Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Snidely Loses Again

I keep having this recent conversation bouncing around in my head. I was at work, meeting with a vice president of a company who was trying to sell us their services. My boss and coworker were present as well. During a non-business interruption in our conversation, this VP-Sales (who I will refer to as Snidely from here on out, as in Snidely Whiplash) related a story about his prowess as a bargain hunter and his haggling skills. It seems Snidely stopped at a yard sale and the little old lady running it (I'll call her Nell) had a moped for sale. It was some version of a Honda Spree with an sking price of $500 on it. Snidely tried to start it, and it wouldn't. Nell was confused because the scooter had just been serviced. She excused herself to go call her husband (Dudley?) to see if he could figure out why the scooter wouldn't start.


While Nell was making the call, Snidely figured out that the kill switch was turned to Off. Flipping it to On, he turned the key and hit the starter button again. It started right up. He quickly shut it off and turned the kill switch back to Off. When Nell came back out, she informed him that Dudley couldn't figure out why it wouldn't start, and was annoyed because he had just had the scooter serviced and it had worked at the shop. Nell, being an honest woman, said she couldn't sell the non-working scooter for $500, so she would sell it as-is for $200. Snidely, twirling his mustache no doubt, said that seemed too high and convinced Nell to knock another $25 off. The scooter changed hands for $175.

Back in the office, Snidely was relating this story to us - his prospective clients - with apparent glee. He was delighted that he had "haggled" the price down so far. After he left, my boss, coworker, and I had a follow up conversation. I asked them if I was the only one horrified by his story. Nope, we were uniformly appalled. We all agreed that his story seemed indicative of how we could expect to be treated if we did business with his company. We never really even talked about whether their service or rates were competitive or not. Snidely doomed his business by being a sleazeball in his personal life, and taking delight in ripping off Nell and Dudley who were merely ignorant about the scooter.

As this encounter keeps ping-ponging around in my head, all I can think about is my mother-in-law in the role of Nell. This sort of thing could easily happen to her, and for the same sort of reasons. We try to be her Dudley Doright kids and sons-in-law, but we're not always in time to untie her from the railroad tracks. So to all the Snidely Whiplash's out there, please take a Golden Rule refresher course.

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  1. Your mom is adorable! Give her a squeeze for me, ok?

    And good for you for avoiding a Snidely. They don't always announce themselves so obviously.

  2. Good for you and your workmates... how can this guy LIVE with himself, much less GLOAT, after doing such a thing. Crimes against humanity take all shapes and forms - I'd lump this in that category.

    Boo to you, Snidely, icky man.


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