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NANO 2010 - How to......
                                          THE SALE

In this, the year of the SALE, that was the year of the fires, the year of the late rains, that was when this story took place. A true story if you can believe it. I am known for telling tall tales and all my friends and family will vouch for this fact. I mean, there was the story of when I came home late the one night, that story still stands as the truth and the only truth is that it is a story. Therefore, if I say it is a story, you can believe me, it is a story and when I say it is the truth - you can believe that it may be the truth.

          On that note; as a family (we always decide as a family, the Prince picks it, the Queen approves it and I - Dick - pays for it.) we decided we need another vehicle as the current one is starting to give the odd problem from time to time and will soon need a major overhaul. Also, 'we' have decided, that is the Prince and the Queen, that we need, repeat, need, a new vehicle, as the family is busy extending. This is due to the Prince having involved himself with a new Princess and sitting three in front is a bit awkward and four is out of the question. The current vehicle was not a smooth buy either. 

          Smooth buy: That is when you go to a dealer, he takes all the money you have and in return, he hands over a contraption known as a vehicle. You part ways and then never see each other again for a long, long time, unless it is by accident. Hopefully, the word accident is not as in; I had an accident. That is a smooth buy.   

          Then there is the 'Not a smooth buy'. This entails the dealers taking all your money and landing you with a 'pig in a poke' and then you have to go and borrow more money from somewhere or get the wife to take a third job, she already has two. Which two - I do not know about them? Serving me is surely not a job, it should be pure pleasure and highly rewarding, an act of unselfish giving with ample rewards. Okay, maybe the pleasures are a bit overrated and not of the standard as to what the Queen would consider rewarding. (She has high standards.)

          Pig in a poke: * A common colloquial expression in the English language, to buy a pig in a poke is to make a risky purchase without inspecting the item beforehand. The phrase can also be applied to accepting an idea or plan without a full understanding of its basis. Similar expressions exist in other European languages, most of them meaning to buy a cat in a bag, with some exceptions: *

          What the exceptions are, I still do not know. Maybe it refers to the one about looking a gift horse in the mouth. I still do not know what that means either. Or was it the one about a pig with a silk garment of some obscure description. 

          The first sale comes when the little bundle of joy, after forming itself into the perfect baby enters this perfect world. The first thing the baby does is give warning of what will happen if BABY is not tended to, Baby yells its face blue and pink and this is the first sales pitch, “if I do not get my 'wants' I will drive you mad with my crying” and it works. (there are always exceptions to all rules)   

          It started with the unobtrusive sales brochures lying around where I walked, talked, and sat. The advantages of this, the petrol consumption of that and the savings we could have monthly if we had another car. No more fighting about all four of us going somewhere in a vehicle made for two people in front and a cow on the back. I am not referring to anybody I know, unless we are talking about the four footed kind. From morning to night, propaganda, small talk about cars – look here, read this and so it carries on. It is called the softening-up process. Bombard the client with information. Awaken the desire within. Make the client develop a need for whatever you want him or her to have. This is called, advertising and propaganda is a tool in the process. Inform, miss-inform, information, facts, figures and desire. The onslaught begins. THE SALE is in sight.

        And the hook is baited, the line is cast, and slowly the the fish is played.

        I was convinced to go and have a look at the newest fancy. Now, I know for a fact, once you get the eyes to lock onto the bait, the fight is almost over. Now it is a case of; easy does it, get him behind the wheel. Start the car, even a test drive may be in order. Slow now - I think we have him! Now for the paper work, quick, before he gets a second thought. And there you have it, hook line and sinker. THE SALE is done.

    That was easy, was it not? The smooth sale, no problems now - EXCEPT - wait! What is this, an objection?
The normal answer to a objection is, 'no problem, let's fix it'. If only it was so easy.  The objection now has to evaluated, assessed and sold to the client.

          “Selling objections?” It takes training, ability and technique to handle objections. In sales, objections take many forms. It sounds as if objections should be able to be dismissed easily, as there are minor objections to certain things. Minor; the word is used loosely, as any objection starts out as minor. If handled correctly, an objection can turn into a positive event and could be a bonding incident which could last positively forever – or – it could explode at any time. Always keep in mind, an objection is a lit fuse to something else to follow.

          Always restate the objection in a question form! It allows you time to collect your thoughts, evaluate, and rephrase it positively, again – positively.

                              “Da'hling, does this dress look good on me or not?” This is a sales pitch. It is a double edged sword.

          Look out – buyer beware! You are not buying you say; of course you are … she is selling. Out with the mental handbook, what is the purpose of this question, when and why is the occasion, am I involved, and where is the gap to turn all of this into my favor? Rephrase! And the wrong answer can cut your fringe benefits for a long time – or – you could be smiling like the Cheshire cat for a while.

          Nothing good lasts forever, the next sale is around the corner and you will pay for that one as well. You always pay, it is the benefits that makes it all worth while having.

          In this case, the salesman made the fatal mistake, he said everything the handbook said he should. He did not follow through. It is no use rephrasing and you do not follow through.

          Do not commit to something you cannot or will not do. This should be repeated and put in highlighted type.

                                      DO NOT COMMIT TO SOMETHING YOU CANNOT OR WILL NOT DO. 

          The salesman committed himself to fixing something he had no intention of doing. He committed the cardinal sin, and the fuse ran out – kaboom. Poo all over! There is no trust left, no second comebacks, no happy ever-after. AND THEN – he compounds it by saying he never said it, and the client is telling a story.

