Wednesday, May 26, 2010

I can recall one thing

that happened several years ago when I bought my pickup through a non conventional route.

A relative of mine was working for Toyota at the time and I got the truck at a hefty discount through him. He was living several states away from me.

I was to take delivery of the vehicle from a local dealer and I guess the dealer was under some kind of orders to keep his greasy little paws out of things and make the transfer as painless as possible, which was a pretty good deal, as I truly hate car salesmen with a passion.

I had also made it clear that I could possibly be out at sea when the vehicle arrived and that he was to hold it for me. My relative also called thee dealer and told them the same thing. I believe the term ‘until hell freezes over’ was used.

Anyway, shortly before the truck was to be delivered, I got a call at work regarding making payment upon delivery.

I was asleep at the time, having been up all night and one of the guys here fielded the call. He refused to wake me, and the woman got rude. She then commented to him that “I don’t know what kind of job he has that allows him to sleep at 10 am!”

When I arose at about 1400, I called my relative and he told me she was from some financing agency that was detailed with making sure the transaction would go smoothly and that she had a reputation of being pretty brusque.

I asked him for the address of her office and he gave it to me.

Scribble, scribble.

I thanked him and hung up.

When I called back, I identified myself and asked for the person that had just rudely beat up my crewman.


Finally, she told me she would forward my call.

The woman in question answered. She was pretty brusque in her tone of voice.

“Are you the woman that was rude to my crewman at 1000 hours this morning?” I asked in a withering tone.

“Some guy refused to wake you up…” she snapped back.

“That’s because I would have fired him had he done so,” I replied. “I told to wake me in an emergency only. Your call does not constitute an emergency.”

“Yeah, well….” She started.
“Well, nothing,” I interrupted. “Let’s get the ground rules straight. I am CAPTAIN Piccolo, and you may address me as such. I am a U.S. Merchant Marine Officer and the master of a small tanker. When you called I had just finished a thirty hour cargo transfer. I was tired and went to sleep as humans are apt to do. Now, pray, please tell me what pressing matter needs my immediate and pressing attention.”

She went on to explain that I was supposed to make sure I had made all the necessary financial arrangements to pay for said vehicle upon arrival. While she was not rude, she was not overly polite, either.

“Does the Toyota Motor Company not accept cash?” I asked. “Or, perhaps, if it would be more convenient for the dealer I could simply write a check.”

“You’re not arranging a loan?” she asked.

“I suppose I could if it’s necessary,” I answered. “Of course, the easiest way for me to do that would be to simply put it in VISA and pay it off at the end of the month; however, I would really prefer to pay cash.”

(This was pre 9-11. It was legal at the time to put a vehicle on plastic.)

“I see,” she replied.

“Would that pose a problem?”

Her voice changed, but she was not completely beaten down yet. I wasn’t trying to totally humiliate her, but I’ll admit that I was pretty annoyed that she had given my guy a bunch of aggravation.

“We’re tied up alongside a pier about thirty minutes away from your office right now. We are not sailing until later this evening. Perhaps I could grab a cab and drive over and discuss this in person.” I offered.

“That won’t be necessary,” she replied.

“Does this conclude our business?” I asked.

“Yes, Captain,” she replied.

I hung up.

Twenty-five minutes later I got a call from my relative.

He was delighted I had handled the woman that way.

I was pretty annoyed that I had to.

Why did she have to be that way?

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