Car Salesman Mocks Elderly Customer, Regrets It
All he wanted was to purchase a vehicle. He didn’t know if it was the clothing he was wearing or his modest demeanor, but he was met with ridicule.
The salesman had a predatory grin on his face. He thought that the man would be easy prey, but he underestimated the old man, who seemed easy to manipulate.
The old man named Robert just wanted some help on the dealership floor. But when they saw his appearance and how much money he had, they didn’t pull their punches.
They laughed at him and said that he wasn’t welcome at the place. But they had no idea who they were dealing with. Robert would make sure that they remembered him.
A Vietnam Veteran
Robert Jack grew up in the 1960s. It was the height of the Cold War, and he was encouraged by his father to join the army as soon as he turned eighteen.
He thought he was doing the right thing and went into the military right out of school, but he had no idea about the horrors of war that would affect him for the rest of his life.
Going into the war, Robert was a confident and charismatic young man. But after fighting in Vietnam for ten years, he came out of it a shell of his former self.
His combat experience had long-term effects on his psyche and his health. But thankfully, someone was able to see through it and find the real person underneath.
Jack met Katie at a friend’s barbecue. She was a nurse and immediately noticed the pain that he tried so desperately to hide. He expected her to judge him like everyone else.
But she did the opposite. She took a liking to him, and sparks quickly flew between them. Before he could even know it, they were dating. But that was only the beginning.
Making Him A Better Man
The months of dating became years, and Robert really felt that Katie made him a better man. She helped him work through a lot of his trauma from the war, and he was almost a completely normal person, with one exception.
Robert shut down whenever he was put into a confrontation with a stranger. His social anxiety would take over like it would that fateful day in the dealership.
The two got married after being together for five years. Life flew by in a flash and steadily slowed down by the time Robert got to the age of sixty.
The marriage was still rock solid, but without ever having kids, sometimes they felt lost. What was Robert’s purpose in life? That’s when he wandered into the dealership one day.
It was storming outside, and Robert wandered into the dealership. It was a dry haven for anyone walking past. But he had gone there for a purpose, even if no one else seemed to think so.
He got strange looks from the salesmen on the dealership floor. They looked at him as if he was an Alzheimer’s patient who’d wandered in without a clue. This was when he started to feel the anxiety take hold.
Used To It
What Robert didn’t know was that the dealership was used to people meandering into the store and not actually buying anything. They could, at a glance, tell if someone was serious or not.
But that’s exactly why poor Robert was pegged as the wrong kind of customer. He was about to be judged harshly and for no real reason at all.
Everyone on the sales floor was always ready to hear the sound of the door opening. Every single head turned to scrutinize the old man who had just walked through the door.
Most of them immediately lost interest. They judged him harshly and assumed he wasn’t really looking to buy a car. Robert immediately felt the toxic environment he had just walked into.
But Robert’s behavior was about to be anything but normal. He looked around and noticed that no one was going to help him. He saw the front desk and shuffled over to the receptionist.
He asked her if she could watch the bag he had brought in. It was too heavy for his back to carry around for long periods of time. He then looked towards the cars on the floor.
Robert hadn’t tried to look particularly stunning that day. After all, it was just a dealership; why should he have to dress to impress?
He had an old and shabby button-up shirt on and had suspenders keeping his loose jeans on ever since he started drastically losing weight. But he didn’t know that someone was watching him.
Robert appreciated all of the cars on display. At one point in his life, he had a love for cars, but now, he was looking at them for a very special reason.
But from across the showroom floor, a salesman was watching him intently. He had a predatory grin on his face and thought that Robert was his prey.
The man watching Robert had disgusting thoughts in his mind. He assumed Robert was half-senile and would be an easy mark.
The salesman approached Robert and flashed a smile before telling him that the car he was busy looking at was the best one they had available. It was also coincidental that it was the most expensive, he explained as he rubbed his hands.
A Test Drive
Robert smiled at the salesman, thinking falsely that he might have actually been trying to help him. But what Robert was about to say next would have him on the wrong side of the salesman.
“I’d like to take a test drive of the car if that’s alright with you.” He said in a very polite manner. But the reaction the sleazy salesman would have would be anything but wholesome.
