How to steal a car
Well it was a hot day in the show room that day in November, it had not rained in days and the boss of the car dealership told Jeff, the car salesman, not to open the show room doors as it only lets in dust and makes the cars look dirty, instead he should only open the main door. Jeff had a few walk ins but no one was very interested. He had a great selection of cars, 3 brand new and 9 second hand cars. There was one in particular that was an imported car, a corvette, long, sleek, shine and every boys dream.
The day seemed to be dragging by and the walk ins were getting on his nerves, asking ridiculous questions about how fast is this car, can it beat that car, is this one a chick magnet, regular old people who don’t have money, only time to kill. Just when Jeff thought it was all coming to nought, a couple walked in. the man was well dressed just short of a tie, the lady was in a dress that offered her curves to the eye. They wondered around the showroom floor and came to a stop at the corvette.
They introduced themselves but Jeff was hot and bothered, so he never really took notice and continued in the most polite way he knew best. “Sir, this is a dream car, anyone seen in it will be seen as someone who knows what they want” Jeff said. “Madam, the car will purr along to any shopping centre you want to peruse and bring you back leaving your friends with envy”. Lets call him John, seeing Jeff never took note of his name, said he would love to take it for a test drive once Jeff could satisfy a few questions for him.
Jeff always will to make a sale and especially today said he would be happy to answer any questions he might have. John asked “Well with a price tag of R190000.00 does it have a motor plan? Will you be able to replace the tyres? And do you offer insurance?”. Jeff answered “Sir you know what you are looking for and the answers are yes to all three questions, however I might have to speak to my boss about the tyres, you know it is a good price already and the existing tyres are at 60% tread”
John asked Jeff if he could go and find out about the tyres, while he and his wife look around further. Jeff disappeared behind the open office partitioning and was gone for about 5 minutes. Jeff said to them “My boss has said that new tyres for this vehicle are close to R4000 a piece, he said that he will only be able to replace the rear two as they are the most worn” John said that it was great news and that he would like to take the car for a test drive. Jeff was more than happy to get the deal going.
Then looking at the way the floor was parked with the cars, Jeff knew that is would be a good 20 minutes before they had the car out the showroom. Jeff said to them that they should take a seat while the moving process of the cars was happening. John looked at his watch and said to Jeff, oh no that would not do they have to be at their sons school to pick him up in 20 minutes. Jeff did not have a resolution to the problem other then telling them to come back after the school came out. John whispered something to his wife and they said that they would not be able to make it today then, but they would be back tomorrow for the test drive.
Jeff knew that 99.9999% of these conversations were nothing more than hot air. His whole posture changed and his shoulders sunk, he could almost not even bring himself to smile and make a confirming nod. John and his wife left the showroom and Jeff went back to his boss to tell what they had said. Jeff’s boss packed up laughing saying that he had lost the deal by letting them walk out the door.
The next day was not much different to the previous day. The heat was unbearable and the conversations were more or less the same. Jeff was hoping for the best when he started playing chess with the cars, moving them up this way down that way and some sideways until the corvette was free to roll out the door. The morning disappeared into the midday, Jeff was thinking of his upcoming holiday and where he would be going.
He looked up from his desk and saw the silhouette of three people entering the showroom. He sprung into action with the usual “welcome, how can I assist you?”. Then Jeff noticed that it was in fact “John”, his wife and their son. Their son was eating an ice cream and smiling broadly. John asked Jeff where his son could sit and finish his ice cream so that they could get on with business. John asked him about the test drive he requested yesterday. Jeff replied that it was no problem at all, they could go for a test drive.
Jeff said to John that he was going to accompany him when he goes around the block, his wife started pulling her face, she really wanted to go with for the drive. John finally convinced Jeff that his wife should be in the passenger seat. It is a two seater so there is no space for Jeff and their son. Jeff finally gave in, his boss was out for lunch and there was no one to watch the shop in any case, what could go wrong in any case, Johns son was in the shop.
The corvette started up with the first swift turn of the key, John was under the bonnet and walking around the car talking to his wife. As soon as he felt that the motor had warmed up enough for the short journey he opened the door for his wife and helped her in. walking around to the drivers door he looked in the direction of his son and waved at him. His son waved back. He call Jeff closer to the drivers door and asked him which way he normally went for a test drive.
Jeff explained to him methodically that he should go down the road and after the third traffic light he should turn left, follow the road for two traffic lights and then turn left again, go up the road for 7 traffic lights and then pull back into the showroom. Jeff also told him that it was around 9 kilometres so that should be sufficient for a test drive. John concurred and he pulled the vette out the showroom slowly and drove down the road slowly until he reached the third traffic light where he turned left.
Jeff felt very satisfied with this now almost 99.99% sale and the direction it was going, straight to the bank. Jeff climbed into one of the cars and started moving it to the vacant space where the corvette was standing. His intention was to move all the vehicles back into their spots on the showroom floor. Obviously expecting that the corvette does not need accommodation in show room again. He was busy moving that cars and was preoccupied with the position of the different cars. Suddenly he remembered that John and his wife should have been back long time ago.
Looking back to his office he say Johns son sitting on the chair comfortably, his ice cream was now finished and he was looking at his wrist watch. Every so often Jeff would look at the boy and he would be looking at his wrist watch. Jeff walked over to him and leaned into the office saying “They should be back any minute now” The boy did not speak a word just nodding positively. Jeff somehow felt good again having received false hope from the boy.
Jeff had broken into a new type of perspiration on this hot day, it was an anxious perspiration that almost felt sticky, honey had the same consistency but smelt sweeter. It was getting close to an hour now that they had left and John was still no where to be seen. Jeff was getting worried and considered call the police, but he did not have any reason to believe that they would run off with the car and abandon their son. This is just not possible.
Almost two hours past before Jeff decided to go and talk to the boy, he walked into the office and saw that the boy was looking at his wrist watch. Jeff said “Don’t worry, I am sure your father will be back any minute now” he did not want to alarm the boy, Jeff continued “Do you perhaps have your dads phone number so that I can contact him and give him directions on how to get back here.
The words out the boys mouth was like a sword being plunged though his heart. The boy said “my dad, that’s not my dad” Jeff composed himself figuring out that it must be his mom then with her new husband, his step dad. Jeff asked “well then your moms number will also help” The answered were just not coming out the boys mouth the way Jeff wanted them to.
The boy said “ that is not my mom”, Jeff felt feint, asking as calmly as he could, “well then your sister or brother or aunt or uncle, who ever took the car” The boy said to Jeff, “Mister I got no idea what you are talking about, the man and lady bought me an ice cream and gave me R50 to sit here until four o’clock this afternoon. They said if I could do that without talking to you that you would give me R50 also, but you came here asking all these questions, now I am not going to get my R50 from you am I?”