Saturday, February 12, 2011

Car Buying

The Aluminum Falcon had a near death experience last week.

I was driving home from work when I looked up to see the line of cars in front of me had stopped. I hit the brakes and of course, this being February in the northeast, I hit nothing but ice. Somehow, at the very last second, I managed to turn the wheel to the right, narrowly missing the gigantic white SUV directly in front of me but hitting the guardrail. I bounced off the guardrail and ended parallel to the SUV without making a mark on it.

Bernie Parent would have been proud of my reflexes and it was nothing short of miraculous. I wanted to stand up and bow.

Then, I drove off like nothing happened.

This means I need to step up the pace on getting a new car and by "step up the pace" I mean "actually start".

Let me start off by stating that I absolutely hate buying a new car. This is why I am driving a 97 Civic. My  strategy has been total car dealer avoidance. If I never have to buy a new car, I never have to see "those people" and step into "that place". That's quite a statement and it means I would rather drive a 14 year old car with dents on both sides and a bad muffler than talk with the lowest form of life on Earth, the car salesman.

These deep seated feelings come from a long line of stupid things that have come out of the mouths of car salesmen in my presence. Like the guy that told me that the air coming out of certain brand of Japanese car was actually cleaner than the air going in. Ponder that for a moment.

The Chancellor had to physically restrain me at that one.

So off we went the Kia Dealership last week in order to simply drive a new Sportage. We had down selected to the Hyundia Tuscon, the Honda CR-V and of course, the Kia Sportage.This was so the Chancellor can drive herself in snowstorms to the Hospital where she works.

We head out and I have a big frowny face to begin with. We start the adventure with me missing the entrance to the dealership from the divided suburban highway. It takes 15 minutes to turn around - twice and we finally enter the dealership, where we find there is absolutely no where to park. It's like South Philly in there with giant mounds of snow and cars parked crooked and all over the place.

This is not making things better.Move to Angrycon 2.

I finally find a spot and we head in and now on the door to the showroom, I see a sign someone drew up in Powerpoint and it reads:

"Absolutely no cell phone use allowed inside as it interferes with our computers"

And with that little gem, we move to Angrycon 4, skipping 3.

To me, this statement says "We don't want you getting any outside information because we want to bamboozle you and we think you are stupid enough to believe that common electronic devices interfere with each other, only within the confines of our showroom"

This is a stupid sign for many reasons, including:

1.  If your smart phone has a data plan it is CONSTANTLY communicating with the mothership. Sitting in your pocket and you not touching it doesn't make a difference.

2. I defy you to turn off a modern smart phone with a data plan. Those things are like a terminator. Everytime you think they are off, a text comes in, an email comes in or their little eyes light up red again and they start swinging.

3. What the hell is so special about these computers inside a dealership showroom that makes them sensitive to an electronic device WE ALL CARRY. 12 year olds carry these things for crying out loud. NASA and Hospitals have no such rule and no one dies in space because a car salesman can't figure out how much fake undercoating costs. Let's have a little perspective.

Needless to say, I'm steamed. I'm practically muttering to myself about "how stupid do you think I am etc" and the very first thing I do inside the showroom? I text a friend and ask the name of that website that gives you dealer invoice pricing. So there.

In the showroom there is a nice new Sportage that's loaded. And it's locked. But me being a smart guy, I reach into the Sportage and open the door with the inside handle.

Bad move.

This sets off the car alarm. In the showroom. I am now in full Angrycon 5, standing there next to the beeping car in the showroom, embarrassed.

Eventually we drove a Sportage. It was a nice car. Lots of nice features. I like it but I doubt I'll ever buy one there.

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