As I write this I’m sitting in the nearby Toyota dealership, having my Prius’ brakes fixed. When we bought the car three months ago, the salesman assured us it was a wonderful car; that Toyota could barely keep the vehicles on the lot.
The dealership is dead. D-E-A-D. It’s 10:21 am, and there are approximately zero people here looking for vehicles. In one corner, marked SERVICE, three or four unhappy-looking souls leaf through People and Time while waiting for their cars to be fixed. Employees meander throughout, fixing this, moving that. Otherwise, this place is a morgue. A corpse. A movie theatre featuring a special showing of Gigli.
I arrived here angry. Angry at a once-reputable car company that intentionally misled its customers. Angry that, in trying to do the right thing (buy an environmentally friendly automobile) the wife and I wound up with a semi-lemon. Angry that I have to take two hours of my day to sit here and have my brand new car repaired.
And yet, the scene is just … sad. The people who work here are just cogs in the system. They sell. They repair. The fill our forms. They had nothing to do with Toyota’s massive scam, yet now they’re surely paying the price. The CEOs, on the other hand, are wealthy. They lose their jobs (which they won’t), they still have health insurance and money. They cut a pay cut, hey, what’s the big deal.