They’re A Sexist Jerk Under The Hood

, , , , , , , | Right | November 6, 2018

I currently work as a service writer at a car dealership, but my original background is hands-on; though I’m now tied to a desk, I am an ASE Master Certified Technician — among other professional certifications I maintain — and have been working on cars — first as a hobby, then in a vocational program, and then professionally — for almost twenty years. I am also a woman and am often mistaken for being younger than my age.

Many of my customers, especially “old-school” car guys, don’t expect me to be so knowledgeable. While most of them are delighted when I can not only keep up with them but teach them new things, a few just can’t quite grasp the idea of a female being technically capable, no matter how many times we’ve interacted.

One customer in particular is the type that thinks he’s very knowledgeable; he has literally said to me multiple times, “Well, I happen to know quite a bit about cars.” From what I’ve heard, his knowledge is both limited and mostly twisted by misunderstanding. He often tries to second-guess me while still asking for advice but trying to sound like he knows what he’s talking about.

Since our first interaction I have thought he’s not nearly as sharp as he thinks he is, but I try to give him the benefit of the doubt due what I choose to tell myself is our personality clash; that’s a nicer way to sort it in my brain than, “He’s a sexist jerk who squirms every time he has to come to me.”

I felt completely vindicated when one day he has to call me to ask me, of all things, how to open the hood of his car. The answer: pull the bright red lever with the silhouette of a car with the hood popped that’s right by the driver’s left knee. He has owned the same car for about a year. Anyone who “happens to know quite a bit about cars” should be able to figure out how to open their own hood after a year, without having to make a phone call to ask.

Make It A Point Not To Question Appointments

, , , | Right | October 25, 2018

(A customer who is notoriously difficult — another dealership even called the cops on him for refusing to leave their lobby — shows up with no appointment. Due to his nature, he deals exclusively with our service manager, but he’s out of town for the week. The customer has never been even a little bit mean or nasty to anyone; he just doesn’t seem to be able to reason logically. I overhear his conversation with our assistant service manager, which only serves to reinforce the idea. They go over his concern about his car and she starts to schedule an appointment for him as we’re extremely busy and can’t just work him in, which is normal procedure for us.)

Assistant Service Manager: “Oh, I see you had an appointment last week?”

Customer: “Yes, I did.”

Assistant Service Manager: “But it looks like you didn’t come in?”

Customer: “I didn’t; I wasn’t able to make it. I called to cancel it and I wanted to reschedule for today, but they said [Manager] was going to be on vacation this week.”

Assistant Service Manager: “Yes, he comes back Monday.”

Customer: “I always talk to him, but they said he wouldn’t be here this week, so I didn’t make an appointment for today.”

Assistant Service Manager: “But… You came anyway.”

Customer: “Yes.”

Assistant Service Manager: “Even though you didn’t have an appointment today?”

Customer: “Yes, I didn’t want to make an appointment for when [Manager] couldn’t help me and I know he’s gone this week. I come from really far, so it doesn’t make sense to make an appointment when I can’t talk to him. That’s why I didn’t make an appointment for today.”

Assistant Service Manager: “But… you still came.”

Customer: “Yes.”

(He really does come from far away; he lives and works almost a hundred miles from our dealership, so it’s not like he’s just casually dropping by. After going around in circles a few more times, she finally scheduled him another appointment. He no-showed.)

It Was A Good Death!

, , , , , | Working | July 27, 2018

(My brother and I are buying our first car together at a used car lot. We’ve chosen a car we’re interested in and negotiated a reasonable price, but since this is a relatively recent car and in good condition, it’s still roughly $10,000.)

Salesman: “The next step in the process is to set up a payment plan.”

Me: “Actually, I don’t think we need one. We were just planning to write you a check.”

Brother: “Yeah, our grandmother died and left us enough money for a car.”

Salesman: “Oh, good!”

(You could see the exact moment he realized he’d just implied that it was good our grandmother had died. We reassured him that we knew he meant it was good we had the money, and that she had died peacefully at a very old age — which she had — but I’m sure for a second the poor guy thought he’d just lost his commission.)

