If you’ve ever been car shopping on a lot, then you know how absurd and tedious it is. You surrender to this ridiculous negotiation ritual where you say numbers and the salesman writes bigger numbers and then he goes and talks to some guy and he comes back with newer smaller numbers so you say numbers and this goes on and on until you leave or one of you actually compromises.
I am the negotiator, because as I’ve said, I am a
mean bitch woman of words and The Mister is my muscle a man of action. So, I sit there, with my sweet face and my sweet voice and I say audacious things like, “If you were never going to lower that price, then you had no business showing me that car, because I told you from the beginning where I stood.”
I flustered the salesman in a way that can only be described as near decimation of his patience. The Mister felt bad for him.
I’ve noticed that women take no issue when I say, “I’m your customer. He’s just here to pay,” but men, men seem ruffled by it. It doesn’t matter if it’s cars, houses, cell phones, computers — too many of them don’t like to deal with women. And that’s why I don’t feel bad for that salesman.
The third round, that motherfucker came back to me with numbers I liked, BUT ON A LESSER MODEL.
I walked out.
I explained to my daughters that it’s important to know when to walk away. I don’t settle. I have no problem walkin away from a freakin car. Are you kidding? My attachment ability is extremely limited. I’ve walked away from family, friends, lovers, jobs, opportunities, and even free ice cream — walking away from a car is a non-issue.
I told my daughters the jobs story:
Fresh from college, I interviewed for two local English teaching positions.
The first was at a private high school, and an hour after the interview ended, I was offered the job. For $16k a year. I think it was $16,9. I laughed, out loud, uncontrollably. I said, “I make more than that at the hardware store!”
“But our students are of the highest caliber, with fewer disciplinary incidents and greater —” Blah blah blah, I don’t know what the hell she said after that.
The other offer was like the above car shopping experience.
The nearby township job was described to me during the interview as teaching 6th and 8th grade English, with two prep periods, for $27,8. I was called back for a second interview, and upon completion of that interview, I was offered a job teaching 6th, 7th, and 8th grade English, with one prep period, sponsorship of the French club, and commitment to one sport. That’s right, more work, but for the exact same amount of pay. Did I attempt to negotiate? No. I knew then that contract negotiations would be like that every fucking year and salary increases were tiered regardless.
See, too much like the car negotiation. Insulting.
Today’s negotiations went far more smoothly. I gave the salesman my numbers and he came back asking $7 more a month on a new vehicle.
After nine years of being a one-car family, we are once again a two-car family. I named my car Bonnie Blue. She represents my freedom.
Are you a good negotiator?