Friendship, Persistence, Negotiations, and Marriage: Bob’s Wisdom, Pt. 2

Datsun 240Z
No, this isn’t Bob’s car. I don’t know what model his car was, but this gives a nice visual. 🙂 I pulled this image from Larry Chen’s page on torcousa.com

Hey guys! Last week I had the opportunity to meet a new friend and talk with him for about an hour. If you haven’t yet read part 1, go ahead and read that one first.

As we pick up Bob’s story, he gives us a lesson in negotiation through buying a car.

You never know until you ask.

As Bob was walking  past a Datsun lot one night, a salesman came out (at 11pm!) and asked him if he’d like to buy a car. Bob had been eyeing one particular model, but he didn’t have anything with him at the time. A quarter in his pocket, no driver’s license, no ID. He told the salesman that he didn’t have any money with him, but the salesman waved that away and asked if he had a Social Security Number. After giving his SSN, Bob went on a test drive through the city. The car was fast, the night was clear, everything seemed just right. Returning to the lot, the salesman came out and asked him, once again, if he’d like to buy the car. Bob said yes, but reiterated that he only had a quarter. The salesman produced a set of papers; he had run a credit report while Bob was out on the test drive. “This is all that I need. You want the car?” Bob said yes, barely believing his luck. Then, when the salesman asked him if he’d like to make his first payment in 1, 2, or 3 months from that day, Bob decided to push his luck and ask for four months. The salesman agreed, and Bob drove off the lot that night. True to his word, Bob began making payments for the car in January – four months after he had “purchased it”. Though times have changed a little bit, it doesn’t hurt try to negotiate with service and product providers, whether that be a for a raise, for lower payments on credit cards or cable, or, as Bob showed, when purchasing a car. After all, you never know what you’ll get until you ask.

Choose the person you marry wisely.

Bob’s final piece of advice? Marry the right woman, the one who means it when she says “for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, till death do us part”. You see, about 2 years ago, Bob developed diabetes. A little while later, he began to experience neuropathy in his hands, limiting his motion. Then, 18 months ago in January 2012, he was diagnosed with lung cancer and given between 3 months and 5 years to live (to which he told his doctor, “I’ll take 5 years and 3 months. Thanks.”). A couple months ago he lost his voice. As it turns out, he now has a tumor pressing up against his vocal chords. In the past two years, he’s gone downhill to a surprising degree, yet he isn’t mad at God, or bitter about the whole situation. Why? His kids love him and his wife has stuck by him and cared for him. When he got married all those years ago, he confided in me that he was only doing it to get laid. As the years passed, he became more and more committed to his marriage, but it was all founded on the dedication of his wife. The lesson? Be intentional about getting to know the person you’re going to marry. Marriage is a massive decision that will change the course of your life forever. Make sure that you choose the person you marry wisely.

So those are a few of the bits of wisdom I gleaned from my short hour-long conversation. I don’t know about you, but I love talking with older people, even though I don’t do it too often. What’s something that you’ve learned from an older person?

Chris, eX-Quitter

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