Before I forget, I’d like to wish Happy Holidays to all of our readers, right along with my hope for a smoother, relatively trouble-free and prosperous 2023. So far, this decade has been a humdinger with Covid-19 kicking up enough problems to fill a lifetime. So, I think it’s “our turn” to exhale and get some peace for a change…maybe even some joy now that the industry is pretty much sitting back on its tracks (did I write “pretty much?”).
Personally, I decided to celebrate the year end by doing something my daughter Ingrid has been nagging me about for a while: getting myself a new car. “New,” in my case, has always meant “different” because I haven’t bought a brand-new car since I was in my 20s. My present Focus, which I bought used (as usual) and which just passed 170,000 miles on the odometer, has transmission-itis, making for an “automotive adventure” when the light turns green and you press down on the long, skinny pedal.
So, with great reluctance, I dragged my nickel-rubbing self into a dealer and went through the painful exercise of what most people call “bargaining.” I don’t have to tell the guys in this business what a pain this is, be they operators on one side of the deal or suppliers on the other. In as polite terms as I can muster (and I have a lot of words to draw from), it sucks!
There’s a macho aspect to this bargaining exercise for guys in most Western nations. This confuses people from some other cultures who consider every price to be an opening bid. But over here, bargaining for a car is deemed necessary, though fraught with anxiety by a lot of folks. Plus, in my case, the dealer’s sales rep sitting across the desk from me was a young, spunky woman who gave as good as she got.
I ended up leasing a brand-new car and I think I got a deal. While writing this very Editorial, I took myself and my Focus (now a trade-in) to the dealer to pick the new car up. As soon as I saw it, I fell in love with its looks and all the bells and whistles it came with. I felt just like our game room operators do when they uncrate a brand-new, deluxe simulator, wipe it down, dolly it out to the floor and plug it in.
My doctor recently told me to do something for myself instead of working all the time. Well, I guess that’s what I did. I gave myself a Christmas present. Maybe you all ought to do something like that, too. Again, Happy Holidays and a Prosperous New Year!