Third Time’s a Charm

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “History of Language.”

Frank is proud of his old Ford, so proud he regrets trading it off. But he needs something more dependable. So he visits a local Ford dealer and walks the lot until he lands on something he’d like to own. His salesman, Tony, is a smooth, slow-moving individual who works at gaining Franks confidence before talking numbers.

Finally, takes a blank sheet of paper from his desk drawer, and scribbles the market value of the new Ford Frank had chosen.

“You were thinking of trading your car in on the new one?”

“Yes, of course,” said Frank, settling back in his chair. He’s traded cars before and he knows it’s going to take a while.

“What value were you setting on it?”

“What do you mean?” asks Frank, playing dumb in order to buy some time while he dreams up a number he can slide down from after negotiations begin.

“How much do you want us to allow for your trade?”

“Well, everything has gone up so much since the last time I traded, so I’m thinking it should be worth five grand,” says Frank, watching Tony’s face for a reaction.

Tony dropped his pencil. “Wow! We pick up cars like yours everyday for around two thousand.”

Frank didn’t say anything, but his stomach flips.

“Excuse me,” says another salesman as he enters the Tony’s office. “I’m Mark. Is that your Ford out there in the drive?”

“Yes, it is,” replies Frank.

“Is it for sale?”

“It could be.”

“How much you asking?

“I need to get about five grand for it.”

“Wow. That much, huh? I bought one just like it this morning for a thousand.”

Frank pop a Tums into his mouth, but makes no response.

“Five thousand sounds pretty steep, Frank,” says Tony after Mark leaves. “But I’m not the one who makes the final decisions around here. The sales manager told me this morning that we desperately need to sell some cars before the owner gets back from Hawaii. So the manager may just go for your offer. Let’s give it a shot.” And Tony writes $5000 on the work sheet. Wait here. I’ll be back in a minute.

Frank hates trading cars. It’s always such an emotional roller-coaster. The ticking of the clock seems louder. He stands and straightens his trousers, and then pops his knuckles. Eats a second Tums. Then he drops back into his chair and crosses his legs.

He hears voices, but he can’t understand what they are saying. He waits.

# # #

“What do you think, Tony? What’s he gonna do when I low-ball him?”

“He’s a payment buyer. I’ll pull him off the cash idea and show him how he can afford payments.”

“Good,” says the sales manager, crossing out the $5,000 figure with a blunt grease pencil and writing $1,000 under it. “You told him $5,000 was too much, so did Mark, now he sees it on the work sheet you brought to me. Go get him. Third time’s a charm.

 <a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/history-of-language/”>History of Language</a>

4 thoughts on “Third Time’s a Charm

  1. Vibrant says:

    Hello Again 🙂

    I like this story. Within a very few words you have painted a picture of a person who is harassed by the life situation. Economy, emis, sales-executives and as such.

    I have found a typo for you:
    ” “I’m Mark. It that your Ford out there in the drive?”

    I feel it should be ‘is.’

    I also see a link at the end of your text. If you are referring to another post you might consider using link function. It would look better.

    I look forward to read more.



  2. Thank you for spotting that typo. I went into edit mode and corrected it. My work has more than their share.

    In my years I’ve found that when a person hears something three times within a short time span it often becomes a fact in that person’s mind. Therefore,it benefits the salesman to make the third time occur in a timely manner.


  3. The whole idea of buying or selling a car sends me into an attack of anxiety.They do say in business that you need to communicate a message three times before it will sink in – it makes business extremely boring bad enough hearing it once lol!


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