Would I lie to You? (Part-2–cont’d from previous Hub)
Upon the awkward return to work a few days later, Jimmy, my Texan manager, and self-proclaimed cowboy, decided he wanted to give me some sales tips. I wondered then, if he was planning on damaging our unspoken arrangement of me doing schoolwork and not selling any cars, while the bosses pretended not to notice. Fortunately, he had no intention of breaking the good thing we all had going, but wanted to advise me just in case the wind struck my fancy to make a sale at some point. Just in case, no pressure.
Jimmy looked like the spokesman for a sleazy, low-budget, criminally dishonest, used car salesman commercial, cowboy boots and all. In reality, he was brutally, and completely honest and was a complete pushover. It never took more than a smile, or a ‘I’d really rather not,’ for Jimmy not to bug me about going on the lot, selling cars, or calling customers back. I realize how difficult this is to believe.
“Shannon!” Jimmy said in a deep, and loud voice to me one day, as if he were going to tell me to do some work.
“Shannon, how do you know when a customer is lying?”
I stopped reading long enough to look at him. “I have no idea, Jimmy. How do I know?”
He grinned like the mischievous adult toddler he was, “their lips are moving.”
I laughed at that, and really since I’d started at the lot, the guys insisted that it wasn’t the salesman who lied, it was the customers. Salesman were victimized by the lies of customers nearly everyday. They told me I’d discover this for myself. If I ever decided to sell a car that is.
For fun, just to test their theory, I decided to go on the lot where customers occasionally were. They’d ask me about the car, I’d tell them what I knew, and then I’d tell them that this was a big decision, and that cars only depreciate in value. However, some customers made it past my discouragement from buying vehicles, and made it as far as the credit application.
If Gepetto wanted to see Pinocchio lie, he should’ve handed him a credit application. It was completely unnerving to me the amount of unapologetic lies, a seemingly normal person could tell when it came to applying for credit. Lies about employment, bankruptcy, salary–it was like being in a Psych ward. I started to squirm as I wondered if these people BELIEVED their own lies. Customers lied about their insurance, their driving records, their residences, their marital status. It was if they’d thought they were going to the Adult Lie Store, where freakish lunatics could lie openly without being judged. Maybe they thought that they should tell preemptive lies to the used car salespeople, because they thought they were entering into some sort of cold lie war. It was maddening. I resumed my strategy in just not getting involved in sales anymore, while Jimmy and Tom continued to pretend that I was an asset to the company.
However, it wasn’t until my work with pregnant women that I REALLY got a chance to see how well customers can lie.