If you're looking for a good deal on a car, don't call my husband.
He's finally given up on being that super-successful car guy, the one who brings in $70,000 a year by ripping off consumers.
I've never met a car saleman who makes $70k -- most of the really, really successful guys make $40k tops.
I've also never met a consumer who knew that.
Most people think that car salesmen are lining their pockets with gold, hence they try to get brand new cars for $10,000 taxes in. It's a ridiculous business, a pyramid scheme where the dealers and managers cut the commission down to the bare bones just so they can meet their quota and keep their dealership licence. These same owners and managers make tonnes of money because they take a cut from all the sales guys who sometimes make barely enough money to cover their gas and a Tim Horton's coffee.
Like my husband.
We had one month recently in which Scott brought home $1,200 for working long days and weekends.
Thank God he has a CBC pension. Or at least what's left of it after his ex-wife gets her share.
Car sales suck. He'd do better working at Walmart.
Scott is a great salesman. Everybody likes him. He's honest as the day is long and a bit of a Boy Scout. When he worked at his first dealership, he did okay but they screwed him out of his benefits so he left and went to another dealer who promised him he could make that illusive $70 k.
In fact, there's usually ONE guy at any given dealership who makes that kind of money and believe you me, you do not want to deal with him. He's the kind of guy who will lie to you, talk you into a car you can't afford and suck your dick if need be. He steals all the "ups" when the other guys aren't looking. You know the type -- swarthy and smiley.
Mac the Knife.
There are all kinds of things that affect car sales. For example, the tsunami that hit Japan the other year left most of the car production plants under water. For a time, there wasn't a Japanese car to be had -- makes it hard to sell them, you know?
Or what about recalls? People stop trusting car companies whose engines explode.
In the case of Scott's last dealership, letters were sent out a couple of weeks back apologizing for the fact the company had fudged its mileage claims.
Whoopsee. Hence, the company has been forced to issue cheques to customers to make amends.
Doesn't give you much confidence in the company does it?
But the last straw for my husband was the dealer's promise that he could make a small fortune if he sold more than 13 cars a month. So he sold 15.
His take home pay was $2,700 -- for the month.
Car dealers -- they lie.
So he has moved on to selling furnaces door-to-door for a company that's been doing this for decades. It's old fashioned sales. Nothing fishy about it. You need a furnace? We have one. Can't afford to buy it? We'll rent.
Sounds okay to me.
Everybody needs a furnace. Furnaces break down.
Unlike the car business, there aren't thousands of companies that sell them.
You can't get them in magenta blue for an extra $15 a month. It's grey. It takes up a lot of room. It keeps you warm. If you want one, here you go.
I like that.
I find it a bit sad that with all his experience as a network producer and cameraman, Scott has become the Fuller Brush Guy.
But that's the state of journalism in Canada today.
Another smarmy, crooked business where hard working people make millionaires gazillionaires and as a reward for their years of service, they are laid off.
The recent spate of layoffs at Sun Media, Bell Media and the like are nothing unusual. I actually began my career getting laid off when the Ottawa Journal went under thirty years ago.
But as Canadians, we could always count on some real journalism being committed somewhere. Now Canadian municipal politics is being covered by crack newsies in Mumbai and regional newspapers are being edited in cheap real estate beside the Stelco plant in Hamilton.
Ralph who? Allison who? What is a Stampede exactly? The running of the brides at Bloomingdales?
I've been freelancing for decades and now I have all sorts of company.
You can't believe how excited I am.
I was out of work for five years and now I work for the French because, unlike Canadian companies, they still believe in the power of the written -- and printed -- word.
Advice for freelancers.
You can't make a living at it unless your culinary tastes can be satisfied with product from the Food Bank.
You'll need to supplement with another crappy job -- like car sales or in the produce section at Loblaws.
We're all having to get used to working at crappy jobs just to get by.
The glory days are done.
Advice for the Sun Media guys who just got the axe: I heard there's a great sale on steel-toed boots and khakis at Walmart.