It was the last thing I was expecting today, but well overdue.
You see, I’ve been driving the same car now for EIGHT years. And it’s been a lovely car.I wasn’t complaining. A simple Audi A4 sedan in a pale sparkly colour called champagne. Colour, as we know, is one of the most IMPORTANT things about a car.
BUt last weekend, I got a SIGN. You know, when something happens after a long string of things, and you know a certain relationship has to come to an end. I had driven Ronnie to the local video shop and was parking when I heard a loud CRUNCH. Yep, the concrete parking stopper on the ground had a bout of fisticuffs with my bumper bar and this was the result…
The bumper bar lay on the gravel and there was no way I could piece it back together. Another bill to pay and another job to add to a long list… Big bummer. Big sigh.
But Fletch had been making noises about the end of January being a good time to buy a new car. When I say ‘new’, I mean ‘new’ for us, but second-hand as far as cars go. I hadn’t taken much notice as I thought he was primarily talking about a machine for himself, so I did that nodding thing in the kitchen where the man thinks you’re listening while you dawdle over the stove, pondering your next fantasy holiday in the Greek Islands and only taking half in.
Turns out I had been included in the conversation I hadn’t been listening to. So this morning, I made school lunches and got the kids off to school, went to the gym, then managed a marathon supermarket shop before racing home to work on blogging duties and a certain project with a deadline. So when Fletch called to suggest I meet him in West Melbourne to look at second-hand cars, I wasn’t too excited. I was busy. I thought we’d be looking at cars HE wanted for himself. He mentioned a couple I might be interested in, but I didn’t think it was something we could afford or that they would appeal. But I agreed to join him – just in case. Still not thinking this was a serious shopping mission, I spent more time on the computer than I should have, then realised I had to leave home damn quickly or I’d be late. There was no time to change clothes. I’d have to front up in my old gym gear and no make-up. Never mind, I thought, it’s not about me – who cares what I look like?
And that’s when you should ALWAYS turn around, go back inside and get changed.
The instant I turned up at the glamorous Audi dealership on Kings Street, I felt markedly under-dressed among the schmick looking salesmen in shiny suits and smart businesswomen in high red shoes. Still, Carlo, our salesman, made me feel at home while we waited for Fletch (see – I DID have time to change. HE was late!) and made me a coffee.
As we sipped and waited, he told me with a broad smile, that meeting me had made him a little star-struck. I nearly choked on my coffee. It’s been so long since I read the news, I forget that people might remember who I am or find that at all impressive. Flattered as I was, I immediatley regretted wearing my ten-year-old threadbare exercise gear and no make-up. It’s awful seeing the disappointed looks on people’s faces when they realise what you REALLY look like. But not Carlo. He seemed delighted. Bless him.
Most of all, I liked his sales approach. He showed me a couple of cars and we chatted away but he never went for the hard-line sales pitch. Which I hate. He was charming without being saccharine, and helpful without being obsequious. Just a normal, natural kinda guy. Rare in a salesman. Which is why I vote Carlo best car salesman of the year. And this is what we bought.
It’s a second-hand Audi A4 B8 Multitronic sedan. The detail in the name doesn’t mean much to me as I’m not much of a car buff. I just thought it looked pretty cool.
And it wasn’t that Carlo twisted my arm. He just pointed me in the right direction. What really made up my mind was the headlights.
A bit like sparkly disco eyelashes, don’t you think?
So now I have a new baby. It’s all happened so fast, I’ve barely had time to take it in, but I’m sure the smile on my face will last for some time to come. It’s a bit late for you to get an end-of-January deal now, but if you are in the market for an Audi – second-hand OR new…
– then I know the man. Carlo Cunico at Audi, Brighton.
That’s Carrlo.firstname.lastname@example.org or just give him a buzz on 0416 137 710. A top bloke.
And I’ve learnt my lesson. Never go car shopping in old gym gear and no make-up.