Thursday, April 30, 2015

Three Conversations

I had three interesting conversations today.  The first one, at about 11 a.m., was with one of my dealers (I am a bank rep to car dealers.  My bank finances automobile purchases, usually to people with low incomes and very bad credit histories.)   The dealer I was talking with was saying that his customer was balking at the interest rate. Now this customer had a 7 year history with the credit bureaus that showed him not paying back any loan ever, defaulting on a car loan, less than a year at his current job, and only a month at his current address.  The dealer wanted me to do something about the interest rate.  And then words I never expected to come out of my mouth did, in fact, come out of my mouth. "Your customer is the highest risk I have ever seen my bank approve.  He earned this interest rate. If he wants this S-class Mercedes he is going to come up with a $30,000 down payment and pay 23.99% interest on the loan.  You need to tell him we are the only bank willing to finance him so he needs to decide if he wants to pay it or keep riding a bicycle." In reality, I think the customer should buy a Ford Focus but what I have learned is that the people with the worst credit histories want the most expensive cars.  I don't know what the customer decided (I'll find out in a few hours) but my first job is to protect the bank's assets.

About 3 p.m. today I received a phone call from a dealer I have been trying to sign up since November.  It was the General Manager of the dealership group (Toyota, Volvo, McClaren) calling to apologize for how an assistant sales manager at one of the dealerships spoke to me last week.  I was more than a little astonished.  Yes, the assistant manager was rude, but not very rude.  I told the GM that I hadn't given it a second thought and that I was looking forward to serving him.  And then the GM told me to come by next week and pick up the signed agreement.  Why is this a big deal?  Because I've been trying to get this agreement since LAST NOVEMBER!!!

At about half past 3 p.m. today I picked up my two youngest sons from school.  We went to Starbucks.  We drank our drinks and played cards (kings corners, my mother's favorite card game).  Then I drove them back to their mother's house so I could go back to work.  On the way there we saw some Mormon missionaries riding their bicycles. 

I asked my boys, "See those Mormons?  How are they different from Christians?"  They both quickly said "they think there are more than one god".  Then I asked them, "how are they like Christians?"  They didn't know the answer.  So I told them, "Like us, the Mormons believe Jesus came back from the dead."  That surprised both boys.  So I asked, "What did God tell Adam about the tree of the knowledge of good and evil?"   Basil answered, "He said we can't eat the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden" (I think it's interesting that he identifies so much with our first parents that he said "we".)   And I asked, "Is that what Eve told the serpent God said?"  Basil said "yes" but Anselm, who knows the long story better than Basil, wasn't so sure.  So I told them that our first mother Eve added to what God said, that she said God said to not even touch the fruit.  And I went on to explain that the reason the Mormons believe the lie about there being many gods is that truth is mixed in with that lie, and that Satan, the very serpent in Eden has always used lies mixed with truth to deceive people.  We are usually smart enough to recognize falsehood when it stands alone, but when it is mingled with truth Satan can more easily deceive us.  But if we pay careful attention to the truth taught by the Church, "the foundation and pillar of truth" we will be less likely to be deceived. 

I think that is something the boys will think about a long time.  I sure hope it impresses them with the importance of listening to the Church. 


GretchenJoanna said...

What an encouraging post, Matt! You are alive and kicking, praise be to God.

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