          A break for a moment. Maybe it has occurred to the reader that is the case of the dress, she was selling and he was buying. In the case of the car, the salesman was selling and the client buying. Unfortunately, in most cases, the buyer is also a seller and vice versa.  As human beings we are always buying and selling at the same time.

          If the dress was the main objective, she would not have bothered with his opinion. She wanted approval, confirmation and a “o-la-la” would have won the day. She already made the choice. A “how much/what for/why?” will blow all good-will out of the door and in would step the freezing winds of the Arctic. 

          An undertaking made, should always be carried through by the salesman, or he should have the best excuses ever thought of. Telling a customer he is telling a story, unless he/she is a writer, is fatal. Committing Harri-Kiri is preferable and the end results much more pleasant. 

          Handling an objection is of vital importance. The end result will determine what the future will hold. Did the Objectee get a satisfactory result; has the issue been resolved; is the fall-out swept away and gotten rid of permanently or will it crawl out from its hiding place one day and come back to haunt. These are called “Skeletons”, and there is nothing more scarier than a skeleton as they never ever seem to disappear again. Skeletons are the backbone for future stories. “Have I told you about the time.........” or "Remember when ....." and they are rarely fond memories.

          Look at an objection - and look hard - for it may come back to one. And we do not need that. “That dress looks absolutely divine on you, my Dearest, and I am sure it was worth every cent?” (Liar!  - No - diplomacy - these are accepted by the angels and hubby gets bonus points and a 'get out of jail' card, at least.) There are no lies in diplomacy, only adapted truths.

          And how did the car-salesman do. Rather badly, he was selling himself and  he failed. Not only did he make an undertaking which he had no plan to follow through,  (as will be revisited again: skeleton number one) he compounded it by telling the client, a week later, he never undertook to do it. Now – telling a client ( the client is expecting something and not receiving it) that it was never said, that is totally stupid. (skeleton number two) Now the big words arrive on the scene, the words which should not - never ever - be used in a 'negotiation' process.

          Negotiation: There are web sites devoted to this subject. (and all the other processes named in this item) Wars have been fought because negotiations fell flat. Divorces, disowned children, dis-that and dis-that ….... always negotiate and never put words out there that cannot be withdrawn. “You must be mistaken.” is preferred to “Liar!” You can tell a lie, you may accept a lie, as long as it is not put out there as a lie. To say a story is a lie is “war' talk. Now you have to refute it or prove it.

          Sometime I forget diplomacy. This was one of those cases. The fault was of such a nature that is endangered lives and could have caused an accident and at least, would have been a breakdown. The brake-system of the car was leaking brake-fluid at the rear right-hand wheel (on the driver's side, we drive on the left side of road, i.e. the driver sits on the right side of the car facing the road). It means the car has only three wheels that brake properly and if brakes were applied hard, the car could either spin out of control, swerve over the road or even flip and roll.
          The lives were my peoples lives, and the dealers did not seem to care, not one iota.

          This was the undoing of the Titanic , the burn of the Hindenburg and a few other disasters all rolled into one great ball. And then I said...... reminds me of a  story.

          In the confessional, a lovely young blond (they all are lovely) confessed to the priest that she had slapped her boyfriend and swore at him, now she felt badly about and will she go to hell? The priest said , depending on the case, a certain case of outrage can be excused and although cursing was not recommended at any time – "anyway", he said “Tell me about it.”

          She sat next to the priest and started her story. As she was known to be a bit - not too bright - the priest thought he might get a bit lucky himself.

                            She started ”He put his hand on my leg.”

        “Like this?” the priest said. “And then you slapped and swore at him?

        “No, no, I did not mind at all.” ...and the story progresses, the boyfriend did this, the priest imitates the move “and then you slapped and swore at him?” --- “No, not yet.”…and still the story goes on and the priest imitates and she did not slap or swear ..yet. Till she said that the boyfriend said, he had no protection and he suffered from a disease, then - she slapped him and swore at him, and the priest roared ...” THE BL*&*&$%#@*& where is he? I want to slap him now as well.”

                      Why did I think of this story? I have no idea.

          Sometimes you should not say...... it is a very difficult thing to know when to say and when to just shut your trap. Because whatever you say, it will be the wrong thing. Take our dress story, “Well my dear, looking at it from behind, it reminds me, how is your Mother?” This man will be doing his own washing and ironing for a long time. At least! Or cold cuts will be served frequently for a while.

          The sale had fallen into a rut. The salesman had failed, he thought he could get away with 'client murder' as he was selling a cat in a bag and he had no intention of dealing a straight hand. He thought he had a few cards up his sleeve. The dealer kept the car for another week to get past the 'lawful cooling-off period' of five working days. He had no intention of fixing the car. Why?  It will never be clear to me.  At that stage they could have done a few minor repairs and would have possibly gotten away with real murder – maybe.

          They stopped the leaking brake-fluid, that was all. No new brake-shoes or even a basic clean of the area. Only a few rubber seals to stop the leak. For a top notch dealer, this was criminal. We never mentioned it before. This was not your average second hand dealer, this was The Agent. A first class set-up, top of the range site and agency, again, why did they try this? I shook my head in wonderment and could really not believe what I had walked into.

          All this hullabaloo, and only one week had passed since the first words were spoken.

