Months after I left my husband, my Volkswagen Quantum went on the brink. I was left to negotiate a new used automobile without male support.
I always wanted a Volvo 240. I read virtually every consumer guide; I asked around, and I reviewed the book value for both the car I owned and the car I wanted to own. Finally, I was ready to handle my business.
Well, little did I know, the owner of the dealership was ready for me. He laughed with me, took me out for a drink and was extremely patient with me until we could strike a deal. I was thinking this is easy, I am good at this, and what a nice man.
Finally, I was the proud owner of a Volvo 240 and I was proud that I was able to work out a deal to finance the car for eight months. I felt powerful. After signing the papers the owner pulled out a bottle of champagne to celebrate, but that was not the only thing he pulled out. In shock, I asked him to put that away – I did not mean the champagne.
Little did I know this was only the beginning. It was though I was wearing a neon sign on my forehead that said “single.” High powered, no power, tall, short, married, single, Black, White, Latino, and any demographic that existed, all wanted me to compromise my reputation to do business.
Later in life when my income and self-esteem increased, I wanted a BMW. I was ready for anything. I insisted on dealing with management and if they did not structure the deal that fit my budget, I would drive off. Again, research was important and I was not lacking in knowledge. Six months later I went back to one of the dealerships and met with the manager. This time he was ready to deal. He only had one request. Yes, I was able to comply. I told the manager that I was headed to Virginia. He asked that I not add additional miles to my car. Therefore, I used my boyfriend’s SUV. Before I could return from Virginia, the manager of the dealership called to confirm the terms. Now, I was ready to do business – what a turn-on.
I shared the information regarding the deal with my boyfriend who, at the time, was in sales. He accused me of sleeping with, kissing, dating, or anything imaginable because he could not have pulled off such a deal. He had become so accusatory that I did not see him for weeks. I thought that he knew me and respected me, but I soon learned that I had not garnered his respect as a single business woman.
Sometimes I wonder, what would I have gained, or better yet what would I have lost if I did the business to do business?
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