The salesman poorly hid his visible disgust when Robert asked for a test drive. He quickly thought of an excuse, “Sorry, sir, this car isn’t actually for sale.”
Robert scratched his head in confusion and looked at the price on the windshield. Didn’t that mean it was for sale? The salesman insisted he goes to a car rental company instead, but Robert wouldn’t do that.
Eruption Of Laughter
The old man had no idea what he had walked into. The moment the salesman mentioned a rental service, the rest of the salesman that overheard the comment erupted into laughter.
Robert felt ridiculed and embarrassed. How could people be so cruel? But there was one salesman that wasn’t laughing.
Richard had only just started working at the dealership and felt bad for the old man. He didn’t agree with the rest of the predators that called themselves salesmen.
He tried speaking above the laughter and told them to let Robert see the car. He was a customer, just like anyone else. But he was called naive and “new to the game.”
Waste Of Time
Robert stood stone-still by the door of the car. He wouldn’t leave without them letting him at least look at the interior.
The sleazy salesman lost his patience, “Look, this car is $200,000. I don’t see how you’d be able to afford it. I don’t want you to waste my time when a real customer could walk through the door.”
Robert was shocked to be treated this way, but sadly, he was also used to it. He calmly stood and said, “How do you know I can’t afford it?” Then, he calmly asked to test drive the car again.
The salesman was growing visibly frustrated now. He pointed to the “Right of Admission Reserved” sign above the reception desk. But Robert refused to budge.
Asking Him To Leave
“I have been in this business for a long time,” the salesman spat.” I can spot a time-waster from a mile away.
The way you’re dressed tells me that you could never afford this car. I’m going to ask you to leave. Now” Robert couldn’t believe that he was being treated like some street rat.
However, the angry salesman called security instead, who escorted the strange Robert to the exit.
The entire time, Robert kept a stoic look on his face; the disappointment in his eyes was like daggers. The salesman was glad he got rid of the old man. But that wasn’t actually the case.
Even though he was used to it, the unjust treatment almost brought him to tears. Hunched over, he began to walk away.
But the mockery was far from over; Robert had completely forgotten about his bag. At that same moment, the leadership administrator saw the bag left behind by the old man.
Unwilling to touch the grubby satchel, she used her foot to push it towards the door. The other employees laughed when they saw it, but Richard wasn’t even smiling.
He was immensely disappointed with everyone at the dealership. He had lost hope in humanity with how they had treated an elderly man like him without even giving him a chance.
Adding Insult To Injury
Just then, a woman and a little girl walked in. She gave Robert a wide berth as she passed him through the doorway.
Robert loved greeting strangers; it was practice to help improve his social anxiety. But he had no idea what kind of woman he was dealing with. She was about to make the situation even worse.
Stay In School
“Hello, Ma’am.” He instinctually greeted the woman even though he was in the process of being thrown out.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, she leaned down and pretend-whispered something to her daughter: “This is why you have to stay in school. Otherwise, you’ll end up poor and dirty like him.” The entire floor erupted with laughter.
The Last Straw
Robert froze. That was it. He had been very patient and understanding – not just then but so many times before. He wasn’t going to stay quiet anymore.
“Excuse me,” he said, trying to make his posture as unthreatening as possible as he looked straight into everyone’s eyes one by one. He had been so polite and greeted the woman, but she immediately turned on him along with everyone else.
Catching Her Attention
He caught the woman’s attention. “I couldn’t help hearing what you said to your daughter. I don’t think that was very nice to say to another human being without even knowing anything about them.”
He was tired of being made a mockery of. He normally shrugged comments off, but enough was enough.
Not Staying Quiet
Robert had brushed off so many rude moments before because it wasn’t worth the effort of fighting back. But this time, he wasn’t going to stay quiet.
He would try to make people understand the error of their ways. But sadly, his words would fall on deaf ears. He thought that his status as an elder would help him, but he was so wrong.
A Life Lesson
This was going to be a life lesson that nobody in the car dealership would forget. “Being poor doesn’t mean someone deserves to be talked about that way,” he said assertively.
The anxious and introverted man had made a miraculous change in a matter of moments. But his next words made everyone’s eyes widen.