Their Business Will Soon (Truck) Stop

, , , | Working | July 7, 2018

(I am a 26-year-old woman. The majority of vehicles I’ve owned have been trucks, and I’m fairly familiar with service requirements and when they are due. I’ve just bought a brand-new truck, and I know it’s overdue for service but not really by much. This exchange happens at the dealership where I purchased it when I bring it in for service.)

Service Manager: “So, I see here that it is overdue.”

Me: “Yes, I’m aware. It’s not that bad, and the mileage over the recommended oil change is essentially pure highway — long clean running.”

Service Manager: “Regardless, we give these kilometer milestones for a reason.”

Me: “I’m aware of that.”

(Keep in mind the dealership-recommended milestone is significantly lower than the manufacturer milestone, which I know.)

Service Manager: “Well, since you said you were driving it up and down the highway, the brake pads are probably caked with dust. We can do a quick blow-off while the oil change is being done. We can also do a flush on some of the fluid systems while it’s up.”

Me: “Is that covered by my service plan?”

Service Manager: *looks me up and down* “If you need to call your boyfriend or husband or whatever to ask him what to do with his truck, it’s okay. I can wait.”

Me: *shocked and irritated* “Thanks for that, but this is actually my vehicle. I’m okay with you doing those extra things, as long as they are covered by my service plan.”

Service Manager: “Sure, we’ll make it work. You know, when you own trucks, it’s really important to take care of these things on time.”

Me: *getting increasingly more frustrated* “This is actually the third truck I’ve owned; I’m well aware of the service schedule. I work out of town, and it is not always convenient for me to bring it in. So, can you please tell me how long it will be before I can come pick it up?”

Service Manager: “Oh, I figure about four hours.”

Me: *knowing there is no way it should take that long, but done arguing* “Fine. I’ll be back then.”

(I come back four and a half hours later.)

Me: “Hi, I’m here to pick up my truck.”

Receptionist: “Did someone call you?”

Me: “No, but they said it would be done in four hours; I’ve actually given you an extra half hour.”

Receptionist: “I can check, but if no one called I can’t guarantee anything.”

(It turns out they are still not done. I wait another forty-five minutes before being able to take the truck and leave. And, after the very rude behavior of the service manager, he has still charged me for the other items. I am able to get a refund later, but what a pain. Fast forward a year, and the same dealership calls me.)

Receptionist: “Hi, this is [Dealership]. Our system indicates that your vehicle is due for a service. When can I schedule you in?”

Me: “Hello. No, I won’t be using your service department for future appointments.”

Receptionist: “Like, ever again?”

Me: “No. Never. Please remove me from your client list.”

Receptionist: *heavy sigh* “Okay.” *mumbles* “There goes another one…” *click*

(Condescending men are why women are often hesitant in these situations. Give us a little credit, silly boys; trucks are for girls!)

Tow-tally Assuming

, , , , | Working | July 6, 2018

(I’m looking for a tow vehicle, just to pull my horse trailer to shows. I write an email to a used car dealership with my budget and my towing capacity needs, saying I need to seat four and that I either need a cab on a truck or a heavy-duty SUV. I get a reply back saying they have something that would suit my needs. I get there and shake hands with the salesperson, and I’m lead out to a surprisingly small SUV. Before I can even look at it, the salesperson insists I get in, and he turns on the radio.)

Salesperson: “You hear that?! This has an amazing sound system!”

Me: “Okay… I really don’t care about that.”

Salesperson: “And plenty of room for car seats in the back!”

Me: “I don’t have kids.”

(At this point, I walk around and realize the SUV doesn’t have a towing hitch at all.)

Me: “You know I can’t tow with this?”

Salesperson: “Oh, you don’t need that! You need to learn to treat you, not what your husband wants. Here, listen to this sound system.”

(I turned on my heels and left, and ranted to my brother that night. The next day he went to the same dealership with my list and was shown several tow-ready trucks and SUVs. I ended up writing a bad review on their Facebook page and got a call back. The salesperson was initially apologetic on the phone, but then said he knew I wasn’t buying that day until I ran it by my husband. I replied that I wasn’t married, but my brother was, and HIS husband would never control him like that. The salesperson hung up on me.)

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