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Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Non-Thrill of the Car Hunt- 5 Tips

This week yours truly have been spending endless amounts of time doing what millions of people are forced to do annually..  A time wasting, energy draining process known as car-shopping

In some ways after over a week of looking at practically every brand out there and the endless makes, models, styles, colors and options each manufacturer offers, I'm no closer now than at the beginning of this arduous process..

But there's still a confidence the "One" will just stand out and 'speak' to me

"Take me home please.."
Anyways, based on all my recent experiences, I wanted to take a few moments to give advice how to handle the car-looking process.

The focus isn't going to be so much on how to haggle and get the best price possible or the most skillful way to negotiate trade-in value so the dealer doesn't 100% come out on top..

Instead A&G's concern here is your time and sanity rather than your wallet and sincerely hope any of the following nuggets of advice help you
1)  Always Be In Control...

ABC..  Well, OK technically ABIC but this is a play on words on the famous speech by Alec Baldwin in "Glengarry Glen Ross" where he tells his sales team to 'ABC.. Always Be Closing"

That is their goal..

Your goal is to control your time..

If you want to only be at a dealership for 30 minutes to an hour, then do so..  The salesperson will try to keep you there longer, especially if he/she can smell a sale

So say and do what you must to take control..  You have to get back to work... You have an appointment..  You're blood sugar level is dropping and need to go have lunch/dinner..

Whatever is necessary and if the salesperson looks at you funny, so what..

2)  Never Ever Test Drive A Car With Empty Tank

This may seem on the surface like a no-brainer but it really is not.

Most new cars that arrive at a dealer's lot are at empty as a safety consideration so if a transport truck ever was to get into a major accident, you didn't have a bunch of vehicles exploding and bursting into flame
Problem is most dealerships are Very Very lazy and cheap and do not bother to add gas once the vehicle is taken off the truck.

I test drove a Volkswagen Passat with the tank at empty and the warning light on..  I mentioned it to the salesperson.. a twenty-something idiot who thought he was Mr Cool and told me not to worry..all was fine..

Yep.. All was wonderful..  for a quarter of a mile.

Then the car stalled and stopped on the highway because funny thing..  it needed gas
So we sat there for 15 minutes before someone from the dealership brought a fuel canister..  More specifically, I was the one who wasted 15 precious minutes of my life.

The sales guy?  Ehh.. He was getting paid (or not getting paid) either way..  What did it really matter to him if we stalled or not

Another experience happened to me just yesterday..  Similar but different..

I figured I learned my lesson.. Never drive a car with zero gas, but I was at a Volvo dealership and under a time crunch so I test drove one..
For whatever reason, early on I knew the vehicle wasn't for me so I mentioned we could make the drive short.

The salesperson-- a very heavy set man and probably the most lazy car salesperson I've ever encountered, mentioned he wanted to top off some gas at a nearby station first..

'Fine' I said.. Can't take too long to put a couple gallons in the vehicle..

Rrrrrr..  Stupid me once again..  This utter loser decides he's going to fill the car up from absolute zero gas to 100% full and trap me in the vehicle at the gas station with him in the meantime..
What did he care that another 15min of my life was utterly wasted sitting in this car while he did something I didn't need to be with him to accomplish..  He was working no matter what so my time was inconsequential..

Never Ever let a God-Damn salesperson ever control your time like I allowed some of mine to do..  Be a total Bitch/Bastard if need be..   Learn from my errors..

3)  Never Settle For An Unhelpful Or Ignorant Salesperson

A couple nights ago I went to my local Nissan to check them out..  After standing around and then sitting for a good spell while completely ignored, I got pro-active and hunted down a salesperson..

I mentioned I was interested in three different models and sought information and possibly a test drive. The guy did everything humanly possible to talk me out of looking at two of the three models and the other one?  He simply took a copy of my driver's licence, handed me a key and told me to test drive it myself with him not accompanying..

Turned out the guy had another person he was waiting for, didn't want to bother with me and one can only imagine, didn't believe I was sincerely looking..

So I yelled at him loud enough so everyone could hear that I didn't appreciate his laziness and he didn't deserve to work there..  He said nothing but the Sales Manager quickly came out of his office and found me a proper salesperson who Did show proper respect and courtesy..

Another thing I noticed among my car-hunting journey is the quick turnover of salespeople..

I make no exaggeration that at Volvo, Ford, Cadillac and Nissan (I had visited their dealership originally the day prior to the above incident but had to cut short due to other priorities) each person who helped me had less than a full month at their present employer..

This mattered when question upon question was asked and the similar refrain of "I'm not sure, I will ask.. was replied..