A Hard-Working Man
“I’m in construction,” Robert said. “But I’m a very dirty, very educated man.” He explained how not only did he have a college degree, but he also had a few medical certificates.
Even though he had just given his qualifications, he wasn’t done yet. He was about to let everyone in on a little secret that ended up being the heartbreaking truth.
Katie’s Medical Bills
“Even though I’m old, I haven’t been able to retire because I have to pay my wife’s medical bills,”
She hasn’t been doing well, and she relies on me to be there for her. It’s actually why I was even here in the first place. Shame on all of you for judging me so harshly!” But he wasn’t done.
Opening The Bag
“Assuming that I’m uneducated and poor just because of my appearance is pure ignorance. But, even if I was poor, unemployed, or homeless, you don’t get the right to judge me.”
Robert angrily swooped to grab his bag off the floor. He opened it and briefly flashed its contents to the room. Everyone, including the rude salesman, was completely dumbfounded.
Scrambling After Him
With that, Robert turned to walk out. The salesman, seeing the commission he could have earned off the car in his mind, scrambled to try and convince him to make the sale.
Now, they were all trying to fawn over him and apologize. Robert smirked. He had had enough, though, so he took his bag and walked straight out the door.
The young salesman, Richard, went after him. Luckily, the elderly man hadn’t gotten far. Embarrassed, he apologized profusely for his colleagues’ appalling behavior.
The old man knew that Richard hadn’t been part of any of it. He just smirked and opened his bag to show the contents to the young salesman. Richard couldn’t believe his eyes.
The old man was mistaken for a homeless person, but there were bundles of 100-dollar bills inside his bag. Richard was intrigued and looked questioningly at Robert. The old man coughed and closed his bag. He then began his story.
He introduced himself to the nice young salesman and proceeded to tell the tale of his lifetime. Richard was left speechless.
Robert told Richard that he’d worked hard all his life. Even though he was getting on in years, he still worked with his own hands.
He had just come from a construction site – that was why he looked dirty and poor. Although he had earned good money, he hadn’t been able to retire because he had to look after his wife, Katie.
Robert explained that his wife had been fighting cancer for several years and seemed to be losing the fight. He was losing hope and felt broken, but he had to keep fighting for her even if things seemed hopeless.
But there was one thing he didn’t account for. He just didn’t expect that he’d also have to deal with the cruelty of people at the same time.
Even though Robert and Katie hadn’t been poor by any means, the high cost of her chemotherapy over the years had almost bankrupted them.
He had managed to keep them afloat, But that wasn’t enough. Robert wanted to do more for his wife. He decided to go to the dealership just for her, but things didn’t go well for him once he got there.
Realizing that the treatment wasn’t helping Katie anymore, Richard decided to fulfill his wife’s wish and buy her the car she’s always dreamed of driving. But he had to do it while she still had her mobility.
Unfortunately, by the time he had managed to save up enough money, the price of the car had increased substantially. He did not have enough money to buy the car he wanted.
Robert, determined to do this one last thing for his wife, sold all his possessions – including his gold wedding band.
The last time Katie had seen the oncologist, he’d predicted that she only had around twelve more months to live. These were the saddest days of his life, but he had to have a positive attitude.
Robert cried about it nearly every night. The poor man really was shattered. Although he barely had any money or possessions left now, what good would they do if his wife wouldn’t be with him anyway?
But he had just learned that he was still short by $5,000. He had come so close to achieving his goal, but all hope seemed lost.
A Salesman’s Resolve
When Richard found out how much money Robert needed, he got to thinking of a way to help. Richard knew that the car dealership could hardly afford such a discount.
After escorting the old man, Richard went back to work. He couldn’t shake his thoughts of the old man and Katie’s dream. His heart went out to the old man, and he really did want to help.
After fighting with his thoughts for the whole day, Richard had made up his mind. When he finished work, he was going to make a stop before getting home; he just hoped it wasn’t too late.
Later that evening, the young salesman found himself at the old man’s door. What could he have wanted?
The Help He Needed
Holding a bundle of cash in his hand, the young salesman told Robert that he had brought the cash he needed. He told him to buy his wife the car.
Since he’d be the one selling Robert the car, he’d take the $5,000 from his commission. He quickly turned away and left before seeing the old man tear up.
