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Negative response from strangers and other stupid things people say

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Mike_Schlechter, Jun 27, 2013.

  1. Mike_Schlechter

    Mike_Schlechter Model S - P457

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    Weston, CT
    Had two oddly negative / misinformed things said to me recently when someone saw my Model S. I thought there was a thread on this, but couldn't find it - mods feel free to combine.

    The first incident was the husband of a friend. He said buying a Model S was ludicrous because, like flat screen TVs, in six months the price will drop to half and I'll feel like an idiot. I was so shocked I didn't point out that internal combustion has been around well over 100 years (well, so too has electric motors) and those prices keep going up. It was just such a strange comment. He also felt Tesla "stole the design from Fisker." Never heard that before either. I was more amused than insulted or annoyed.

    The other incident, however, really pissed me off.

    I'm a volunteer EMT on my town's fire department. I often respond to a scene directly in my Model S (as an aside, it is a great response vehicle with all the cargo space, stability at speed and agility). In this case it was a relatively serious call involving a young man who truly needed emergency medical attention (I was literally on scene in under 3 minutes from the 911 call, and it probably made a difference - serious call). While I'm unloading my gear the mother rushes out to guide me to where he son lay ill. While we are walking around to the back door of her home she asked me "is that a Masseratti?" I said, "Actually it is a Tesla." She then stops in her tracks and turns to me and says "you should give more to charity and spend less money on flashy cars like that thing!" It was said with considerable venom. I was literally dumbstruck at first, but also know stress from a situation like this can affect people. I proceeded to care for her son until the ambulance arrived, and once he was packaged and enroute to the hospital I went back to my car to put my gear away. She walked up to me looking rather flushed. I expected the normal, "thank you for helping" or "what is the best way to the hospital from here?" Instead I got, "only in this (beep)ing town would a firefighter drive that (beep)ing thing!"

    This time I almost rose to it, but instead reminded her I was a volunteer, as is everyone on our department. Hoping that was the end I started getting into my car and she then said, "you spend $250k on a golf cart and it is ugly, you know that?"

    I closed the door and drove off, deciding it wasn't worth it, as I am not obliged to be harassed by anyone, even a distraught parent. I half hoped she would lay a hand on me - in CT hitting an on duty EMT is no different than hitting a cop...

    Anyway, in my seven months of owning my Model S (and ten years volunteering in Weston, CT, let alone almost 20 years as an EMT) those are the only negative / derogatory comments I think I've received.

    Anyone else deal with things like this? I know people make assumptions, mostly wrong, about cost. I blame the media for constantly publishing the price of a fully loaded Signature Model S for that one. The rest was just weird.
     
  2. Beavis

    Beavis Signature 991

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    I got a typical, dumb-a, Fox News comment about electric cars from the husband of one of my employees. He apologized later when he actually saw the car and realized it wasn't a golf cart (and his wife probably told him to shut it and apologize).

    Your lady sounds psycho and you showed a lot of class in your response. It's much better than I would have done.
     
  3. Francis Lau

    Francis Lau P-1456

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    I am sorry to hear of these bad encounters, especially when you are volunteering and helped her child. These incidents are always a reflection of them; some people have serious baggage.
     
  4. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

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    +1 There's no other way to deal with this. One would hope the woman would be more charitable to the man who helped her son in his time of need. But some people are hopeless.
     
  5. Mike_Schlechter

    Mike_Schlechter Model S - P457

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    My wife tells me I'm being mean to post this story... I guess this is my response.
     
  6. Frankrb

    Frankrb Member

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    Unbelievable, how ignorant some people are. Stupid is as stupid does. I admire your aplomb, class, and restraint. That lady needs help........but don't YOU volunteer!
     
  7. richkae

    richkae VIN587

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    I'm sure that it was a stressful situation, but adversity reveals true character. And the character that was revealed was *******.
     
  8. Zextraterrestrial

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    other people are mean. you are just plain amazing! I would have wanted to just leave the scene if the lady was like that
     
  9. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    Agree with the above. Reflects poorly on her to act like that in the current situation. Maybe there's something underlying though (some bad experience with someone flashy or whatever). Good job walking away (not sure I could have resisted mouthing off)
     
  10. deonb

    deonb Active Member

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    +1. But I imagine on the way home you must have thought of comeback after comeback to that lady.

