I visited a car dealership last week, and was it an eye opener!
I probably should give a little background. As a writer I’m self-employed and work from home. So when we moved to a walkable area I decided to get rid of our second car and conduct an experiment to see if we could be a one car family.
The experiment lasted a mere three months. Let me tell you, car withdrawal symptoms are not pretty. Not pretty at all.
So my husband and I spent hours comparing cars online, looking for deals, and discussing what would best suit our needs. It was a grueling process, but we persevered. We finally found an ad for a 2014 Ford Escape at one of the nearby dealerships that we both liked.
Hubby had to work and he hates buying things, so I drove him to work the next day and took my youngest daughter with me so she could drive the old car home while I drove the Escape.
To be honest, I expected a smooth buying experience. I’m a woman with excellent credit who’s purchased multiple cars by myself in the past.
I should have known there was trouble when the salesman jotted down a series of numbers on a piece of paper, shoved it under my nose, and said, “You girls are intelligent, you can see what a deal this is. You girls better hurry and snap it up, it won’t last long!”
I ignored it and the negotiating began. Only, this salesman employed a technique I’ve never before encountered in a car salesman. Every negotiating point was accompanied by a very inappropriate leer.
I suppose he thought the more uncomfortable he made ‘girls’ the more flustered they’d become. And his leers did make me uncomfortable. After about ten minutes of it I’d practically put my jacket on backwards.
But I was so determined to drive away in a new Escape that I did my best to ignore the creep factor and negotiated a price I could live with. I filled out the credit application and waited while he took it to his manager.
He jauntily returned few minutes later. “My manager says your husband will have to come in. Since you’re self employed, he says you can’t buy a car.”
“Wait a minute,” I argued, “I’ve bought plenty of cars in the past. Besides, my husband and I have been married 29 years. We share everything. What’s his is mine, and what’s mine is his.”
He shook his head. “Doesn’t matter. What the manager says, goes.”
“Did you check my credit?”
“Yep. Your credit is excellent. Couldn’t be higher. But we still need your husband.”
About then I realized I must have stepped through a portal into a time when women weren’t allowed to make financial transactions. Our little brains couldn’t handle the stress.
My daughter and I left with our heads high and Ford lost a sale.
As we drove home my daughter thanked me for the experience. It seems it was the first time she’d seen sexism first hand. She had been under the impression that sexism was dead.
But sexism isn’t dead.
It’s alive! Bwa ha ha ha!