It takes all kinds...

One of the big things about the car business is that we salespeople get to interact with tons of very interesting people. Actually, let's concentrate on the word "interesting" for a second. You could replace "interesting" with words like crazy, whacked-out, insane, out-there, empty, or downright creepy, and you'd be 100% right.

Here's a list of the "interesting" people that I've dealt with over the course of my career:
- A wheelchair-bound woman with a degenerating disease whose family looked like they came straight out of Appalachia
- A man with verbal tics so annoying and hilarious I couldn't keep a straight face
- A man that refused to show any emotion for fear that I might use it against him
- A couple that had a 24-year age difference (the woman was older)
- A lottery winner (ok, he was just interesting)
- A man who cursed God because he couldn't qualify to buy a car
- Countless people who were "supposed to be getting a  cash settlement any day now"

I could go on and on, but you get the idea. We salespeople get such a unique cross-section of humanity. I've sold cars to college football coaches, grade-school teachers, college professors, college students, civil servants, lawyers, cops, political lobbyists, and one extremely grateful woman that even hugged me after I delivered her used car.

That poor woman had been having trouble with her son. Of course, by that I mean her son was having trouble in school and with the law. I attempted to help her once before; her son was being such a tool that I couldn't get anything done with her. A couple of months later she came back, without her son. After the perfunctory questions, we settled on a car and a deal. Since there's normally an hour between an agreement on terms and a person leaving the dealership with their new car, we began to talk. The woman was ragged; hammered by life. The years of worry had left their scars on her face, and the pleading words she had been giving her son manifested in a weary voice.

She talked.

I listened.

I talked.

She listened.

She talked about her son and the issues she was having with him. I talked about my mother, who had passed away. From those two seemingly unrelated subjects, two people came to an understanding. I had given her hope for a new beginning with her son, and through that, she gave me a chance to see what it was like for my mother when things weren't always going the way they should. I had never given my mother much problem (that job was reserved for my sister), but from the flicker of light that came from that woman, I could tell that she was never going to give up fighting for her son. I saw that same light from my mother.

After finishing the paperwork, I led her out to her car. She gave me a hug. She drove away, and I haven't seen her since. Sometimes I wonder what happened to her and her son. Hopefully, they patched things up. Maybe they didn't, and he's in a juvenile hall somewhere. I've seen enough to know that there isn't always a happy ending.

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