    It was disturbing enough just to read your experience - can't image what I would have done in that situation. Good for you.
     
  11. markb1

    markb1 Active Member

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    It's pretty crappy to tell someone you know nothing about that they should give more to charity, but a volunteer EMT? I don't have words.
     
  12. Crispix

    Crispix Member

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    Not at all. You did the right thing and took the high road. At the same time, you have a right to be livid. Go ahead and vent! Frankly, I'm pretty pissed off at that lady and all I did was read your post!

    Especially amazing that someone would mouth off like that to an EMT in the line of duty.

    Curious to hear other stories.
     
  13. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    I'm still a bit confused why the Maserati she expected you had purchased was not a "price problem".
     
  14. gmontem

    gmontem Model S P01707

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    Hats off to you, Mike, for keeping calm and professional. I would have done much worse and argue back with that stupid mother, constantly reminding her the I'm busy saving her son's life; or walk away if I had no legal obligations to finish my volunteer duties.
    Sent from my Nokia Lumia 920 using Board Express
     
  15. Discoducky

    Discoducky Active Member

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    The situation demanded your best and you delivered; I imagine you might have caught her on one of her worst, but there is no cause to treat a savior, who asks for nothing but thanks, with unjustified prejudice.
     
  16. sfriedrich

    sfriedrich Member

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    Always take the high road. Good on you for responding gently. I have often failed in that. We all need coaxing and prodding and encouragement. Many, even most, are so unsure in their opinions that they invite a fight so they can solidify them. The gentler and more conversational you are, the more persuasive you are. "A gentle word can break a bone".

    Good fortune for you as you live with these other curious and inquisitive folks.
     
  17. Russell B

    Russell B Member

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    The comments I get are almost universally positive. The questions tend to be: How much did it cost? (I tell them it's all in the website.) How far does it go between charges? Do you worry about running out of juice? (No problem if you can do arithmetic) Do you like the car? (It's the perfect car for someone who has always wanted the fastest and best looking car in town). Can I drive it? (Hell no) That's pretty much the gamut although for friends I drill-down with more details.

    - - - Updated - - -

    One thing I forgot was that I had a great personalized license plate, but changed to a generic. I drive a fair amount on crowded streets in San Francisco. The car draws attention and the license plate added to it. Some people (like bike messengers) make assumptions about people who can spend $100,000+ for a car. Friends have had their expensive cars purposely scratched or dented and I decided to reduce that risk. Did I say that I was paranoid? I guess that's the risk of being early, and I was. Over time, I think the risk will lessen.
     
  18. PhilBa

    PhilBa Active Member

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    I agree, good of you to take the high road. But you really have to wonder what that woman was thinking - antagonizing some one who could save her child's life.
     
  19. Mike_Schlechter

    Mike_Schlechter Model S - P457

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    I probably structured the post wrong. I didn't mean it to be as much about me as to learn if others have had strangely negative comments and how they responded. Clearly, I wasn't quite there with my retorts, but I'm not that kind of person. I prefer to write emails then save them to draft and never send. God forbid my mother in law ever get her hands on my drafts folder...

    99.99% of the feedback on my Model S is positive. Hell, the garage I park in when I drive to work in NYC has guys bringing their family to see the car. When I went on a two week business trip, they commented they missed the car while I was away. This thing is generally a love sponge, which made the negativity so strange for me.

    Btw, thanks for th kudos on the EMT thing. Seriously, if you live in a community with volunteer EMS or Fire, sign up. It is so rewarding, so fun and really gives you a sense of purpose and perspective. I started as an EMT as a teenager because a volunteer EMT saved my mother's life. I am paying back that favor (or trying to at least). Not unlike being an environmentlist, it is less a big thing than many small acts, when combined, effecting a net posetive change on the world around me.
     
  20. Yggdrasill

    Yggdrasill Active Member

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    You can determine part of the issue in her comment referring to the cost of the car as $250k. She seemed to be of the opinion that the Model S was a supercar costing hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    An "actually, it starts at $50k" might have lessened her ire somewhat. It's also possible it wouldn't have lessened her ire, so simply leaving was probably for the best.

    Even if the model S cost a million dollars, her response was extremely far from acceptable. When someone is saving your son's life you don't start to criticize their life choices.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Maybe you're the only one who's had strongly negative reactions... (One could hope so, at least, even if that is unfortunate for you.)
     

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