This started last Saturday. My son called to inform me his transportation had crapped out. Not that simply, oh no. First, his started died. A pain, but no big deal. Taking the starter off, one bolt stripped. So he push-started it so he could get something to take the bolt out, and could barely get out of the parking lot. He though alternator, but further checking showed it to be in the wiring harness from the alternator on out(as an aside, I'd like to find who came up with the idea of fusable links instead of fuses and shoot him). You know what Ford wants for the harness? $400. No, no used ones available anywhere around. There were several things he'd planned to fix over the next couple of months, but this added on caused him to decide to look for a new vehicle. Better to make payments for something that'll keep you moving than to be pecked to death by ducks.
So he spent the next few days looking for a vehicle. Happily he's licensed for motorcycles and could ride my bike, otherwise it would've been me getting off work and driving him around. And him begging rides to and from work.
One of the things this brought back is how he's come to hate most car salesmen. In particular, there's a Ford dealer on May Avenue that had a truck that seemed what he was looking for. Only the salesman a: treated him like a nuisance, b: wouldn't let him take a test drive, c: didn't want to tell him the price because "we don't like to give prices until we know you qualify for financing", and d: kept trying to push him into a two years newer one. By telling him that he was about to walk inside and ask the manager, he finally got a price: the '03 he was looking at, he was told, cost several hundred more than the '05 the guy was pushing. Son left, and advised me later that even if they'd later come up with a better price, no way in hell he'd buy from them. So they lost a customer. Happily, another dealer had a truck that would work nicely, at a better price, and they treated him decently. Guess who just got a check from the credit union?
As an aside, son went to OSU for a year as an engineering student, then decided that wasn't what he wanted to do after all and didn't return. He's been paying ever since on the student loans he had to take out to finish the year, and due to a mess-up with that, his credit is not good. So I had to cosign on the loan. Looking at the costs of books, and tuition, and fees, and going into debt to pay for all this, God knows why so many people are willing to go. Yes, education is generally a good thing. But when a lot of what you're required to take is bullshit, for which you have to pay large prices, it ain't worth it. Mind you, the hard sciences like engineering are a lot less affected by the bull than others, but check this out to see some of the ways those are being made less attractive. Yeah, yeah, if you're determined you won't mind. Sounds good, but it's bullshit. When people damn near go out of their way to make it more difficult for you to get what you need, people are more likely to say to hell with it and walk out. End of bitching.
A few years ago, the idiot dealership is the one where I went 'round & 'round with a salesman who had no problem giving prices, but kept pushing me to buy something other than what I wanted. That idiot finally called me and said he had 'just what I was looking for'. A couple of days later I went to look, just on the off-chance that he might have finally paid attention to what I'd said. He drove up a truck that- let's say that he took a list of what I did not want, and put it all on one truck and told me it was "just what I wanted". And then, after I'd said no, he came out with his big phrase: "What would I have to do to get your business today?" I have never in my life come closer to putting on my radio voice and bellowing "Try f'ing LISTENING to me!" Instead, I just walked out. This place has changed management since then, but apparently they've still got the attitude problem. I have no idea how they'll pay for the new building they just moved into.
I hate looking for a car.