Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Click on 'View the Car Talk Listener Photo Album' and click 'next photo'. That's Mei-Kay on the roof in her official internet debut.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Saturday, November 21, 2009
from The Lot
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Friday, November 6, 2009
Today I sold a car to a young military man who is deploying tomorrow morning. He wanted something safe for his mom to drive until his return in six months. She will be staying with his daughters, 7 and 11 years old. He’s been home only eight weeks.
God bless the grandmothers.
My friends wonder how I am able to do this job. The reasons change from day to day, hour to hour. But this particular morning it is men like this that compel me to show up: his earnestness, efficiency, and his unflinching commitment to family and country. It’s the very least I can do to help him find a safe vehicle his babies and mother as quickly and painlessly as possible. As we chatted, my heart was heavy for his mother I made her laugh while sensing the unspoken terror of watching her baby, a part of her body, her very heart, leave for dangerous regions unknown to her. And he does so without complaint. Politics pale in the face of the human pain of war.
God bless the mothers and the grandmothers.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Well, I missed my bus this morning! Nothing is more irritating than to see it just roll by with no appreciation for the struggle it takes to get out of the house and to the bus stop in time.
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Truth be told, I am still a Metro Girl. Maybe I haven’t been gone on my car ownership adventure as long as I imagined, but a few things have changed on the OKC Metro Transit System in my absence. For one thing there are more buses, new ones! I could never understand why a city spread further and wider than Los Angeles, located in the country's very center, has such a lousy local bus system. Old, smelly buses rattle and grind and cough their way out of a optimistically modern downtown terminal, complete with neighborhood art in primary colors. It just didn’t make sense. A taxi driver once told me that the gas and oil power players preferred it that way; it kept folks buying gas. I'm happy to see them come around. Maybe soon you’ll be able to catch a bus after 7:00 p.m. in this camp.
Happy Bob was on the bus this morning, his face brightened with a big hello. He always, always leaves the bus with a grand “Jesus loves you! Don’t forget!” and addresses people by name. To his proclamation this morning he added, “You gotta keep growing! You can’t stay the same!” A gratifying message from an 82-year-old fellow bus rider. Like a wood puppet, Bob has a seemingly unattached lower jaw that works independent of the rest of his face; he walks as if marching, his legs attached to stings held by a puppet master. When he smiles his eyes squint giving a glimpse of the child he was decades ago. But it’s his face after the smile that most intrigues me, after the grand proclamations of divine love when it pulls back into itself and his jowls slacken with life’s weight. This is not a conversation we have had.
A heavily accented man asked it I could help him correct the time on his watch. He had been struggling since last night. Not to be outdone by a watch, I took up his struggle and ten minutes later we had it figured out. Abraham is from Eritrea, his thin body and delicate face carry such sadness. With gestures of weeping and disgust he explained that his people cannot figure out how America, a predominately Christian country, could have divided Eritrea displacing millions of other Christians, those who are the protectors of the Arch of the Covenant. I have no answer for him. He thanked me for healing his watch.
The Senator Mechanic just called me. We’ll meet up later so he can assess Spunky’s situation. I was going to donate her to the public radio station. “Hey, hold on,” he said, “why don’t you sell it to a metal salvage place! Get yourself some money. Ask for five and take three-fifty.”
Ah, just like a true car salesman. Sounds like a plan. To the #13 and on to The Lot.
Friday, October 30, 2009
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
It’s been deadly slow on The Lot this week and we are all stare-crazy and a bit anxious. It’s the time of the year when car salesmen start “disappearing” for lack of work. Nonetheless, with winter just around the corner, it’s good time to talk about what one needs to do before buying a car.
Before you even step onto a car lot, you should have a pretty good idea about what kind of car you want and what you can afford to spend. A surprising number of people have no idea of either, which I'll talk about in another post. Car salesmen are taught to ask a series of questions to help define your needs and work through your defenses or objections. It can be an interesting little cat and mouse dance. The salesman is not necessarily trying to sell you the most expensive car but the one he’ll make the most money on. In car salesmen vernacular, he wants to “take your head off.” Sorry...just one of those odd car salesmen terms. In any case, the more you know about the car you want to buy, the better position you will be in to negotiate the best deal and the more fun you can have in the process.
So, Lesson # 1: do your homework.
Spend time on-line, talk to family members and friends. Even complete strangers will have information for you. Determine what car you need rather than the car you want. Often they are not the same. For instance, if you have two kids and one on the way, you might consider an SUV rather than that sporty two-seater that makes your heart sing. Granted, it may be the last car you’ll be able to afford until they leave out into the world when with great self-sacrifice you can relinquish that much beloved buggy to the last kid. Then without a moments hesitation run and get the car you really want and, by this time, you'll greatly deserve it. Or if you’re finally buying your 16 year-old son his first car that you've been promising him since he was three and he’s jonesing for a truck, get him a single cab model with about 60,000 miles on it. You know, something he can safely hone his driving skills with. Plus, the less room he has to stuff his buddies in the better. And don’t even think about it being red!
In all fairness to all the honest, hard-working car salesmen – and they do exist, I promise – the more information you can provide the better they are able to find the car that will serve your needs and in the least amount of time. Besides, who wants to schlep up and down a car lot all day?
Monday, October 19, 2009
Sunday, October 18, 2009
...Power struggles with your father, men and authority figures are likely in the months ahead—they can teach you something about yourself, even if they are mistaken about your situation...
08 Overview if born Sept, 21-27
What?! Power struggles with male authority figures? Men "mistaken about my situation" teaching me about myself? When I read this a year ago I was completely mystified and bummed at the prospect that it might be even a little bit true. This did not sound like a good time by any stretch of the imagination. But with a year on The Lot under my belt, it is all perfectly clear. It just never in a million years occurred to me that the writer of this insightful message could have possibly meant a bunch of car salesmen. But it's been real and worth the wild learning curve.W
The car business is it's own peculiar culture and everything you have heard is true. But there is so much more. In coming posts I will share with you what I've learned about the car business, what you need to know about buying a car, especially if you are a woman, and other quirky observations. I promise to keep it clean and, for legal reasons, I will change the names...to protect the guilty and the innocent! I can just hear the sighs of relief.
Sooners: 13 Longhorns: 16....oh well.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Another day on The Lot but it’s not just any day. It’s the Oklahoma -Texas game! A day that will go down in history – if the Sooners wins. And if they fall to the Longhorns? Well, it’ll be tears all around. I shudder to think. Not that any of this matters so much to me but it does allow for a little time free of the guys because they are all crowded in the gm’s office watching the game. And if it weren’t for the fact that every man in town is also glued to the tube, I might actually sell a car without tripping over one of the other salesman. I hear clapping and screaming. We have a first down!! Wooppee!!