|Are they the same or not?
One of these cars is a 1986 Plymouth Fury and the other is a 1986 Dodge Diplomat. Can you tell which is which?
TODAY THE WORDS are THE SAME OR NOT? A lot of my stories go back to my childhood, but this one is from my time in the car business. Some of my friends have, at least for a while, been in the car business and may have had a similar experience. In all of my years in this business, this was the only time I had the experience I am sharing with you this morning. It will date my age as these models are no longer available. so allow “the ole gal” to tell you about one of my customers.
Even though most of my career in the car business was in the Finance and Insurance division as well as some General Manager stints; I started out the first three months in sales. I had not sold cars before, but since I enjoyed sales and especially meeting people; I felt I could handle it and not meant to brag; I led the team in sales those three months. It was truly beginner’s luck!
One day I saw a car pull up at the Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep, Eagle dealership. A young lady helped an elderly lady out and I immediately introduced myself to both of them and asked if I could help them.
The lady told me quickly her husband had worked at a Dodge plant and he had passed away. He wanted her to have a new Dodge Diplomat and she liked what she thought was a Dodge Diplomat on the front line of our lot. I looked at the front row and all I saw was a Plymouth Fury which for those of you who are in the know, recognize the way cars are manufactured. The chassis is the same for both cars. Unless you know the difference in the grille and the insignia for the different brands; you are looking at the “same” car.
The elderly lady begrudgingly bought the Fury and paid with cash with her niece smiling and agreeing with me, her aunt would love it. The lady kept saying “He wanted me to have a Dodge.” Away they went and you may not believe what happened next.
The car carrier rolled up later that day and what would be on the top of the carrier but a Dodge Diplomat “exactly” as the Plymouth Fury she had bought. The service department and the detail department had it on the front row before we left that afternoon. I had no idea of what was going down the next morning. I had gotten in and exchanged morning greetings with the other sales staff and from the corner of my eye; I caught the Plymouth Fury I had sold pulling up to the front and I thought to myself. “Uh oh, this is not good.” Being me and not afraid of a good challenge; I walked out with a smile.
The elderly lady allowed me to help her out of the car, but she wasn’t smiling. She looked at me and said, “Why didn’t you sell me that Dodge out there?” Well, I went through the explanation of how it came in after they left. She said to me with a serious look on her face, “I want that Dodge like my dear husband wanted me to have it and you can get it now.”
My mind raced as I knew my dealer would have a fit and since she had paid cash, the title processing may have already been completed. I didn’t know how I was going to handle this situation but I somehow felt a twinge in my heart for her wanting to honor her husband’s wishes. I felt torn but I knew the cars were technically the same with only exterior changes. She wasn’t having any of the “same” explanation and I began to think I was going to have to battle it out with the dealer to exchange the vehicles. I straightened up my shoulders and was prepared to go in and get my ears rung when this little lady looked at me with a sense of compassion. What she said next remains in my mind today.
“Honey, don’t be upset. I am not here to bring this car back. I want to buy the Dodge. I want you to draw up a contract for me so my niece can pay me back for the Plymouth and we will work that out between us. Even though the Plymouth is not a Dodge; I think my husband would like me helping our niece out and I can have my Dodge like my sweet husband wanted. Will you give me the same deal on that pretty Dodge?
Now for the deeper thought……I think she understood the cars were the same and she like the Fury but she felt stronger to honor her husband’s memory and request. It really wasn’t about the cars as it was the importance of their love and trust for each other. It doesn’t matter that I sold two cars to the same lady; it was the look on her face as she drove that Dodge Diplomat off that lot! Respect, love and trust had seen that husband and wife through many years and the last thing she said to me was,”Thank you for being patient with me and helping me get the car my Henry wanted me to have. He said they were safe cars and he wanted to take care of me.”
DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:
The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain.
(c) copyright 2015 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission.