Sunday, February 26, 2012

2/26/12 (1 of 2) - RV Show Schmo

Well, the RV Show was a blast. I thought about taking a drool rag with me but in the interest of not getting escorted out, I decided to contain myself instead. LOL.

Before I tell you about the show, I have to first tell you what it was like attending the show solo. I experienced some things that never in a million years would I have dreamed of.

Before that even, I must provide a disclaimer that there will be no pictures in this post.  They will follow in the next immediate post. Hence the title, 1 of 2.

Back to being at the show single and solo....

Throughout the week prior to the show, I got a lot of remarks from friends and family. The resounding theme was that they could not believe I was going to go alone. I relished going alone! Could not wait! I got to drive to the show whenever it suited me, parked in the boonies so I didn't have to fight traffic, looked at whatever I wanted to once I got there, for as long as I wanted to-or not, interacted when I wanted to, and set my pace to mosey or dash as it suited me. In short, I was in heaven.

I covered the whole show, every row - in 3.5 hours. And was perfectly sated. There were many dealers and manufacturers represented but only 2 that had display boards of "experienced" RVs available. Isn't that cute, "experienced" RVs? Very clever marketing.

I waited for the sea of people to part so I could look at the 1st board. While standing there, I noticed that the sales people and reps were talking to all of the couples and families surrounding the area, but not one ever even acknowledged me. Fine with me! I didn't want the hassle anyway, but I did find it to be an interesting paradox.

Then I looked at the board. There were actually 3, count 'em, 3! RVs on there that I would have been interested in. I wrote them down in my trusty spiral I had taken with me (yes, I know there are iPads, etc., that would have been a lot cooler to carry around but I'm saving up for an RV, remember?), and took a step back to wait and talk to a salesperson. Pen in hand, waiting, and they still did not acknowledge me.

Then it became an experiment. I waited a few more minutes then slowly started trying to engage them. I would wait until one looked at me and I would purposefully say hello. They completely ignored me. So then I got a little more assertive.

I would wait until they looked at me and I tried to engage them. You know, I'd hold up my finger (as if calling a waiter), or I'd raise my eyebrows and acknowledge them, just short of shouting, "Excuse me." Still nothing.

Finally, I waited until one was free and I belted out a good, "Hey!" He turned and looked at me as if I had magically appeared from nowhere. "Do you have a moment to answer some questions?" I asked.

He sheepishly looked around and said, "Sure." So I proceeded to tell him about the 3 RVs I was interested in. He listened, looked at my spiral, looked back up at me, and I kid you not, this is what he said.
"You're kidding, right? You said it was just you, but are you really interested in an RV?"
Since the show predominantly featured trailers, I thought he was referencing a self-contained RV vs. a trailer. So I explained my reasons for wanting a motorhome. He blinked. Then gave me a nudge with his elbow.

Wait for it.....
"Ahhhh, come on. You're really just here to find a husband, right? You can tell me."
I squinted and rolled my tongue around my teeth thinking how lucky he was that I didn't have a vice-grip in my hand. My return stare went flat and I waited for the message to get through. When he went a little ashen in color and quit smiling, I turned around and walked off. I'm ashamed to admit that it took me 2 or 3 aisles of walking before I actually cooled off. Then, when I realized the absurdity of the situation, I actually and quite literally laughed out loud.

From there I began to pay attention, to try to find another solo female at the show. Row by row, RV after RV, there were none. I even went to the food court to take a gander. None. Strange.

So then I began to see if there were any solo men (and no, still was not looking for a husband, LOL). None. There were men sans women but they were usually with buddies. And if I had to guess, the women were probably nearby. I was there almost 4 hours and never saw another person solo. Interesting phenomenon.

I found the 2nd dealer that had a display of used RVs. Again I waited my turn to look at the board. They had several I wanted to know more about and they indicated that they offered financing. Again the salespeople walked off and this time it was only to chat with each other. They weren't even busy! And one of them was a woman! I waited exactly 5 minutes as an experiment. They were on one side of the table and I was standing by the board. Nothing.

So this time, I walked up to them and said, "Excuse me. I'm just curious. Why did you wait on those families and not even say hello to me?"

All 3 of them immediately looked like guppies out of water, mouths opening and closing, gasping for air. The lady scurried off to get me a bottle of water, one man took off behind a nearby curtain and the other one apologized and asked how he could help.

The water was good and they ended up providing a lot of useful information (to be shared later). I actually wouldn't mind doing business with them if it comes to that (financing that is), but seriously? Come on RV world, you need to catch up with the 21st century.

10 comments:

  1. Wow!! That does seem odd....especially in todays economy!! You would think the female sales rep would have been all over you trying to get you sold, or at the least, qualified!! Don't give up hope though, there MUST be a hungry sales rep out there somewhere!

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    1. @ John - If there's anything certain about me, it's that I don't give up hope - or faith. ;)

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  2. Debra, l have always gone to RV shows alone. I enjoy when they just leave me alone to look. That being said, l never have a problem being helped. Bought my first 5th wheeler at a show. There were no comments about "are you afraid to drive that" or anything like that.

    The sales people always acknowlege me with a smile and a "good afternoon", which l recipicate, and continue on. But they know when l am ready to have a question asked, and seem to appear.

    Of course, l do a lot of things solo, always have, and always will. I certainly will never not do something because l have no one to do it with. Life's too short for that silly-ness.

    Better luck next time.

    I'm going to be going to an RV show when l get back to Toronto this weekend - since l already have my Class B it's just to poke around......

    Good luck on your search.

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    1. Hi Tammy, great to hear from you. You have GOT to help me find a way to follow your blog. I have it bookmarked but rarely flip over to my links that aren't on my feeder list. Help! :)

      I too love going places by myself. It does not bother me in the least. Glad to hear other RV shows have their act together. It was kind of fun being invisible for a day. ;)

      I looked for a picture of your rig on your site. Didn't see one. Send me a link or a pic, ok? HugZ!

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  3. Omg Debra, that is so funny! I love how you experimented and how ridiculous everyone acted. Wish I could have been a fly on that wall :)

    I'm glad you got to see so many cool things, and keep the energy moving toward your dream.

    Keep on keepin' on :)

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    1. @ Maria - keepin on keeping on, I promise ;) And yes, I'm quite certain you would have been ROFLOL with me. :)

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  4. Lol; I think, yaers ago the saleswoman was like you,visiting alone an RVschow, but she choose a husband. Just love reading this blog.Hugs from Belgium, Piouk and Patrick ;-)

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    1. Oh, now that's funny! Vous avez un grand sens de l'humour! :)

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  5. Yes, it's sad. I experienced the same thing.

    I went to an RV show alone, and COULD NOT FIND A SALESPERSON. They were walking around, but, like you, they were either with couples or not interested in talking to me. Plus there were no prices on the used rigs, and I wanted to know what they cost. I finally tracked someone down and asked if he could give me some prices. He priced the ones I was particularly interested in, and he disappeared.

    When I went to the La Mesa RV Show in San Diego, it was totally different. I had lots of people talking to me, explaining things - that was the day I bought The Palms.

    You're right, the commercial world has to realize there are a lot of us solo women out here, and we have money to spend, too.

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  6. @ Barbara - Awwwwww! Thank you for taking the time to write this comment. It helps a lot. It's nice to know it wasn't just me and that it's not (heaven forbid) an issue only in the great State of Texas. Still, makes me want to hop a plane to San Diego. I used to live in Laguna Beach and miss that area. I shall have to visit again in my RV one day - the same RV some lucky salesperson will get to deliver. :)

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