Last Wednesday was a stormy day in these parts but having overcome my fear of falling liquids years ago, I went after work to the local bulk warehouse for a variety of specific items in large packages. After leaving the store, I drove through the little cut-through road as I always do when a sudden loud noise and jerking of the right side of my car indicated trouble.
I bottomed out in a pot hole that was filled with rain, and as such, hidden. My front passenger side tire immediately flattened as indicated by the clever TPMS and of course I went out into the pesky rainfall to verify. Fortunately, said warehouse has a tire center just a few short yards away and I carefully and slowly maneuvered my vehicle to one of their garage bays.
The gentleman initially came off as if he had no interest in being helpful after I explained what happened by telling me “we don’t carry that tire”. I softened him up a bit (and told him that I had a road hazard warranty at Firestone just minutes away) and he volunteered to change the tire to my spare for me at no charge. I accepted his offer and later tipped him for his generosity before carefully heading out of the parking lot en-route to the Firestone shop.
Once I get to the Firestone shop it was a basic business transaction that I won’t bore you with but what was interesting is what took place while I was waiting for the tire to be replaced. I get restless waiting quickly, I wasn’t interested in the TV broadcasts being played, or the crappy magazines and I wasn’t about to intentionally engage in conversation with any of the other patrons because they all looked very scary.
Mostly, I paced a lot and listened into the conversations between salespeople and customers when at one point, the salesman in me had to intervene. There was a sale going very wrong, clearly the kid attempting to make the sale was rough around the edges and in serious need of assistance so I did what I do sometimes and interjected.
The salesman “sold’ the tires, not a tough sale since the guy buying them had four severely damaged tires on his business vehicle and couldn’t drive without replacing them. Where the “salesman” failed was when he asked the guy if he was interested in purchasing the road hazard warranty. The salesperson was emotionless and failed to mention the things that were important and why it shouldn’t be a choice and this is where I jumped in.
“Pardon me sir, I am a customer, not an employee and let me just tell you that I have bought a road hazard warranty every single time I purchased tires, wherever I have purchased them and literally 100% of the time it has more than paid for itself.” He and I broke away from the sales desk briefly to which I highlighted the basic reasons why it was an essential purchase and soon after he turned to the salesperson and indicated that he would indeed be purchasing the warranty.
Soon after, my car was ready and the invoice came out. The manager, Steve, was in his office just to the right of where I was standing so I took it upon myself to walk into his office and ask him if he would consider “doing a little something” on my invoice since while I was waiting I took the liberty of making a sale. The “salesperson” acknowledged my salesmanship to Steve and in gratitude, a credit for approximately $25 was applied to my invoice. I earned a freaking commission waiting for my car to be serviced – how about that!