          Let us compare notes here. The previous Thursday was the day I walked in to see the car the Prince had earmarked as his new steed. I met the dealer and the steed was given a eye-full. On the eye, it was a good looking piece, all the trimmings that could be asked for., It was bright and shiny. The interior, clean and in order. Prince was ooohing and aaahing about things I never even knew were in cars. CD – DVD – MP – and all other stuff I knew nothing about. Does my ignorance show? A basic radio in a car is enough for me and wind-up windows is standard.

          After the normal bickering process about price, we agreed and a sale was shook upon. A few standard procedures had to be finished off. Application of credit worthiness, it takes many years to build up a good name and of course, owning a house and earning a good salary, all helps.  Parting of the dough (very important part of the sale, Dealer taketh, Buyer giveth.... it is cast in stone.)  The vehicle goes to the testing grounds for its final checkup as is required by the law. 

          The sale is done, all that needs to be done is the final inspection. This is normally done by the buyer and salesman.

                                  The Kicking Of The Wheels:

        This usage is as old as Adam himself. When Adam bought his first camel from a bypassing Arab camel-trader, the procedure was much the same as it is today. While the Arab extol the benefits of said camel, the miles-per-hump, the pleasant temperament, the low flea coverage and the excellence of the teeth - Adam is commenting on the smallness of the hooves, a rather unimpressive build, lean and not a good looking specimen whose progeny will not be of no use. The one tries to increase the price and the other tries to bring it down. Thus the middle ground is reached, the Arab is in tears as to his great sacrifice he has made and Adam is happy with the bargain he has obtained.
          (The Arab's tears are those of a crocodile, as he is still making a good, clean profit, enough to keep his harem in style and Adam will curse the forefathers of this camel till it departs this earth.)

          This will be the standard procedure of a normal sale.  Then there was the case of Adam's neighbor who tried to sell Adam 'pig in a poke'. Every now and then, people do this, It is historically attested too. It was even more frequent than we normally realize, Hence the common use of the adages.

          If there is an opportunity to watch a man take possession of a car, do watch the ritual. It is worth the time and effort, and totally amusing. The kicking of the wheels serves no purpose what so ever. There it is in all its splendor and glory. A shining and clean apparition. There is not much that can compare to a new car (okay, it's 2nd hand, that is close enough) even a new baby has to be cute to compare. The kick is automatic, there is no reason or function to it, but it must be done. A nice gentle tap against the wheel, almost as if the new owner is afraid he may dent the tires. A rub here, a tap there, as they walk around the car, yapping like two foxes before the hunt. The handing over of the key, a brisk business-like handshake, well wishes and there goes a happy customer with a glee-full salesman counting his well earned pennies, waving the new couple a fond fare thee well.

          We have to mention this again, in case we forgot. In our story, the Prince chose the steed, and Dick had to approve the deal and as is the custom, Dick does the kicking ceremony, being the senior member and the holder of the key to the states coffers. The first thing Dick asked was for the bonnet to be opened. Lordy? The Prince had already reported on all the benefits, the paper work was done, the final checklist a mere formality, and Dick want to see if there is an engine in the car? The Prince had never thought about that, he had assumed there was an engine as the vehicle had moved around, he had seen it and heard it. Then, everyone knows, who more than the Prince, that Dick is a 'bit strange' at times.

          The bonnet's catch was released, and if there was fitting background music to play, Richard Strauss' Also sprach Zarathruska (the theme music to 2001, A Space Odyssey) - it should have been on cue. As the bonnet rose, the magnificence of a super de-lux, turbo charged, shining, chrome enhanced wonder poured into the senses. This is what men dream about, this is what they want to see, (fair, babies are cute, it was already said) this is a man's world. 

          I must admit, that world champion surfer girl walking down to the sea with her surfboard  balanced on her head, comes a good second. (Theme music here. The girl from Ipanema … tall and tan and oh so lovely ….)

            The oil level, water, hydraulic oil, everything checked. Then the fuse box lid was opened......'what is this?' …..it had burnt in the past somewhere and bypasses were made to the fuses. It looked a mess. A frown and a finger pointed - “No problem, we will have it fixed for you.” Shades of Objection, beware. It was Friday, it was agreed that the vehicle would be back on Monday and an inspection would be done by the new owners over the weekend - “No problem”  and the weekend started. There was no kicking of the wheels.

          The dress fitted well, the lady filled it well. The hubby was about to smile, when lady said, “Oh, I am wearing this to the 'girl's night out' next week” - Okay?

            The Prince had to go and get the Princess at her higher learning facility(university), and of course, the new steed was to be tested on the road. The journey there and back went smooth and then the inspection started. Again, the bonnet was opened, the offending fuse box glaring back at us, and Dick mentioned to Prince the brake-fluid holder was half full. This Dick had noticed at the dealer, for some reason, it never came to the fore again. Prince then noticed that the back, right, wheel's nut was missing and the bolt. The jack and wheel spanner was taken out.....

          All comments from here on are of a sensitive nature, no swear or curse words were used, it is reported that a few angels took early retirement and Dick's reputation as a 'mean man' was strengthened many times over as he planned the castration and mutilation ….. ever read 'Death of a Salesman', now would be a good time. I am sure Miller had a similar experience. The only thing is, Miller took ten years to get his story sorted out, Dick wasn't planning on waiting that long.

          Firstly, the jack did not work, not at all, it was not even the vehicle's jack and it did not work at all!, then, the wheel spanner did not fit. Really! Neither tool, which were of inferior quality, worked. Then - the leak - once the wheel was removed, Dick was in time to see a drop of brake-fluid drop onto the brake-shoes, which were already saturated in brake-fluid.

