the purchase of oliver

Several years ago I bought my first car. Sure I'd had cars before that but they'd been these old beat up hand-me-downs on their last legs. I'd never walked into a dealership and put my money down or signed my name on the title. 

I had recently taken the Bar and was in need of a car of my own. One Saturday, Mom, Dad, and I hopped in Mom's car and went down to a local Hyundai dealership. I test drove a few vehicles and eventually picked one I wanted. 

Then came the hard sell. I was contemplating a used Hyundai Santa Fe; they wanted me to buy a no-frills brand new Sonata. This thing didn't even have a remote to open the doors. But they were overstocked and tried to push one on me. I balked. I really didn't want that car. I wanted a small SUV, not a sedan and especially not a sedan with absolutely no features. The Santa Fe was comparable in price and had a back up camera. 

As I continued to balk at the Sonata, the salesman grew increasingly aggressive, eventually sticking his finger in my face and shouting that he was just trying to help me and that this was in my best interests. Mom was trying not to laugh at my panicked expression and Dad was passed out in a chair. To be fair, he had landed in the middle of the night from a business trip in Africa. Dude was wiped out and jet lagged. I propelled myself backwards out of the chair, almost knocking it down in the process, stammering that I had to go, I had to leave. Thankfully Mom stepped in and saved me, explaining that Dad had just gotten back from an overseas business trip and we really needed to get him some food while we discussed it. What she didn't mention is that we had eaten right before arriving at the dealership. 

Instead, we left and went to the Carmax down the street. Mom and I sat down at one of the computers and began going through the inventory to see what I wanted to test drive while Dad found another corner to fall asleep in. I found a few cars I liked and Mom and I found a salesman. We trundled off to the lot to test drive the cars while Dad...kept sleeping.

The three (technically four since the salesman had a new employee shadowing him that day) circled a few cars and eventually I picked one to test drive. 

The test drive went smoothly and I decided this was the car for me. Back inside we all went. I followed the salesmen to the office to work out the details while Mom collected Dad, who promptly fell back asleep in the office. To be fair, he did wake a few times to check his phone and offer random not always relevant bits of advice. 

We figured out the financing and I suddenly panicked for no reason. The salesman offered to hold the car for me while I thought about it. He proposed that I sleep on it and come back the next day. 

I did think about it and the next day decided that I wanted that car. Back to the dealership we went. We settled down in the salesman's office and reviewed everything before I headed over to the business center for the most painful part of the process: making the down payment. From there it was time to sit down and wait for my car to be ready; Carmax details the cars before you drive them off the lot. 

That's when they discovered a small problem: the battery was dead so they would need to replace it before I took the car. Unfortunately the mechanics had all left for the day so it would have to wait until morning. 

Monday came and went with no word. Finally on Tuesday I got a call: the car would be ready tomorrow afternoon. There had been a small hiccup that they would explain. 

On Wednesday I showed up at the dealership, anxious to get my car. First, the salesman sat me down. He looked frustrated. It was a bad sign. 

You see, he told me, he had come in on Monday morning and checked on my car. He noticed something amiss: the entire back windshield was gone. Instead, the trunk was full of broken glass (I had bought a small SUV). He yelled at the maintenance crew and demanded they fix it. He demanded they do fix some other preexisting scratches for free as well. As it turns out, someone had run into the windshield with a ladder, shattering it and then just hadn't bothered to tell anybody. The salesman apologized profusely for the delay and the error. I couldn't be mad--it wasn't his fault and I was getting some body work done (including a new wheel cover) that I wouldn't have gotten done without this incident. Plus the guy had personally vacuumed the trunk 4 times. I thanked him and told him apology accepted and picked up my car.

Sadly I would only have that car for about a little over a year. Oliver moved back to Maryland with me where I quickly remembered the difference in cost of living and forced to trade him in for a less expensive, more fuel efficient vehicle.  

After all of that work, I didn't even really get to know Oliver. 

It's a shame, really. 

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