On the surface, you may think the following rant that I posted on Facebook doesn’t belong in this blog about everyday teachable moments. However, I urge you to read the entire blog entry before making your decision. I would love to hear your feedback.
*Caution – Excessive rant ahead!
2 out of 3 automotive places that I visited this morning totally offended and/or ticked me off.
Jimmy & I went to a dealership to look at minivans. The salesman was obviously trying to talk us into getting the most expensive one. I get that…he needs to make money. However, don’t try to sell ME on it by repeatedly emphasizing the fact that it has a built-in vacuum cleaner. I’m NOT going to spend almost $3000 for a vacuum in my car! After the 3rd time that he tried to impress me with that, I asked if that was only difference. Oh no…it has several OTHER features that might have actually appealed to me if he had treated me with a little respect and not like a dumb woman who knows nothing about cars and would literally JUMP at the chance to have a built-in vacuum in my car! Yeah buddy… you will NOT be getting my business or my money.
Then we had to take my car to a tire place to get it plugged due to a piece of metal that was in the tread. When I dropped it off, I was very clear about where the metal was located. When we called to check on it, they reported that they couldn’t find a leak, and they had done everything they could. When asked if they removed the metal piece, they said they couldn’t find it. They wanted to know if I was SURE that there was, in fact, metal in the tire. Hmmm. Let me see. No, now that you mention it, I must have just imagined that silver piece of metal that I happened to notice while putting my child in the car. Maybe it was just a rock or a stick that I thought was metal because I probably can’t tell the difference…right? Wow…I feel stupid for worrying so much about getting my child home safely when it was just an imaginary piece of metal.
This is why, for the most part, I detest dealing with anything automotive. It has been my experience that men are always treated with more respect than women by people in the automotive industry. As with most things, if you treat me with respect, I will be loyal to you and your business. If not, I will definitely go spend my money elsewhere.
“You people work on commission, right? Big mistake. Big. Huge.” (Pretty Woman)
“That’s all I have to say about that.” (Forrest Gump)
Ok. I realize that some may think that this is just a rant and nothing more. I beg to differ. If I simply accept this type of treatment, what message am I sending to my daughters? Granted, they were not with us, and they are too young right now to understand the complexities…but what if they were? We, as parents, won’t always be there to protect our children and make sure that they aren’t taken advantage of. We have to teach them how to take care of themselves whether it be doing research before making a big purchase, asking lots of questions to get clarification before agreeing or signing anything, expecting to be treated with respect and walking away if they are not, and so on.
I would approach these types of situations differently depending on the child’s age and maturity level. For example, your conversation with a 16 year old who wants their first car would be very different from a 10 year old who is just tagging along. You could start by asking what they thought about the conversation. Did they notice anything? Maybe all they remember is how cool the DVD player was…and that’s OK. Use that as a jumping off point. For example, “Yes. That was cool. But what if you had to pick between having a DVD player at home OR having one in the car. Which would you pick?” Have a conversation about the pros and cons of each. You will be able to share some knowledge and get some insight from your child’s perspective. A win-win!
So…I’m curious to hear your opinion. Does this belong in a blog about everyday teachable moments?