          The shivers went down his spine, and he explained to Prince, the ramifications (got that in GREMLINS) of having one bad brake on a car. That would be more gremlins than what one would normally prefer to see. There was some cause for a subdued celebration, 'at least it was not this time' and anger towards a system that allowed an un-roadworthy vehicle out on the road.

          The left hand wheel could not be removed at all due to a nut that refused to budge. And the list was made of all the little things that needed attention. Then it was Monday, another Monday.

                  The count at this stage was: Dealer – nil; Client – irate.

          The dealer was given a written report and told to come and fetch the car as it was deemed un-roadworthy and unsafe. Here we had a car that was of no use to anyone and the dealer undertook to fix it. Objection stated - “No problem” - week one.

          One week later, again a Friday. (5 working days is a week) Weekends are holidays. This came about as a result of another little problem. This problem is out of my hands and I am not going to get involved in it. This one said that the first day is this day and the other one said that day.  As if anybody really knows which day was the first day. Also there is the question of working hours, school days, sporting days and happy holidays. We all agreed, the working week will be 5 days and we are willing to strike for less working days and more pay.

          The vehicle was delivered. Up-straight and forward, the dealer said, they would not undertake to sort out the electrical fault and they had never said they would fix it. The wheel itself, only the leak was attended to and all other items in the report was ignored.

          The phone call went fairly smooth. The dealer again confirmed that the vehicle was in a going condition, it had passed the roadworthy test and was safe and insurable.

          Now, much better men than Dick had gone down this road before. In days past, many a hangman's noose had strung up horse thieves. Even a fig tree was once caused to dry up due to a lack of producing the expected goods. A woman scorned is one thing, but … do not touch a man's steed and do not rescind on an undertaking made to an Englishman. Great wars have been fought for less.

          The battle cry was sounded, blades sharpened, the phone had already started its collection of information on how to go about this battle of consumer versus the system. Dick had spent many a pretty penny throughout the years and had bought many items and cars, yet, this was a new one, even for him. We all have heard of such cases, read about them or know an uncle or aunt who knew some who had this experience.

          Still, to face it all of a sudden.... you have obtained a cat in a bag, at a price tag which would make the treasury department go pale. And the dealer sits back and quite blatantly says to you; “Tough heap of manure. You signed for it, it is yours.” or words to that effect.

          To fight a fight is simple, to fight a war takes a bit longer. To tackle the system, you need something else. You need someone to listen to your story and believe it. Someone who has the power to move things. If you get the wrong person, you will have a sympathetic listener who will maybe try and help and cost you more on your phone bill. An unsympathetic listener will either cut you off, waste your time and then tell you nothing or send you in a wrong direction.

          Then there is the Golden Goose. The problem with the Golden Goose is the Giant. You have to get past the Giant. In real war, getting rid of the Giant is not as easily achieved as one would think. There are dark and strange forces who aid and abet the Giants of this world. It is not much different in the world of commerce. There is the 'Customer Service' department, whose sole function is to get rid of problems, quick, fast and as cheaply as possible. There are true service departments – yes there are or at least people who do sincerely help, the Golden Eggs. These are not too many and you have to look real hard to find them.

          Maybe Dick has lousy luck, well, eventually he found good help. Bit by bit, the system started moving in the client's direction. Brick by brick, a case was built and then it was time for the final.  The phone was eventually so well trained that it would jump into Dick's hands at his command or so it seemed. Almost two months later, the case was solid, the wet fish was ready to slap the Giant.

                                    Did someone say get a lawyer.

              ' What Rats Won't Do'. There is a movie by that name.

          The animal rights groups and scientists have come to an agreement about using animals for experiments. It has been decided to use lawyers instead. The reason is that they are closely related to human beings, they breed well, and a person do not get attached to them easily.

          I know a few lawyers and suchlike people, all nice people, i.e. Judges, prosecutors, police, and warders. These form the backbone of society's criminal justice system. There are many more good people involved in the judicial system, that is not an argument.

          What is strange is, is the law system. The system that allow the right to go wrong and prove them right or stated differently, the wrong to do wrong and prove them right. As I always say, I am always right: as the boss-man I may say that and should you disagree, think again and again – till you think like me and agree. By the way, I have my wife's permission to say this.

                        About being right. Not correct - but right.

            There is this bloke on TV that always carries on about “would you rather be happy or would you rather be right”. Now what is wrong with being right, and happy, and be in peace. For surely, if you are happy only, and not right, you must be deceiving yourself.

            It is written: 'Thou shall not steal.' or words to that effect, depending on which print or source you use. Not a very complicated command(ment). Then the learned of the land go and re-look, examine and spend countless amount of money and time on the statement  and come to some agreement on it, and now it looks like this:-

          ''''If the first party has ownership of said property and the second party relieves the first party of the first party's right to which the second party is not entitled to, unless the first party has agreed to such a state, by -word-action-writ-.......''''' forget it! With enough loopholes to keep most thieves, robbers and embezzlers happy. This is the one time that happy and right do not appear on the same page. And an army of lawyers to choose from.

                                    No wonder the Lady is blindfolded!

          My son says I should have referred to the Sinner's Bible. As we all know, if it is written, it must be correct.

          To get the services of a lawyer, which I have tried in the past, you have to sell all your belongings, make peace with the fact that 'time' will take on a new meaning, and the word 'right' will never, ever look the same again.