Also the less time a salesperson works at a dealership, the longer it takes for he/she to locate the vehicle and even longer to locate the key..
This only adds to the time you waste at these places..

4)  Avoid Physically Small Dealership Lots Wherever Possible

Recently, I visited Hyundai.. They had too many cars for the space the dealership possessed so cars were lined up three in a row..

This meant if you wanted to test drive that car at the back, you'd have to wait and wait while the salesperson retrieved three keys.. one for the car you wished to see and one for each car blocking

Just more time wasted

I also wanted to see a specific car they had at a really good sale price which happened to be in their showroom..  
Problem was it was the very far car at the back of the showroom with 5 other vehicles closer to the door and positioned in such a way that every car had to be moved in some way to get the other car out and available to test drive..

But I was adamant.. I wanted to see the car...

So i waited 10-15 min for all the cars to be moved, then the one I was interested in to be driven out of the showroom..

The vehicle itself drove terrible and I admit I was very disappointed but overall not as much as the 2hrs I wasted at a place I really only intended to spend 45min at..
5)  Save Loyalty for Friends/Family.. Not Salespeople

When you're looking for a car and you're serious about buying in the near future, your priority must be to yourself and your needs..

So lets say you are doing follow up at a particular dealership and you have Thurs free but your salesperson is off..

You don't fit your life around his/her schedule.. You better believe you still go back on Thurs and find whoever to assist in closing the deal with a sale..

And even if the person is there but with another customer, too bad on him/her..

You snooze, you lose..
Remember no matter how friendly or warm the chat, the salesperson is not there to be your buddy and pal..  The goal is to sell a car and the questions or conversation has purpose..

To size you up as to your seriousness, how much $$ you possess and what vehicle you can afford vs what you're asking a million Q's about and test-driving..

This is why I rarely am ever honest when asked probing Q's

"What do I do for a living?" ...  "I invented post-it notes.. happy now?!"
That's a "Romy & Michelle's High School Reunion" reference there..

Also most salespeople Never will call or email you back..   And those who do, its a basic follow-up..  Nothing more..

If you ever encounter a car salesperson who genuinely keeps in contact with car possibilities or takes the time to hunt for vehicles you mention you're open to seeing, then he/she is an absolute Winner..

And as rare as Haley's Comet.
So that's why we say its OK to be selfish and not work around another's schedule...

The only real exception to the rule is if a sale has already been completed and you need a specific person to give you the keys, etc..

As I said before, learn from my mistakes..  Don't let them control you or your precious time..

Now its time for me to visit more dealerships chock full of poorly trained salespeople..

Oh what fun!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Govt. Profit off Personal Debt & Admiring the Immigrant Worker

We read an interesting statistic today on personal debt..

According to a study released Tuesday by the Urban Institute, more than 35% of Americans have debts and unpaid bills that have been reported to collection agencies..

Now here's a more interesting statistic as to why the government never Ever seems to put any policies or laws into place which protect debtors or alleviate their suffering in any way..

According to a separate study published this year by the Fed's Philadelphia bank branch, the collections industry employs 140,000 workers who recover $50 billion each year.
So what does this mean in dollars & cents terms?

Let's use very basic math..

140,000 people with minimal education who are not collecting unemployment multiplied by an average salary of $22,000 on average equals...

 $3.08 billion in tax revenue.

Since $22k annually falls within the 15% tax bracket, this means that annually the Federal government can collect $462 million off those 140,000 workers
In addition that $50 billion recovered is taxable as well..

So what possible incentive would the government have to help those who can't pay their bills and are at risk of repossession, eviction and/or foreclosure??

Plus there's so much money to be made off a bankruptcy by attorneys, judges, sheriffs who serve notices, the repo business, etc..

As we said before, the System is designed to benefit every step of one's upward financial mobility and to profit from every step downward to the economic bottom..
Everything is geared toward credit-- borrowing, leasing, payment plans and short/long term financing because businesses know most people do not have the means to buy so much as a refrigerator or stove outright much less an automobile or car..

And that's what keeps the economic plates spinning..

Every individual is figured to incur continual non-stop debt, and even if one is able to get fully free of the tentacles and pay the auto loans and student loans, and first and second mortgage and have enough to enjoy life while paying the full balance on a credit card...

Well, there's always that next generation to suck blood from
And since so many parents think having their kids trudge and sludge through their 20s and 30s in financial struggle is good for character building, it just plays into the System's hands

There is a specific type of individual we at A&G admire most because he/she is so rare nowadays..

Its the person, usually a legal immigrant who works non-stop..  two to three jobs... 7 days a week, 365 days a year practically..

