He made a comment regarding the service records on his car, and then posed this question:
"Just got 'er paid off, you know. Time for a new one. You got anything good on the lot?"
And there, Dear Reader, is the American Mindset in all its glory. (Well, maybe it'd be more realistic if he'd bought the car new . . ..) Five years ago, Mr. Customer financed his used Cadillac. Five years pass, he pays it off, and now he's determined that it must be time for another one. You can almost hear the advice he's giving his grandkids: You'll always have a car payment, Johnny. That's just the way it is. Always have a car payment . . ..
And then the slow nod, the blank stare ... and then he'll go back to writing out another check to GMAC.
Future repair-cost inclinations of Cadillacs notwithstanding (as noted elsewhere on this site, they ain't cheap to buy, and are even more expensive to keep on the road), you have to be impressed with the how pervasive the "Always Have a Payment" mentality is. Even the Doorstep of Retirement crew has been sucked in.
So, thanks, Mr. Always-Have-a-Car-Payment Man. Lots of salesmen, and service-department guys like myself, owe their jobs to the silly notions in your head.