          A writ will be written to the second party informing them about the first party's unhappy state, of which the second party are quite aware of as they caused said unhappiness in the first instance, and then they will be given ample time to ignore said writ, to be filed or misfiled, and this process will be repeated till one day. In the meanwhile, both opposing lawyers will play golf on Wednesday afternoon and what they discuss or not, is nobody's business.

                          Did you say get a lawyer.... I think not, I do not play golf.

                          “Where do you think you are going in that, over my dead body!”

                          “In the news today, A buxom, blond, bombshell today asked how and why she did it.”
                          'Well, he asked for something hot in his bathtub with him, so I threw in the toaster.'

                                            Buyer Beware.

                          The law states: Ignorance of the law is no excuse.

          Be that as it may, it should be noted, we are living in a world driven by the producer. When we buy an item of any worth, there should be writ of some fashion. An undertaking by the producer, factory or manufacturer. It is mainly to protect the product and its parent company. It is also the manual to instructions and a possible warranty. These are to protect both parties involved.

          In most cases this is a waste of paper, and should be stored in a file or waste paper box with the original receipt from the dealer or store.

          This is done on purpose by the fiends of industry. The meek and mild will now develop a mania about hoarding everything in sight. Soon their family will report them to a favorite TV show where they will show all the world how they have develop the tendency to hoard. Now they have a social disease and a stigma will attach itself to them. Then they throw everything out, and keep the bare necessities. Then something will go wrong, and they will remember, they had thrown that piece of paper into the trash with all the other pieces of paper. Now?

            Keep all those papers. For a few reasons. The first must be obvious. Evidence is required of a sale for whatever reason. To prove ownership in -  maybe a court-case, again, it could be anything. A divorce, a theft, a misunderstanding, or, even a death. If you want to be very good about it, you will have a filing system of sorts. This will be updated every now and then. Or a box in the bottom of the cupboard will have to do. Do be reasonable about. Do not hoard everything like me. It upsets the other people around you.

          In the beginning there was THE SALE. One of the final steps in THE SALE is the CHECK LIST. This is done prior to the kicking of the wheels. It is mentioned only now, because it has no value in a normal, successful, everyday sale. It is of such low value that the customer is not even given a copy. But – should things go wrong, this list will become a supreme piece of evidence which the dealer will wave about and shout, “You signed for it”. All of a sudden, this list that the buyer didn't even register properly, in his haste to mount his new steed, will now bite him very hard. Get a copy of every piece of paper you ever sign.

                                            Buyer Beware: Contracts.

          And keep all papers. Well, not all, a few can go to the rubbish dump. Which those will be, will depend on ones personal outlook and choice. No, the marriage contract stays. It should stay till one departs this earth and the descendants sit down one day and go through all the papers. The comments that follow may be amusing in many ways and a few documents, maybe, should not have been kept.
“They were married when and that makes me a ..., what does that make me?”

          A basic fact of life. The first babies born in a marriage will either already be at the wedding reception or take any period up to nine months to be born. There after, all babies take nine months from Father's night to Mother's day, assuming those were the people involved.

                                      Be sure to keep all relevant documents, or, if one is a hoarder, keep them all.

          These documents may one day be important after one's passing. A few manuscripts and lost works of great authors will come to light. The kids will have great fun to look for all your treasures they are sure you hid somewhere. The 'family jewels' you always referred to. Are they in for a surprise when it dawns on them, exactly what you were talking about. The heaps of grocery bill-receipts and clothing accounts should give them a hint where 'it' all went.

          A general hint. Never try and read a contracts fine print. It was made up by a bevy of lawyers who had consulted a panel of  advocates, who in turn had been drinking for days on end. What they were drinking, nobody knows. This gives you an idea as to the depth the wording will go.

                    Here is an extract of an actual contract's wording.

          “”” I understand that this FSP does not render ongoing financial services,and that it remains my responsibility to submit all claims and/or amendment/queries to the products implemented directly to the product supplier, or to any other person in the Policy Contract.”””
          Anybody get that? I did not. No wonder they put it in fine print.

          Another good one was where the complete form was clear and concise. It starts of as they all do, with the relative information needed (why do they always ask about my sex - one day they may get the correct answer which is : when I get lucky.) How many ladies have you met whose name is Mr.Dick. Then, on the last page, ( I joke not) the following statement:- in bold letters.....

*NB: To enable the *** to assist with this complaint the vehicle must be in the original state at the time the complaint arose.

                          This is the second last line, the next line states;

                    I hereby declare that all information is correct and true.
                                            Owner Signature
                                                      Date *

          Read the line again about *NB......... Should that somehow not be in bold letters on the front page?  Why get the poor idiot to fill in all information, only to tell him right at the end he should not have had the car tended to or tried to fix anything. Dick did mention it to the company's representative, who did not think Dick was funny. Well, Dick was not trying to be funny. At least it was not in fine print.

                                        Talking about being funny.

          In the beginning …. everything has a beginning and hopefully ends as happy-ever-after.

          When Dick would phone a person, the reception would mostly be strained, guarded or suspicious. After a while, things would settle down and depending whether the person was 'for or against' the cause, the call would progress in a direction. Sometimes positive, sometimes negative. There was only one unreachable person and that was the dealer's main contact. Nobody was bad-mannered or nasty, except this one. He had good reason to be, or so he thought. Whatever he thought, it would not stick to the norm of good business practice. And there was nothing funny about him or his ways. Most of the other people parted ways on a more congenial footing as when they started talking to Dick.

