”CALL TODAY @800.571.0275
One of the worst things about Auto Malls is the disconnection from the community. It is no longer a neighborhood business. In a Mall you don’t get the chance to have regular visitors from the residents and local business’ and the lessons learned from them. Employees can no longer walk to work or drive in less than five minutes. Not much of the neighborhood evening, walk off the dinner crowd, either.
We had an Independent Living Center in the neighborhood behind the dealership. The four or five Men that lived there had varying degrees of disability. But compared to some of the “normal” customers that we had to work with, they were good folks and a lot easier to deal with.
Mike was a regular from the Center and was a favorite of most of the salesmen. Although Mike had a grey beard and was balding, he had the natural joy of a child. Every morning he would walk through the lot on the way to the bus stop. It was impossible to greet him with anything but a smile. He knew each of us by name. Every day after work he would stop and ask questions. He would ask if we liked a certain car and if he could have a brochure. I think he had more brochures than we did. He would ask if we were selling anything. He would ask each salesman “How are you”?
Mike was a part of the dealership. He was happy everyday that he had a place to live. He was happy everyday that he had a place to work. As a matter of fact he was good at being happy. Most of all I think, he was happy to have friends. Being part of Mike’s life is one of benefits of a neighborhood job.
Sometimes Mike would wander into the middle of a sale and some customers would get annoyed. I have seen more than one customer told to leave if they where rude to Mike and the guys. If anybody was ever mean to one of the guys, none of the salesmen would stand for it. It was better to loose a possible sale than to let anybody talk down our friends.
A simpler, purer heart I have not met. Mike never meant any disrespect. If he did realize that he was interrupting, he would simply say a heartfelt “Sorry”. Maybe that is part of what is wrong with the large dealerships and being in an Auto Mall, the “Mikes” are missing.