Just keeps hustling..  Keeps grinding..
And its not to buy a mansion or a new Porsche or big screen TVs and clothes with polo-playing horseys gaudily adorned..

Its to save.. Furiously save, save, save..

And when their children are of age and ready to attend college, he or she pays 100% of it and never even thinks of having their most-precious incur student loan debt..

The pride and satisfaction of knowing their children have degrees (in many instances the first generation to do so) makes all the hard toil worthwhile..

Its all about a selfless devotion to the next generation..
That was quite common in the 19th century, especially among all the Southern and Eastern Europeans who immigrated to the US in the 1880s-early 1900's..

Now the focus is.. "I work hard, its my money and I'm having fun"

We read the other day that actor Philip Seymour Hoffman possessed a net worth of $35 million at the time of his death..

And he left it to his girlfriend rather than his kids..
He didn't want them to have it "easy"..

And here we thought he was Pathetic solely because the man was a black tar heroin addict..

Some people believe we're all meant to work n' work n' work till we're old and grey then die

And no matter how much money is saved and how impossible it is to take any of it to an afterlife, the next generation must also work n' work n' work n' work till they drop over and die too..
And others.. so few in this day n' age will work n' work n' work n' work so their kids don't have to be automatically behind the economic 8-ball before turning 21, and be as generous as possible to those they love and who equally love them to give them every advantage possible

As this economy gets worse n' worse, it is those young people who will have the greatest chance of a good life because you can not ever get ahead when you have perpetual debt and never-ending dependence on a paycheck keeping you from progressing forward

So we salute and deeply respect the unselfishness of the immigrant; the first-generation American

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Israel-Hamas Conflict or 'Doth How Some Protest Too Much'

As the situation with Israel and Hamas goes on n' on, most everyone seems annoyed..

Wall Street and investors are annoyed because the soulless who make their living in this deplorable and unethical field want to keep making endless profits

And in order to do that, short of market rigging and suckling upon swollen 'Fed' fed QE teats, they need Certainty..

And no military conflict especially in the Middle East ever is certain

And of course all the Arabs and Muslims are up in arms..
Well the common populaces are; the ones filled with deep bigotry and hate toward anyone who believes in the Hebrew faith, going back not simply generations but having its origins in the Quran

Some holy book gems include:

[3.67] Ibrahim (Abraham) was not a Jew nor a Christian but he was (an) upright (man), a Muslim, and he was not one of the polytheists.

* Thus being Jewish or Christian is to be lowly in their eyes

[5.33] The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His apostle and strive to make mischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides or they should be imprisoned

[9.30] And the Jews say: Uzair is the son of Allah; and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah; these are the words of their mouths; they imitate the saying of those who disbelieved before; may Allah destroy them

Yep.. love and peace..

Now the Middle Eastern nations are a bit quieter..

They know what a danger and menace Hamas is.. Burrowing tunnels like moles or rats with the purpose of lobbying missiles over the border and killing as many people as they can.

Egypt the other day found and destroyed seven such excavations.

Hamas loves using its own people as human shields which is why they place their weapons in homes and schools and when those entities become targets and innocents are killed, they can scream its all the Israelis' fault.

And of course anti-Semites are very unhappy..

These are the ones who publicly deny they hate Jewish people.. They only are against the policies of 'Israel' and 'Zionists' as if you can detach one from the other..

That is sort of saying one doesn't hate English people.. Only 'Anglos' and 'Saxon' and 'Jutes'

And so they will side with the Palestinians and terrorists and really anyone who goes after Israel not out of any sincere empathy or understanding of the situation..
Its more the axiom 'The enemy of my Enemy is my friend'

People like that love to throw up in the air that Israel gets financial assistance from the US as if that's a crime..

Guess Egypt, Jordan, South Africa and about two dozen other nations on Earth the US gives taxpayer money to should be condemned too, yes?

Funny how they're usually not..

We'll never understand that level of hate..
And of course the President isn't too happy with things..

In spite of happily taking all those millions in donations from Jewish Democrats, Obama is personally as fond of Israel and its leadership as Cinderella's step mother was of her and he'd love nothing more than to knock them down a couple pegs..

When he's not busy playing endless golf, hobnobbing with celebs and putting a down payment on a large home in California like his most recent trip that is..

Israel is the Rodney Dangerfield of nations..
Yep.. 'No Respect..'

It is the only democracy in the entire Middle East and the only thing close to a friend the United States has in that part of the world..

Guess its more important our enemies hate us a little less than our long-standing political and military ally gets anything remotely close to public unwavering support

But there's always a double standard where Israel is concerned
We're still trying to figure what other nation in the history of mankind has voluntarily given up land its won via warfare back to the enemy due to political pressure

Have the British ever thought about relinquishing the Falkland Islands back to Argentina?  It took great political pressure and post WWII economic weakness for them to give India back..

