The high road

By BEN R. WILLIAMS

I’ve been trying to sell a car for about a month now. I’ve privately sold a few cars, and on the scale of unpleasant experiences, I’d rank private auto sales right between “getting pushed down a flight of stairs” and “getting pushed up a flight of stairs.”

However, something recently happened to me that was beyond the pale.

About a day after I listed the car on the Facebook Marketplace, I got a message from a gentleman whom we’ll call “Bob.” Bob told me he was interested in the car, he wanted to see it in person, and he would be paying cash.

This was a far cry from the usual kind of conversation I have as a seller, which is someone messaging me to ask if the item is still for sale, me telling them it is still for sale, and then them disappearing forever. This guy mentioned he was paying cash! You don’t mention how you’re going to pay for something unless you’re pretty serious about buying it.

I told Bob that I’d love for him to check out the car and we agreed to meet on Sunday at 2 p.m. at a convenience store near my house. The night before we were going to meet, I sent Bob a message asking if we were still on, and he replied with a big thumbs-up.

About 1 p.m. on Sunday, I took a shower, dressed up nicely to make a good impression, got the title and a bill of sale together, picked up the car, and drove to the convenience store. I got there about ten minutes before 2 p.m., just in case he arrived early.

But Bob didn’t arrive early. I sat in the cold car watching the minutes tick by. 2:10 p.m. came and went. 2:20 p.m. zipped right by. Finally, at 2:30 p.m., I sent Bob a message through Facebook.

“Hi Bob!” I said. “Are you having any trouble finding the place?”

I then watched, in real-time, as Bob read my message, left the Facebook Marketplace chat group, and blocked me on Facebook.

I was furious. I mean, I was livid. If Bob had messaged me and told me he’d changed his mind, I would have been a little disappointed, but I would have understood. It’s a big purchase. Even if he had messaged me at 1:59 p.m. and said he had changed his mind, I would have accepted it.

But to agree on the meeting time the night before, ghost me, and then block me on Facebook? It seemed malicious, like he was trying to waste my time. Blocking me was the worst part because it was such a cowardly move. I’m sure he thought that by blocking me, I’d never be able to reach out to him again.

Of course, I have a pretty good memory and he has a fairly unique last name, so it only took a quick internet search to find his home phone number and home address. I won’t lie; I briefly considered exacting some sort of revenge, but I quickly decided against it. If I took revenge on Bob, it would make me no better than him. No, I decided to take the high road. I simply turned the other cheek. I guess that doesn’t make for a great conclusion to this column, but sometimes life is like that.

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