Another casualty of weaponized hypochondria will be – already is – the new car test drive. Which you can’t do anymore at most new car dealerships unless you are willing to do your part to lend legitimacy to the assertion that sickness is everywhere and you might be carrying it and that wearing an old rag will prevent transmitting what you haven’t got.
For the remaining sane among us, this is a bridge too far – or rather, not too far from being expected to attest you believe in a religion that you find loathsome and thereby make a mockery of your principles for the sake of some momentary convenience.
But if you refuse to play your part, there’s no way to determine whether that new car you might be interested in is a car you’d like to buy – without just buying it and hoping the seats aren’t back-killers and that you won’t want want to trade it in the week after you bought it . . . which you may not be able to do, either, as many dealers won’t deal with you at all if you refuse to play your part.
Most won’t let you through the door if you don’t – and forget getting behind the wheel, you suppurating inconsiderate purveyor of sickness, you.
Maybe the time has come to stop buying new cars – in order to treat the sickness afflicting new car dealers. If enough people refuse to play their part as a condition of being allowed to spend tens of thousands of dollars, then perhaps something approximating the customer is always right may return to car stores.
It was once the byword of American business, which sought the customer’s business by accommodating the customer’s preferences. Somehow, the roles have been reversed and it is now the obligation of the person spending his money to please the business accepting it. (Which, when you think about it, is of a piece with having to subordinate objective reality to the feelings of people unhinged from it.)
How this change happened is an interesting topic for discussion – but it doesn’t reverse the currently unnatural dynamic that makes the pleasing of the business the obligation of the customer.
Explicitly. Tell the dealership that you’d like to do business with them – but on your terms. That you aren’t willing to perform strange religious rituals for them as the condition of being allowed to hand over tens of thousands of dollars of your money.
That if they want your money, they will have to please you.
This might actually get their attention – more so than the same thing applied to a grocery store, say. Which can easily afford to lose your business. What is one cart of groceries not purchased vs. hundreds purchased by those willing to play their part?
But a car store needs every sale since each sale represents a lot of money both in individual terms and proportionately. Many car stores only make a dozen sales a month. Each one counts – and each one lost hurts.
It is expensive to keep cars in stock; each month that goes by means more interest on the loan – dealers get their inventory this way – and each month that goes by also means one month closer to the new model year and also the new calendar year, which once reached means a plummeting in the value of “last year’s” inventory.
The same goes for service, another big-ticket item for car stores. Refuse to hand over your keys unless they refrain from demanding you not show your face. Do not allow yourself to be treated like a “colored” and made to sit outside in the cold and rain rather in inside the warm and dry waiting room. Do not permit them to make you feel like a leper – or play the part of one.
Be specific. Be bold. Tell them how you expect to be treated – and what sort of treatment you will not abide.
And if not, there is an alternative:
Buy a not-new car
By dealing with individuals rather than dealers – who are beholden to corporations – you will find people who are interested in your business and willing to do what is necessary to get it. Not many will walk away from thousands of your dollars because you refuse to hide your face.
Also: Many people are as sick of sickness kabuki as you are – and some of these are selling cars. You will know right away, probably, if you see their face when you show up to have a look at the car they’re selling. And if they’re playing their part, it’s still ok – provided they don’t insist you play yours.
Those who insist on your playing your part can be dismissed summarily – and that may cure them of their affliction, too.
. . . .
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