WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU PUT GOOD PEOPLE IN AN EVIL PLACE? DOES HUMANITY WIN OVER EVIL, OR DOES EVIL TRIUMPH? THESE ARE SOME OF THE QUESTIONS WE POSED IN THIS DRAMATIC SIMULATION OF PRISON LIFE CONDUCTED IN 1971 AT STANFORD UNIVERSITY.
I jumped on to this site because I was obsessed with finding the BEST deal. I had been raised to NOT TRUST dealerships, never let them get one over on you. I finally had a dealer interaction where I felt like I won, and joined Leasehackr to gloat about it. I said to myself: “wow, here’s a place that systemetizes beating the dealership. F those dealers, I love this forum.”
…Then I switched over to the Broker side. Through this, I got to know many dealership employees. And I saw that really, the dealer employees are no different from the customers. Some are real jerks, but some are just regular people trying to make an honest living off fair deals.
Then, I thought again, about the Customers. I’ve had the opportunity to get to know hundreds of You over text message. Most are just regular people trying to get a fair deal on a car that meets their needs. But, in the swarm of regular people, there were a few big jerks.
And so… I had this revelation. All of this projection that I read on this site: about Good vs Evil, about Hostage situations, about STEALERSHIPS, about squeezing people for Max Dealer Profit, or Dealer Loss; it’s not about Taking Sides. Dealership employees aren’t implicitly evil, and customers aren’t implicitly always right.
What we have in Customer/Dealership interactions, are just two strangers coming together, already cast into their roles. Anyone could walk into a dealership and either ask for a job, or try to buy a car. Their casting decision, combined with who they really are, is what defines the hostility (or lack thereof) in a given car purchase transaction.
What I’ve learned, is that if you’re an overgeneralizing asshole customer: you’ll say things like “The customer is always right” when you’re begging the dealer to go lower. If you’re an overgeneralizing asshole dealer employee: you’ll say things like “the house always wins” or “buyers are liars” when you’re a salesman and a customer is trying to buy a car from you.
If you’re a thirsty customer, you’ll nibble for free floor mats after shaking hands on a deal. If you’re a thirsty dealer, you’ll nibble for that Tire and Wheel or Key Replacement after shaking hands on a deal.
If you LIKE the idea of hostage situation, it doesn’t matter which side of the table you’re sitting on. Either side can make it happen.
Tl~dr: There is a direct analog of a “bad customer behavior” for every “bad dealer behavior” that you can think of.
If you actually sit down and Watch the Stanford Prison Experiment, you’ll realize that the Dealer/Customer interaction is the same as Guard/Prisoner. The preconceived notion of the environment, the roles we’re cast into, and Who We Are predetermine how We will behave in a Prison Cell, or in a Showroom.
As a customer, when you go to a dealership, do you have your guard up?
Now, imagine working in a place where every person you meet, has their guard up and doesn’t trust you.
It might change how you treat new customers: just as how a Novice prison guard may go easier on the Prisoners in the beginning. With time, a once “nice-guy” Guard becomes jaded by the Prisoner’s antics and may resort to more extreme discipline measures. Is the guard a bad guy? Are the prisoners bad?