You'd think that grandpas are the least of our worries over here in auto show land, right? That we'd be relieved when we see a sweet, doddering older gentleman heading our way, ostensibly to discuss the finer points of our latest giant sedan that he'll probably wind up mowing down a crowd with because he's too old to drive anymore.
You'd be wrong.
Here's the problem with Grandpas: They talk. And they don't. Stop. Talking.
I don't mind a long conversation about a car with a consumer who is genuinely interested in it. I don't mind a short conversation about cars in general. But please do not hijack me with a long, drawn-out conversation about nothing relevant. I know you're lonely. That sucks. Maybe you're lonely because you talk too damn much. Whatever the reason, move on. I HAVE A JOB TO DO.
In addition to the endless talking, grandpas say some wildly inappropriate stuff that they think they can get away with because they're old.
Here are some things your grandpa has said to me at the auto show:
"When are you serving dinner?"
"Want to hear a joke?" Usually followed by "A black guy/Mexican/Jew/Jap walks into a bar..." or some variation of the same.
"Let me tell you about my very first car... It's where my son was conceived."
"You've got a nice tushie."
"I wish my wife had legs like yours."
"I don't want to talk to that 'Oriental' guy, I want to talk to an American."
And yes, "Do you come with the car?"
Well listen up, grandpas. I've got your number. Just because you're old and survived the Korean War or World War II or whatever doesn't mean you have a license to make me ill.
Look, here's what it comes down to. No matter what your age, be respectful. Talk to us not the way you'd talk to your sister, but the way you'd expect someone else to talk to your sister (because you might be a total jerk to her yourself but you'd punch someone else for talking to her like that).
Please be mindful of our time. We are marketing representatives hired to educate people about our cars and hopefully push them in the direction of buying one, while helping to cement a brand image in your minds. If I'm talking to you about how hot you like your tapioca and what your favorite episode of Murder She Wrote is, I am not talking to someone who has a genuine interest in a vehicle (as opposed to my ass).
And lay off the racial jokes.