In order to try and cheer up our large reader base in these times of austerity, I have been reminiscing with old colleagues from way back when in the hope that they can re-count some amusing tales from the past. In this case I believe I have found a true story which will either make you laugh or make you cry.
It was way back in the mid 90’s and the dealership concerned was a small showroom in North West London which, due to the confines of space, cars had to be prepared and serviced at a centre about a mile away from the showroom.
In order to try and make the lives of the sales team as easy as possible the dealer principle hired some drivers to ensure that the cars were prepared and presented in their best possible way. This meant the sales people would not have to leave the showroom and could stay where they were most needed, on the front line.
So this particular day the driver “Mario” who was about 25 with a greasy pony tail and bottle top glasses and not the brightest spark around, had been told to fetch Mr. and Mrs. Jacobs new car as they were due in to collect it within the next half hour. He duly did as he was told and the salesman waited for the customers to arrive so he could complete the handover paperwork and take the balance of payment before attaching the tax disc to the gleaming new car when Mario had pulled up onto the forecourt.
He had time to grab a quick coffee and then went back to his desk and waited. During this time he noticed several customers coming into the showroom and his colleagues happily signing them up on cars, and he cursed the fact that he had a handover which prevented him from getting a piece of the action. But it is part of the job and the commission is not banked until the customers are in their new car so he just sat and waited…and waited. Not only hadn’t his customers turned up but neither had Mario.
Putting it down to bad traffic he called the aftersales centre to find out whether Mario had left yet and was told that yes he had left, at least half an hour ago.
Now a 1 .5 mile journey on the backstreets of North West London can often take a while but surely not this long and more worryingly his customers had not turned up either and they were bringing in their old car to part-exchange, perhaps they were all caught in the same traffic jam?
Our salesman being quite switched on and getting rather irritated decided that it would probably be best to walk the route to the aftersales centre and re-trace the steps of his missing driver in the hope of quickly solving the mystery and solve it he very much did.
After he had walked about half a mile he noticed some commotion and some police cars with a crowd gathered, quickening his step he reached the scene only to see to his utter horror that Mario and Mr. and Mrs. Jacobs new car had ploughed into a row of parked cars but worse than that it had also totalled the car in front which was, you guessed it, Mr. and Mrs. Jacobs in their old car.
A very sheepish looking Mario was sitting on the pavement with his head in his hands, Mrs. Jacobs was crying hysterically and the people whose cars Mario had ploughed into just wanted to kill him.
It appeared that Mario had been driving way too fast and had gone to put one of his heavy metal CD’s on when he lost control on the brow of a hill causing mayhem and chaos and costing the company thousands of pounds in insurance excess and causing the customers to lose two cars in one day.
Needless to say Mario had to get the local papers out the next day and find new employment and Mr. and Mrs. Jacobs took their business elsewhere.
The dealership staff of course did what we all used to do in those days after a bad day, went to the pub!