Or Poland giving its land back to Germany and Russia since it took territory from both countries post-World War I to form its nation?

Or how about the US giving back Puerto Rico to Spain or any part of the Southwest US to Mexico?
America has many allies around the world due to political bullying and economic arm-twisting, but it has few sincere friends..

Britain is one..  So is Canada and Australia..

And Israel..

And one need not be Jewish to understand and appreciate that..
So who to root for in this conflict?

Simple..  If you're American, you support your friend..

And if you're not, you support democracy over terrorism..

Unless of course the hatred for an ethnic people who share the same religion to which Jesus identified Himself is too deep and irrational to see things any other way..

Then you root for the enemy of your Enemy.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Chris Paul: Member of the Bitch n' Complain Society

When it comes to money and people, one of the most consistent truisms is the more one receives or makes, the less important their principles and ethics often become

For example, the following old vaudeville joke applies today as it did 100yrs ago:

A guy goes up to a woman and says "If i give you a million dollars right on the spot, will you have sex with me?    The woman replies.. "Hmm.. For a million..  Sure.."

Then the guy replies.. "Well, how about for $10?", to which the woman is insulted and replies in horror, "Who do you think I am?!"

The guy responds. "We'll we both know what you are.. Now we're simply negotiating price.."
This made me think of NBA player Chris Paul who plays currently for the LA Clippers, the franchise Donald Sterling owns and will ultimately continue to run when he's victorious in his court fight with his haggard looking estranged wife.

Just because someone is allegedly racist in private conversations illegally recorded without the other's consent, it does not mean you lose your Constitutional right to Due Process or that vultures can come out of the slime and either destroy or outright steal what you've spent a lifetime building...

But this posting is not about Sterling..
Its about extremely rich, pampered NBA players who wish to bite the hand that writes them those multi-million dollar checks annually..

How many of us have worked for individuals we hated and wished would drop over?

How many of us have worked for people who were offensive because of their ideological biased or political distortions?

In this country, you have choices even if options are not always pleasant or comfortable..
~ Paul's shoe made probably by child laborers at Nike

A person can quietly ignore the boss or seek a transfer or simply quit and find a new employer..

Seems Chris Paul and his teammates don't want to make any hard decisions.. Only bitch and complain..

They could have made an emphatic statement that they weren't going to play for Sterling anymore by boycotting the playoffs...

Did they?    Nope..  We wonder who would have been more pissed off-- the NBA, the TV networks or the shoe companies these athletic whores are attached to..
~ Paul's home..

So instead they did meaningless protests..

They turned their shirts inside out... They delayed the start of the game by a couple minutes..

Yep, that showed em'

So now its looking like Sterling may win his legal fight, at least vs his wife as to who retains control of the Clippers and what do these pampered, privileged players do?

Their coach Doc Rivers seems to be the only one with principle and self-respect.  He has stated if Donald Sterling retains control of the team going into the next season, he will resign..
~ Paul's kitchen

We don't necessarily agree but good for him for making a line in the sand that's consistent with his conscience and beliefs.  Of course we'll ultimately see if he truly keeps his word or takes the money like everyone else

Will Paul and the others have the guts and courage to boycott part of or all of the season which would cause attendance to plummet and cost Sterling a ton of money?

Ehh.. Don't bet on it..  Paul is just making noise..

Real men don't threaten boycott..  They simply Do.

Maybe he and others sit out a couple pre-season games but no money-loving whore athlete willingly gives away any part of $18,886,000 for something like principle or to be a role model to his community..
When you divide Paul's salary into an 82 game season, the man gets paid $230,317 every time the guy steps on the court..

The average yearly salary is around $43k..  Chris Paul will make 5.3x that amount 2-3 times a week once the NBA season begins..

We remember back when racists physically assaulted and bullied blacks, and did damage to their homes and whatever property they owned and prevented them from using the same bathrooms or sharing the same section of restaurants..

Now it seems supposed racists shell out tens of millions to give them a dream life and economic power n' privilege most others will never ever Ever experience...and all to place a ball in a hoop..  No college degree required.
According to globalrichlist.com, if you imput solely Chris Paul's 2013-14 salary and then compare him vs the other 6 billion people in the world as to wealth ranking,  Paul is the 3,393rd richest person..

In the World!!

And this God-Damn baby can't simply shut his mouth and do his job!

But that's the world we live in.. its a bitch n' complain society..

