Selling Lemons? Don’t Make Fun of the Fruit

Yesterday I bought a trailer. It’s just a little one to pull behind my Jeep for hauling my motorcycle and whatnot, but it did cost many hundreds of dollars. I mention the price because it’s not like I was buying a pack of chewing gum from the grocery store or a new bra from Victoria’s Secret. I actually needed a sales associate to assist me, and I don’t mean by measuring my boobs and then high fiving me after announcing that I’m a D-cup. (Everyone is a D-cup at VS—that’s actually what Victoria’s secret is.) No, I’m talking about a person who can give me detailed information about an item classified as a motor vehicle with weight limits and electrical hookups and licensing requirements. It’s therefore really important that this individual not be a total moron. Dun-dun-dun.

I think because I look like a boy and have a tendency to dress like one, that sometimes grown men think they can talk to me like I’m a child. Uh…nope.  As the sales associate was walking out to the trailer lot with me, we passed by my Jeep parked in the visitor lot. The guy verbally scoffed at my Obama-Biden bumper sticker. He actually made a stupid, childish comment about my political sticker. What. The. Hell? I was taken aback to say the least. I almost left the dealership on the spot. Seriously, dude. I am about to drop a significant amount of cash on a big ticket item and your sales technique is to mock my political views? That is the dumbest marketing ploy in the history of marketing ploys. And I remember New Coke.

Now, I have on many, many occasions disagreed with other peoples’ politics. It’s half of what I talk about on any given day. But that does not mean I can’t get along with people, at least on a surface level. I might debate the finer points of the GOP’s idiocy in my blog or with close friends, but if my livelihood depends on selling expensive objects to total strangers, I would know enough to keep my damn mouth shut about politics. Also, I would know to avoid religion, sex, income, and “your mama’s so fat” jokes.

So, why didn’t I leave the dealer on the spot? It was my first instinct. My skin crawled and the hair on the back of my neck bristled. But I kept on walking towards the back lot with the dude, in total silence, which is a clear sign that I am feeling very disdainful. My silence is really quite loud. The thing was, I really wanted the trailer; it was the right size and the right price. The dealership had been recommended by a friend in whose judgment I trust about wheeled objects that can be pulled behind vehicles. I had the time and the money to get it yesterday. So, I bought the darn thing even though the general manager, Scoffy McScofferson, had made fun of my bumper sticker. Seriously, the dude was the store’s GM. How does he not know the rules about politics, religion, and yo’ mama jokes?

Here are some other things that crossed my mind, in addition to the thought that Kris Krisscofferson was an idiot: I think he opened his mouth before his brain was working properly and he knew that he had just said something incredibly stupid as soon as his lips had sunk the ships. It became obvious to him that the car was mine when I gave no response at all to his led balloon of a political commentary. He said nothing else on the painfully awkward walk to the trailer lot and was all business from that moment on. He started treating me like a customer instead of a kid (which is the initial attitude he had adopted) and went out of his way to say nothing else that wasn’t connected to trailer specifications and towing capacity.

Although I considered leaving, I didn’t, as I said. It occurred to me that leaving made me look like a whiney baby and I could actually make the guy reconsider his idiocy (and perhaps his opinion on Obama supporters more generally) if I stayed and acted like the bigger man, as it were: “I have money and wish to purchase an item, good sir. You are an idiot but I am giving you a second chance to correct that oversight.”  Also, I was a woman buying a “manly” item and I felt like I had to represent. Damnit. Thus, I acted better than I felt, and it was David Hasselscoff who ended up looking like the kindergartener. When he gave me a firm handshake at the end of the transaction, I knew that he had regretted opening his big, dumb mouth, and I had done the right thing. Plus, I have a new trailer.

In summation, it’s a good thing Stormin’ Norman Schwartzscoff didn’t say anything about my Human Rights Campaign sticker because I know karate. It says so on my t-shirt.