          She stated her case, hubby was unfair and never took her anywhere, she only wanted to see what all the fuss was about when the Chippendales came to town and she wanted to look her best, as all ladies want to. She did not wear the 'itsy-weenie-mini-wonder to court, and 12 good men all agreed, hubby was a louse and deserved to be fried. She did hand out her new calling card to the judge, jurors and court attendants. The card had the lawyer's name and number on the back (or is that the front?). And they all lived happily ever after.

          As for the unfortunate hubby, he is up in heaven, as all Kentucky Fried Hubbies go to heaven, even if it is the dog's heaven.

          Normally the sale is more complicated than a mere, “I want that one, please – thank you.”
          Especially with a larger item such as a house or a motorcar. Mere mortals do not concern themselves with sales that cost more than a lifetime's salary.

          In the case of a vehicle, there is insurance to consider, in the case of all vehicles bought on a hire purchase plan, it is required by law. This is to cover the car in case of a theft, an accident and an assortment of horrid things which can all happen to a car. In turn, they(insurance company) will charge an awesome amount of money, which in turn will allow them to sponsor the national team to the Olympics, support a few favorite causes, spend ridiculous amounts on advertising and live in a style to which I would like to become accustomed to. The last remark is only for the higher echelon. Then, they still make a healthy declared profit, after paying all damages caused by a disaster or two.

                      This proves something. What it is, is still unclear.

                      I keep on having these songs popping into my head;
                                          *Every morning
                                            Every evening
                                            Ain't we got fun
                                          Not much money
                                              Oh but honey
                                            Ain't we got fun
                                        The rent's unpaid dear
                                            We haven't a bus *

            Then there is still life insurance, health insurance, accident cover, even work insurance. A cover for almost every man-made problem. Sorry, we do not do wars, or any thing else by other Authorities. This is to appease the atheists - as they say it is unfair to blame unseen, unprovable events on an unseen Authority. We must blame it on someone we can see, sue or hassle.
                                        And the company gladly obliges.
                                  *The rich get rich and the poor get laid off
                                                  In the meantime
                                                    In between time
                                                    Ain't we got fun.*

                                Believe it, there is still the warranty/warrantee.

          This is a document which states many things and most mean absolutely nothing. The new owner of the vehicle is told this will benefit him and upon reading the document, will find that he has no idea what he let himself in for. If said vehicle is not treated in accordance to a custom and style the new owner himself is not used too, the warranty falls flat and expires like a balloon at a kids party, tho with less noise. A silent pffft and its over. This costs quite a pretty penny itself, this warrantee/warranty.

          Under normal conditions, the elated owner proudly mounts his new steed, and rides of into the sunset to never return to this establishment - called – the dealer. There may be an odd visit or two and in exceptional cases, very exceptional, you may receive a Christmas card from your friendly salesman. This is in the storybooks, this is what Grimm & Grimm wrote about. Fairy tales. And believe you me, I know it is true, for it happened to me, once upon a time.

                                            Sad Sails in the Sunset:

          Now, if there is one group of people I will take my hat off to, it is the sailors.(yes, I own a hat and I do wear it) Not the sailors as in the fancy white suits and in the navy, no, not those. I am talking about those crazy people who go to sea in a bathtub and then sail solo around the world, for that is what I call crazy. Under normal circumstances, a sailing boat is a joy to behold, a free spirit running in tune to the wind, crisscross, playing to the whim of the sailor and the wind. Sailing around the world, solo, is another thing all together. It is a test of every fibre of the spirit, body, soul and mental strength.

          Sometimes in life, we need that fortitude, for we may feel alone, surrounded by a sea of mankind, which leaves us out there in the middle of nowhere, on our way to a destination which is where we started from.

                                    That was my aim, to be where I was, before I got involved with this deal.

          Not to get too involved in the finer detail of the battle, after all, at the battle of Waterloo, we are not really concerned about the deployment of the troops, or the placements of the artillery, and the timing of the charge of the lancers. Yet, all of these are important to the outcome of the battle. We want to know who won, not so much as how. There are a few people who will want to know the detail, even down to the final button. Those will have to wait till kingdom comes or a sequel is written in a future lifetime. Not even the buttons were exciting.

                                                The closing.

          The final phase in all undertakings. The close is most important. As all future dealings will be based upon it. Remember the mounting of the steed, the satisfied customer riding into the sunset? All of this will be for nought if something goes wrong. If the parting is not one of happiness, the near future may turn into a nightmare. Unfortunately, in this case, the nightmare had started before the close was affected. This was not a normal case.

          In the case of home. Always keep in mind. When you finished a meal, or whatever treat you enjoyed, keep in mind, altho you are sated at the moment, you will possibly come back for more. For time is a great taker, it will take your current satisfaction and turn it into a great hunger again. And if you did not 'close' off well last time, the treat might be of a lesser value the next time round. Always close off well. Your future depends on it.

          Methods of closing will be determined by each and every separate occasion. A simple, “will that be all” or “thank you” will suffice in many cases. There after, the scale climbs up the rewards ladder as each and every situation demands its own, according to the value of said occasion. Never get confused about the occasion and what etiquette will demand. Never ever place money on your partner's bedside, this will surely not be acceptable, or maybe you forgot where you are for a moment?

          In business, the closing is already the opening to the next sale. At home, it is the same, as well as the rest of the world. Close well, and the next opening will be easier.

                                That has nothing to with this story.

        Already the dye was cast by a group of people, who, for reasons which will never be clear, decided to take a path on which Dick found himself.
                                  History has many such incidents.             

