So, Miss March is in the market for a car. I’m looking to buy my first car before school starts this year. Exciting, right? I thought so too, until I started all this car-shopping and realized that buying a car is up there on the list of “Most Hated Activities” right between having one’s period while camping, and going to the gyno. Yes, it’s really that bad. I blame my hatred on car shopping on the car salesman. I’m well aware that car salesman are notorious for being, well, salesman, and cheesy, annoying, pushy, etc. But, I never realized how sexist they are too.
Take, for example, this scene: I’m at a dealership with my Step-Dad (we’ll call him Gomez, because he looks like Gomez Adams). Gomez and I walk into the dealership. Now, I know that I don’t necessarily set this up to look like I know everything about cars, but I’m not an idiot either when it comes to what I’ll be driving. Gomez introduces himself to the Salesman and tells him that I want a mid-sized SUV, and etc. The Salesman talks about “important car things” like all-wheel drive vs. four wheel drive, the safety measure in the engine; all the while he’s looking straight at Gomez, knowing that it’s me, who is buying the car, but doesn’t bother to look down into my eyes. Finally, he turns to me and says in a sing song voice, “So, what color car do YOU want?” I looked at him and said, “It’s not really about the color as much as it’s safe.” He looked confused and looked to Gomez, then me, and said to me, “Oh, do you have kids?” I felt like smacking the guy and saying “No, I don’t have kids, but excuse me for not wanting to die if the car you sell me crashes into a tree.” So I said, “uh, no” and he totally ignored me and asked again what color I wanted.
Then, there was the dealership where Gomez, and I were sitting at the desk of the Salesman and actually starting to work out prices, because I loved the car, and Salesman goes on a pitch about how the paint jobs on the older models are actually better, he said, “You know, they can’t get dinged up and stuff, because it’s Polyblahblah (I never said I was good at remembering all this info, hence bringing Gomez along!); people loved the older models because they never got scratched or looked beat up.” He stops and looks at me, “You know, they’re great because even when doors slam into them they won’t get busted…like when you’re shopping. These cars are great for shopping.” Thanks, because clearly, that’s all I do.
How about after one of my test drives (can we talk about how much I hate test drives? I loathe them) I got out of the drivers seat and the Salesman gets out of the back and he says to Gomez, “Wow, she’s actually a pretty good driver. Dad, you must be proud!” I was the one doing the “pretty good” driving, why would he be proud? Yes, he taught me to drive, but Salesman doesn’t know that. Why didn’t he say to me, “You’re a good driver. I’m impressed!”?
The best was when I met Gomez and we went shopping spur of the moment, and I was wearing a low cut halter top and jean shorts. Boy oh boy, did the seas of men part at the dealership that day. I felt like a whore on parade. They made no qualms about turning away or staring directly at the sun. I’ve been to a lot of dealerships lately, test drove a lot of cars, and talked to a lot of people, and I can honestly say that there was ONE woman selling cars at all these places combined. And, that was the biggest and most expensive dealership that we went to. This is a breed of men that I don’t understand; are they always like this? Do they go home and act like salesmen? Maybe if they want to start selling me a car they need to figure out better sales tactics; like in dating, one pitch isn’t going to work with every girl who comes into your dealership. They need to work on their shtick and then get back to me, thank you very much.
Have you ever had interesting or sexist car buying experiences?