The next day, Robert returned to the dealership. The salespeople could not understand how he could have changed so drastically.
The old man was now wearing his business suit, and he was carrying the same canvas bag. This is where the salesman thought he’d gotten the upper hand. But he had no idea what the old man was capable of.
The rude salesman, thinking he’d gotten a second chance, started fawning over him, even begging for him to buy the car.
But the old man smirked at the salesman. He took a double-take before saying, “Well, if you won’t buy a car, can you leave the dealership? “No,” said Robert. “I want to work with Richard.”
New Found Nerve
The man looked confident for the first time in his life. Everyone around him was taken aback by his newfound nerve.
So far, Robert had rolled over when the salesmen mocked or tried to prey on him. But this time, he had a secret weapon up his sleeve, and he was ready to show it to everyone in the dealership.
Inside The Bag
The old man opened the bag and showed everyone the piles of money he had. The previously rude salesman was furious when Richard stepped out of his office.
Robert didn’t hesitate and bought the car on the spot. He signed the paperwork with Richard, who would get the money he had given him back from the commission he deserved.
Fulfill Her Dreams
Although it wasn’t the full amount, he was happy that he had helped Katie fulfill one of her dreams.
Robert was getting a lot of strange looks across the dealership floor. He smiled and knew that he had finally won this time. But would it be enough for him and Katie to finally be happy?
Green With Envy
Everyone at the dealership was green with envy – for missing out on the commission for the sale and because the man they’d treated badly could buy such an expensive car.
Some of the salesmen even seemed to feel a bit of shame and remorse. But it was too late now; they should have treated Robert better when they had the chance.
Taking Her By The Hand
Robert went home, took his wife by the hand, and led her out into the street, gesturing at her dream car. Katie was overwhelmed with joy. Finally, her lifetime dream had been fulfilled.
The car was a newer model of the same brand she remembered her father driving every day. He died when she was only ten years old, so it was a memory she clung to, and this made her feel very special. But that wasn’t everything.
Behind His Back
What Robert didn’t know was that the entire dealership was left feeling a bit sore. They were still embarrassed about the whole ordeal and wanted to do something about it.
Rather than saying anything while he was around, they decided to plot something behind his back. They were going to make sure he got what he deserved once and for all.
When Richard first heard about it, he told everyone to just let Robert depart with the car he had purchased, but that wasn’t enough for the rest of them.
They wanted to make sure that Robert left with a lot more than just the shiny new car, and after explaining their plan to Richard, even he was convinced. They were all going to do something.
The entire dealership wanted to plot something after seeing what Robert had done to their quaint dealership.
Many salesmen were more embarrassed than they had ever been before, and they wanted to make sure they got even with the old man. They called a meeting and brainstormed the perfect plan.
After an hour of plotting, they finally came up with the perfect plan. It was a unanimous decision, and they all even agreed that Richard should be the one to tell Robert since they had a history.
Feeling pressured, Richard had no choice but to help them, even if he didn’t think Robert needed any other attention from anyone. He just wanted the old man to live quietly with his wife.
Finding His Address
Because Robert had just purchased the car, Richard had all of his details documented. One important detail was his address.
Richard quickly took out the document and skimmed through it until he had the address copied down onto a piece of paper. Now he just had to go pay Robert a visit.
A Knock On The Door
Robert had just taken Katie out on a drive in her new car. As memories of driving with her father came back to her, she felt tears stream down her cheeks. It was the happiest she had been in a while.
The special moment passed by, and the two went back home. Still elated, Katie rested in bed while Robert started preparing dinner. That’s when he heard a knock.
Richard At The Door
Robert thought it was strange that someone would knock on his door at 7:00 PM, but he checked it anyway. He walked up to his door and opened it.
He was surprised to see Richard standing in front of him. Was he going to ask for the money he lent him back?
“Hi, Robert. The guys at the dealership approached me and pressured me into coming here. They wanted payback for what you did on the sales floor.” Richard explained. Robert felt his chest tighten, but just as he expected the worst, Richard showed him a webpage on his phone.
It was a GoFundMe account the dealership had just set up for Katie’s chemotherapy bills, and each of them had already contributed $500. Robert would never have to worry about her medical bills again.
In order to protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events, places, or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.