Thursday, October 20, 2005
at 12:10 AM
"I don't subscribe to the thesis, 'Let the buyer beware,' I
prefer the disregarded one that goes, 'Let the seller be
-- Isaac Asimov, Author
Boy, did this quote resonate with me. I have always hated going to buy a car because I am so uncomfortable with the haggling part of it and the suspicion that passes between the parties involved. And every salesman expects it, so when I don't get into that little give and take, I know I get taken. Usually the conversation goes like this: Suz: "Is that the best price you can give me?" Salesman: "Yes it is." Suz: "Okay."
And as much as I like poking around at flea markets and yard sales, I avoid them because I always pay the price on the tag. I can feel my bloodpressure rising when I am with someone who does haggle over a $2 plate in someone's driveway. Some people think it's fun.
Even after all these years in business I am still just flabbergasted when someone out-and-out lies in court or during a business meeting or in some public setting, like Town Meeting. And there is no advantage to trying to expose the lie. The issue is usually too complex and you just have to hope there are people listening who are well-informed or just more certain of the motives of the parties involved.
I think I am on my soapbox because Thursday night we have a big Financial Summit that I have to co-host with the Town Manager. The Board of Selectmen, both School Committees, Finance Committee and various others are all invited. It is all televised and a big deal. I know that we will be presenting these trends and we worked really hard on making sure they were based on accurate historical data, but I know half of those in attendence won't believe what we present. People are so afraid someone is out to take something away from them. No trust based on some bad experiences, I suppose;or on their own behavior.
Being involved in the budgetary process has really made me cynical. That and union negotiations are the worst part of my job. Not the work, just the attitude of asking for so much because "that's what everyone does" bothers me. The process works against those who just ask for what they need without any inflating of data, etc. It is especially hard for the one in the deal who does go into it that way, responsibly and trying to keep costs down. I don't think I belong in government finance. I think I should be a poet instead. Or a professional Blogger. Is there such a thing?
This quote expresses the way I expect people to operate ,but I know it isn't a realistic expectation. I guess I will always have to take someone with me to yard sales.
Have a great Thursday and wish me luck at the Summit.