          Billy 'the Kid' would not have made it into the pages of history had he not taken the path that he did. All the villains in times past chose their way for some reason, or was it their pre-ordained destiny, who do we blame for their deeds?. The learned ones are still arguing that moot point. It is not the objective here to worry about the finer detail of the villain, only to accept, things go wrong, and we have a person or person to blame.

                                That is the way of justice and the law.
              The law state that no one should sell a cat in a bag, unless the sale is about a cat in a bag.
              Also the law says clearly, 'thou shall not', and people will still try to bypass it.
              This is where all of the afore mentioned gentry come into their own.
              The lawyer, the judge and the executioner.
        Sometimes it is possible for a private person to do the functions of all three these phases, for each person represents a phase in a case. It is faster, cheaper and more risky. Still, the end result will be obtained faster in an open and shut case.
Whether justice will be served, for that, we have to wait for the fat lady to sing.

                        * A man who is his own lawyer has a fool for his client: Abraham Lincoln. *

          Be it as it may. Dick decided to handle his own case, and nobody could sway his mind. 
          If his mind could ever be found. As many people was under the impression that he had lost it a long time ago, together with his marbles and a few other choice items.
                                                        That is another story.

          Here we are again. Revisiting the past, digging up the skeletons, one by one, dressing them up in the proper manner as befits a skeleton. Now we have Zombies. I joke - not at all. We can dress these skeletons as we see fit, that is what people do. They remember the past as they want to or as they thought it was or, as some would do, as they see fit. There are even cases where people abuse the past and change it in such a way, that it bears scant resemblance to the fact. These people are sometimes called, historians, politicians, or lawyers.
          Today we put the case in front of you, let us introduce Zombie number one. This Zombie will bear no resemblance to the original skeleton because it is now a case. Not a person anymore. We are civilized. We do not apply justice as would many other. We are civil, we have the law and we follow the law. For had we no law, there would have been a few ropes hanging from lampposts in the main square or even a pride of well fed lions on Sunday past. Those were the days!

          The Zombies were paraded, dressed in their best tuxedos. The first one dressed in the latest style of broken promises rounded off with accessories of deceit and subterfuge. The second Zombie followed closely in a scant covering of bare-skin truths and polka dotted good intentions.

          Both failed to meet the standards set by the judges and they were sent off into the darkness of the financial hell called a canceled deal.

          There to rot in the archives of stories, to be retold around a BBQ fire or a round of drunken salesmen.

          Each to his own recollection and interpretation, the one a tale of woe and the other, a saga of triumph. Which one will tell it how, we can only wait and hear.

                                                    THE END.

          This tale has no end, only a canceled deal, a clean sheet at the bank, no profit in the coffer and a story to tell. Dick has to start all over again. He has to look again for a new steed with a more suspicious eye and more skepticism.

          Is there a lesson here, or is this a once only, improbable, unlikely case. Who knows? Already the search has started again and the indication is there …..
                                              BUYER BEWARE

                                              Send in the clowns.
          From beginning to end, there was nothing funny in this happening. If you call laying awake at night, planning the next move, balancing the results to date, thinking what needs to be done next. One mistake, and the whole problem could backfire on me. The value of each contact had to be assessed and evaluated. Would they advance or retard the process.

          It is amazing to find out how many people and organizations are in the game of solving problems with products, service, and sales.
It is almost like when you have something wrong with you, and you have no idea what it is.

          First you see this one doctor, who sends you for tests, and then the game begins.

          Unfortunately, the self-help road in the medical field is rather limited. There are shamans; witchdoctors; homeopaths; the neighbor next door, someone who knows someone who had a similar disease and of course the books and the web.
If you are still alive and can afford it, seeing a doctor may help. There may be National Health Care, maybe.

          Now, the road to getting help for my case with this dealer/vehicle problem started easily enough. It needed time and money.

        Each step started with a phone call. Each phone call was a new name, a new system, new wait music – used to lull you into a coma of no-care, you are maybe even upset if they answer at the other end as you started enjoying the music. I had that with the one who played Vangelis.

        A new attitude …. almost each one who answered had his or her own karma who spoke to me. From the 'Drop dead and see if I care'  to the one who I would donate my spare kidney to. And that on “How may I help you?” After the second or third call, things go much better or, it was a dead-end with a deadbeat answering the phone.

        The real fun, if you want to call it fun, was eventually, as the 'game' carried on, the real players, the ones who were the decision makers. The people who could influence the outcome of this …. what does a person call this?

          It has no name, it is not a war, it is only a man trying to get what is promised to him and a system that tries its best to make it all go away.

                                  Let us call them the hyenas.
                            Another little story popped up here.

          In days gone by, when animals were still the rulers of the earth and man a mere thought in Darwin's mind.

          The baboon and the hyena decided to be friends as the lion used to beat up on them. They undertook, if the lion tackled one, the other would get in the fray and help. So it happened soon enough, the lion surprised these two as they were napping under a tree. Lion grabbed hyena first and started beating on him and the baboon watched from above in the tree.

          When lion was tired and had enough bullying for the day, he walked away, leaving behind a badly bruised hyena, both in body and mind.

        Baboon climbed down when he deemed it safe and went over to hyena.
        “Hey Baboon, where were you, I thought you were coming to help me.”

          “Well. You were laughing so loud. I thought you were enjoying it.”

          Then it started, every now and then, one would start giggling, giggling like those hyena characters in the Lion King movie. Giggling like …. someone caught with his hand in the cookie jar. Giggling.

