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Friday, July 10, 2009

Three Little Salesmen

Have you recieved information in the mail offering prizes if you'll attend a presentation? Ever wonder if those prizes listed really are free, and they are indeed awarded? Curiosity won out last week. We went to visit a time-share condominium at a resort several hours drive away from our beloved farm. Sometimes you just have to get away for awhile.

We went, planning NOT to buy the property. We went, knowing we would face the dreaded high pressure salesman. We went for the gift card --$40 to cover our gasoline! We went for the other prizes. We might win a car!

I had a strategy prepared to avoid purchasing the condo, so we set out well armoured. My mutual funds were inaccessable, and we wouldn't take on any time payments. A challenge to stir the blood awaited!

Our first salesman, Puppy-Eyes Waggy Tail, was a master at his trade. He worked carefully to set us up for his final triumph. An engaging, attentive salesman, he painted glowing word pictures of family fun in the waterpark, gameroom, and theater. He showed us the paddleboats and party barges... and the condos. They were lovely, fully stocked, and ready for the grandbabies to stay with us and enjoy the other amenties.

Tour over after two hours, he moved to seal the deal. The pro's of buying now were recorded on his worksheet. His careful financial analysis was logical and impressive. The con's were noted. He explained if we chose to wait we could lose many of the priveleges on the pro side. Pleasant, yet firm, I presented our strategy and held to it as downpayments and financing were presented. He went to get someone to "help us".

Weasel N. Pinstripes joined us at the table. Art backed his chair out of the way, encouraging me to re-engage in the battle. Solutions were offered and rejected. Determined to make the sale, he changed his approach. He slashed through items on the worksheet, items we would lose forever. His tension increased; so did mine. "I've been a teacher for over 20 years, " I growled, "And when I decide something, that's the way it's going to be! You're making me really angry!" Shocked, he mumbled about getting someone who would ask a few, final questions to ensure our visit was a good one.

What a flanking manouver! Baby-Face Knuckle-Duster plowed toward us through tables, chairs, and other customers. He was three times the mass of Pinstripes. He had the best offer yet, one no sane person could refuse. Assume a previous lease. with its equity, and save half of the final price! Just make a small downpayment and assume the time payments! AAAAAARGH! I thought of the prizes waiting at the next building. We'd spent three and-a-half hours seeing the sights and refusing to catch the pitch. I rolled out my last defense. I asked about the prizes, the free ones promised, and Duster pointed the way. He looked thunderous as he handed me his card.

We were nearly finished. Hand in the paperwork (full of slashes), fillout a survey, and get the loot. For some reason they didn't want me going into the prize room itself; they chose Art. He went in to play the scratch off card we'd been awarded. Did we win the car? No. Did we win the shopping spree? No. How about the $500 gift card? Again no.

We, along with a projected 50,000+ others, won a vacation. Yes, they do seem to award the prizes they advertise. We're going to Las Vegas! We also got a voucher for $40 in certificates for entertainment, an unexpected bonus. The gift card for $40 was placed in Art's hand. Perhaps in a fit of pique, someone removed the coupon for the free bonus vacation from our packet. I didn't think it wise to complain. Grab the goodies and flee was a better strategy. Four hours had passed since our arrival for the 90 minute presentation. We had to get back to the farm. Hungry kittens were waiting.


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