Friday, November 16, 2007

racism really livens up a sales pitch

My car got hurt again quite some time ago and I still haven't gotten it fixed. Long (and not-so-interesting) story for another time.

My usual guy gave me an estimate for repairs that seemed a bit high, and this week I took my car in for a second opinion. This time I took it into a place recommended by the guy who hit me.

The man in charge was a small man of Polish descent. At first, he amused me because his accent was so thick it was Inspector Clouseau-fake. I kept imagining that buddy was actually a bad theatre student just trying to pull it off. Plus the guy kept using the word "yes" indiscriminately, which made it just that little bit more sketch.

But the amusement took a wrong turn. Handing me his estimate, the guy said, "You know, yes, I just want you to know that I no rip you off, yes. In old days, it was always Polish, Ukrainian, Greek, Italians who fix the car, yes. And yes, nobody rip you off. But now you go to shop and there is black man, yes, Indian man, yes, and you pay too much and they do very bad job, yes."


Was this his sales pitch of himself and his shop? I was so shocked as I strode out of there that I didn't even look at the estimate until I was long gone. And now I'm kicking myself for waiting so long, because his estimate was a good 25% higher than the one my guy gave me. If traffic hadn't been so bad, I would have turned around to give him a piece of my mind. You no rip me off indeed, racist man.



Emory said...

LMAO, you made my day.

Had a similar event happen to me earlier this year. I was driving back from Atlanta, and the 'poouse' gave me a call, she said she had found her 'dream car' on the internet; had called a German dude salesman, and wanted me to stop by to check it out. The car was in Charlotte. I said I would, so she gave me the address, and I put it into the GPS.

Anyhow, I got to the dealership and spoke with the sales guy; a German named Dieter. (started laughing when he introduced himself as Dieter, thanks to SNL 'Sprockets' piece)

We took the car out for a test spin, and had general conversations about German vs English soccer, World Cup, and other things we had in common. No, we did not speak of the War(s).

I told him that I thought the car was very clean, and had been well maintained, and he responded in his thick German accent - 'Ja, it has had no Negroes in it ever'

Well the whole whole Dieter, racist Nazi, negro hating, German denial of knowing anything about the holocaust thing, popped straight into my head. I burst into laughter and responded with surprised and over pronounced 'realy.' Which only gave him the thought that his salepitch had found favor.

'Ve check out all our carz, you find no negro hair in dem' and if that didn't stitch me he furthered offered for my amusement, 'the negro won't drive these carz, they drive only the Mercedes, its in der blut'

I know I should have been ticked off, and was, but the whole situation had me in stitches all the way home to Raleigh.

Yep, racism is alive and thriving in the Pre-Owned dealerships throughout the world, And Holle Nein I didn't buy the car or returned any of his messages. I should have asked to zee his papers, and turned him over to Homeland Security..... damnit!

Kathy said...

RainyBow, I wish you had looked at the estimate and said something to him. Give him a clue that it's not acceptable to say stuff like that. I'm white, and I guess sometimes people assume that it's "safe" to make some racist or otherwise moronic comment like that to me. When I was younger, I used to just take it because I didn't want to make a scene. Now? Holle, Nein! I want to make a scene and make darn sure they know that saying that stuff is NOT okay. If we can get people to stop saying things today, maybe we someday get them to stop thinking it as well.

complain away said...

You and me both, Kathy. This kind of stuff happens to me so rarely (thank goodness) that shock took over. I will definitely be telling the guy who recommended the place and anyone else ever looking for a body shop referral.

And your linkback is broken. Boo.

As for Emory's car misadventures (!), I had no idea there was a distinction between pre-owned cars with hairs of certain ethnicities and cars with others. I'm now contemplating putting a warning sign on my car right now, so that Dieter and his kind stay far, far away. I think we'll all be happier that way.