We want to vent when unhappy with any aspect of our workplace yet don't have the courage or will to actually take control of the situation in ways that may not be economically pleasant but at least is consistent with one's values.
And we will do anything pretty much if the reward is high enough and the desperation factor large enough..

And then stew about it every step of the way.

People want to hate on Donald Sterling..  Fine..  Be our guest..  Its not like he's kith or kin to anyone here at A&G..

But people like Chris Paul deserve equal hate and resentment..

They make Too much, contribute Too little to this world other than fleeting momentary entertainment, whore their face, name and image to the highest bidder..
 Worst of all, Paul and people like him are all hypocrites and cowards who will not go through the slightest personal sacrifice or hardship for any value or belief..

Only bitch and complain..

And maybe wear their undies inside out in protest..

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Secret Rules of TV Ads or "Are You Smarter than A White Male?"

Because we hate TV commercials so much, we thought we'd spend today's posting talking about the mostly unspoken rules of Status in an ad.

Who gets respect?  Who is treated as a moron or buffoon?  Who is the butt of the joke in an ad?

The following status rules apply to advertising today, especially TV commercials and is virtually 100% accurate..  And when you start really paying attention to those annoying 15sec ad spots that interrupt the programs and sports, you will see the patterns too..

And it all starts with the following keystone:

There is no one depicted in ads to be stupider or more of a goofball or naive imbecile than a 30 to 40-something white man who is married with children...
From this advertising Truth all the secret rules follow..

If there is an ad with a married couple, the woman is always smarter

If the ad is with a father and his son/daughter, the child is always smarter

If the ad is with a father and an infant or newborn, even they are smarter..  Computers are just used to simulate the baby talking as the voice-over corrects or informs the Dad
Even animals and inanimate objects are smarter than a Caucasian man; Ex: The AFLAC commercials

Now here's the kicker..  The elderly father also knows more than the middle aged son.

So if this was reality which it isn't, a male baby pops out of the womb utterly brilliant and gets progressively dumber until he is married with kids and a full-time job and then once the hair turns white and the sex drive disappears, he is now intelligent again...

We continue..

If a commercial depicts 'Mom' and her child, then Mom knows best
When an ad has men of different races, the black male is Always more intelligent, self-assured and better groomed..  Always

This rule is especially the case with young men..

Look at any beer commercial..  The white guys look like complete filthy, smelly slobs who live in their parents basement and don't even know how make their own beds..

The black men are dressed refined... clean shirt, nice blazer, well groomed..
When a product is being sold like a car and the 'salesperson' is presented along with the shoppers,  it will usually be a black male selling to a white couple or a white woman selling to a black couple.

When the black male is selling to a white couple, the white man is the dumb or insecure one of the three

When the white woman is selling to a black couple, the black man actually becomes the 'dumbest' here but its very subtle and more where he gives decision making power to her.

So while black men are always depicted as smarter and more 'with it' than white men, the black woman is depicted as always smarter than her black partner.

With interracial couples of black man/white woman, neither is 'dumb' but where its white man/black woman, the white man is less secure in himself
If there's black and white women in the same ad, the white woman is 'dumber'. This is why you rarely if ever see a commercial with a middle aged black woman and elderly white woman because now you have no one to play the fool.

And if there's ever an ad depicting violence or aggression like showing a burglar while selling a home security service, the 'criminal' must always be white..

Continuing once again..

The Hispanic/Asian/East Asian, etc.. is always smarter than the Caucasian..
Gender and family rules still apply so a Hispanic woman is smarter and stronger than her husband and an Asian child knows more than her parents.

No one of religious faith is to ever be represented in an ad unless it is to mock and then pretty much it will be a Christian

No person of Arabic background is Ever to be teased in any way, shape or form by anyone

No obvious Jewish person is ever to be represented in any way in commercials unless its a crusty elderly person complaining i.e. ads for heartburn medications, etc..
As for gay couples, neither partner is ever to be mocked or implied as 'dumb' in any way..  The straight person will usually know less

The only exception would be a gay couple depicted with a child and of course he/she would know more than the parents..  This would be done extremely respectfully though..

Lastly all commercials must depict as many different racial, ethnic and gender groups as humanly possible because its all about maximum representation with minimal effort...

Advertisers believe a person of a particular background will not buy a product unless they see themselves represented in the ad, even if its some extra in the far background without a speaking role depicted for half a second
None of these rules is about respect or tolerance or any noble endeavor..

Its about a world where everyone, even though on welfare, has purchasing power and like Pac Man gobbling up all the power pellets possible, these corporations who do and say and depict whatever false realities necessary to get your money

And if you're middle age, white, married and have kids, there is no bigger emasculated idiot than you in commercial-land..