          Then it dawned on me, why they were giggling, not because of my skill at trying to be funny, or my prowess at any level, because somehow I had stirred up enough mud and the 'gods that be' had stomped on these mere mortals who thought they were funny. That is how I saw it, that is how I think it went.

                                              Those clowns.

        Don't bother, they are here all the time. For some reason, they are not funny.
                                                More selling.   

          The sale starts early. Very early. It has been shown in the beginning, the sales start at birth. A few people says that the sale starts even before the birth. If this was taken back to the 'beginning', did Adam sell himself to Eve or was it the other way round.

        Can imagine Adam's opening line here, “Baby, I've never had it this good before.” and kicking a bleating goat away.

        Eve replying truthfully, “You are the only man in my life.” with a wink to the snake.

        Never a truer word spoken, and they bought it. Eve never having to worry about Adam's wandering eye and Adam getting jealous 'cause Eve wanting her vanity appeased by all. The perfect sale!

                                                Then the next sale. The favoritism deal. Cain and Abel walks onto the stage.

        Already the one model is favored above the other, this will be the greatest deal breaker of all time. How can two compete in a market where the one is obviously the superior choice. One can take a backseat and accept the inevitable fact, there is no competition, the race is lost even before it started. Then there is the quiet assassins deal, rather difficult to get away with, it has been tried many a time, and people still try it, and they still fail. Yet, they still try! Gotto give them points for that.
                                                                                    The one and only deal.
        This is where the man sells to the young lady the idea that if she should make herself available to this one man only, he will serve her in every way possible. From morning to night, he will slave to keep her in the style that he promised, he will adore only her and they will stay together, forever, till death do them part. To date it has been the best sales pitch of all, with no guarantee, warrenty or warrentee or even a hint that it is the truth. Still, it is a best seller and highly popular even after the fact that a third will fail. There is nothing better yet.

                                                                              The privilege of the open door.

          The lazy-man's and frightened young lady's way. Here he sells all the ideas with the proviso that should she ever feels that his share is below par, she can ask him to leave. What he puts up front is that he is really not going to try, because he has all the benefits and none of the responsibilities. She, on the other hand, will try to prove to him it is worth staying and repay her in kind. Mostly she will loose.
A man not tied down, is a hard man to tie down.
                                                                                      The Casanova.
            The most unusual creature of all. And his counterpart, the Woman.
          This group nearly always have the experience of experience, and that gives worth to the saying, 'Familiarity breeds Contempt.'
          They sell to the ignorant and to the wise, never knowing how ignorant or wise the other already are. They already fail, as they have a preset list of requirements and yet, can sometimes hit the jackpot. Unfortunately, in this sales arena, the only sure statement is:
                                                      * For Fools rush in, where Angels fear to tread - Alexander Pope *
          Never assume you know, for no-one knows anothers depth, until it has been measured by time, trail and error and above all – success. Always remember, where you start to fail is a milli away from where you stopped succeeding. Go one step back.
          The sales process is always in the fore. This is the forceful one. The mouse that roars, the Wizard of Oz, the offering of the lamb.                     
                                                                            For every sale, there is a buy.
          As the buying process always seems to one of a lesser value, it would be a mistake to underestimate the buyer's power. If the buyer is not buying, the seller is not selling. The buyer is the Statue of Liberty, the Bank of England, and even the Thai Mahal. For without these in the deal, you are building on shaky foundations.

                                                                                SELLER BEWARE.
        In the sales world, we hear tall tales of great endeavors. Heard about the man who sold fridges to the Eskimo. Or the man who sells the Brooklyn Bridge, Eiffel Tower or Statue of Liberty.

        The man that sold the fridges to the Eskimo, his company is most probably doing it to this day. The other are in jail, running from the law or dead. For every good sales story, there are as many bad ones.

        The Russian who sold Alaska to America, ever heard of him, at the time he did well, so he thought. Even the Indian chief who sold Manhattan Island did well at the time.
                                            History is splattered with interesting stories of sales.

                                                                        * "An ordinary sales person


                                                                            "A good sales person
                                                                          "A great sales person

                              As with all undertakings in life, even selling has rules that govern and guide the salesman.

        Nowhere is the temptation more apparent to disregard the rules of decency when a salesman has to weigh his honesty against his bank account.

      Possibly the most difficult sales field is the one that should be the easiest, and that is life and family insurance. It is the one field where the services of a good salesman only becomes apparent when all else fails or the time has passed and nothing has failed. Only then can you measure his worth.

      This reminds me of a story about the insurance man trying to sell Joe Soap insurance.

      After the insurance man, let us call him Dick, has told and explained to Joe about all the horrors that could befall Joe, Dick  related “in case this happens and in case that happens, and in case of ….” 

Joe commented that there were just too many “in cases” and none had any real value.

Dick looked at Joe very seriously and “Joe, do you mind pulling your shirt up to your shoulders.”

                                      Joe obliged rather sheepishly.

“And why do you, as a man, have breasts, Joe? There is no normal reason for a man to have breasts, is there, Joe?”
                                      “No Dick, I have no idea.”
                      “Well, you see Joe. That is just in case you fall pregnant!”

        Now, we never know what life will serve on its platter. And we cannot cater for all events. We can only cater for those in our control, and then, not too well sometimes.

POSTSCRIPT: * Donates that the piece between the asterisks has been borrowed from somewhere else and as such was not mine. Mainly from Wikipedia and associated sources *  I made my own mistakes.
© Copyright 2010 RICH (j2rr at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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