive Spark at a different yet affiliated dealer (one of the first questions I asked last week was whether dealers under the Lithia umbrella shared vehicles like the MLS for realtors, but Ted said, ‘No’).

He offered to come get me in that blue Mini Cooper to test drive since it's difficult to get to them on my own. He could have said that last week, too. On and on it went until the kid couldn’t get out more than 2 or 3 words before Amy threw him a retort.

“When did I say I had $4,500 for a down payment?”

I…I…I thought you said…”

“Look at your notes. Did you take any notes?!”


“Wasn’t our conversation recorded for quality purposes?”

Ted never stood a chance.  When he finally asked if there was anything else he could do for me, I asked him to shake a finger at his Managers for trying to push me in to such a financially-risky situation.  My conclusion:

“I was out of my league, going to BMW to begin with. You don’t need my business; and now you’re the last place I’d buy a car, even if I had the money.

Well, there goes my nose again. I’ve been sick for days and more despondent than I’ve been in a long time, but I suppose that’s normal.  In Mazlow’s hierarchy of needs physiological comes first, then safety, before love and belonging. My dream since college was to reach the pinnacle he calls self-actualization and I thought I was just about there; but just like an hourglass turned upside down I’m back to food and shelter.

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