A timeshare presentation below a volcano

Started by TimeshareTalk, May 22, 2018, 18:15:13

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We made our recent vacation to Hawai'i much more affordable by signing up to sit through a timeshare presentation. We had zeeeee-RO intention of buying one, but it scored us nui (Hawai'ian for "huge") hotel room discounts, and free tickets to a luau.

At pretty much every occasion where a tour guide or host was part of our Hawai'ian journey, we'd hear some kind of wisecrack about timeshare pitches. I regret I can't remember any specific jabs, but they always made us laugh, before we went to our pitch, and even moreso after.

I Googled "jokes about timeshares in Hawai'i" but strangely, nothing very funny came up in the results. What one does see are a lot of horror stories about timeshare pitches - at least, horrible from the prospective buyer's point of view.

The funniest bit I could find was this, from a couple who "survived" a timeshare presentation in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina: "Just before going inside, we practiced our 'No' faces. Mine's called 'Angry & Unshaven Blue Steel.' My wife's is 'Middle School Science Teacher Sending Student to Principal's Office.'" (Note: this woman was in fact a former middle school science teacher.) The photo that accompanies this comment depicts these faces perfectly!

In hindsight, I wasted too much psychic energy beforehand worrying about our timeshare time. I foresaw being there waaaaay longer than the promised 90 minutes, being harangued by hyper-intense sales people, and not even getting a free cup of tea. (I have a thing about scoring free tea; it borders on a mania.)

So the day of the pitch, I was not in the sunniest of moods - and the weather was with me, as it was gloomy and rainy.

I don't want to make this a chapter and verse recitation of what we went through, because you may have had - or someday will have - the timeshare concept presented to you, and have a completely different outlook, and besides, my own personality quirks, few though they be, factored into my experience. These were the "highlights":

• I did get my free cuppa! - Yay! Best part of the whole meeting!

• Our salesperson was a guy named, supposedly, "Don." This was a thing that made me go "Hmmmmm," and I still wonder if somewhere in those offices is a drawer full of plastic "engraved" nametags giving the salespeople scores of different identities to choose from on any given day.

• Over the course of our time together, "Don" became unintentionally amusing for a sort of "verbal tic": To express "interest" or "enthusiasm" for something we revealed, he would say "Look at that!" After about two dozen utterances of "Look at that!," "Don" left to get some documents, and I imitated "Look at that!," and got the wife to "snort-laugh" some Diet Coke through her nose. Actually, that was the best part of the whole meeting.

• Monty Python fans will get this: I spontaneously tried the "Confuse A Cat" strategy on ol' "Don." He'd ask questions about our typical vacations, how often we'd be vacationing in the next 20 years, how much our lodgings cost on average, and so on, and I'd give wildly different answers than the wife. Still, he wound up where we figured he would, stopping just a nano-meter short of calling us Nui Nui Dunces of the Highest Order for spending so much on trips we haven't taken yet. He implored us to spend that money with him on trips we haven't taken yet.

• I tried to keep my personality very flat - inexpressive face, monotone voice, etc. I don't know about you, but I get a little better at this with each passing year, overcoming my reflexive tendency to make nice with strangers. Nowadays, when necessary, I'm a lot better at being more Crusty (But Benign). But darn that "Don" if he didn't occasionally get me to give up a little more Benign that I wanted to. Still, at all the critical junctures, he got my full Crusty.

• But "Don" was fortunately (for us, though maybe not for him) not a cutthroat salesperson. He realized early on we were only there to qualify for our freebies, so we only got subjected to one "Let me get my Manager" moment. This guy came in and tried wowing us with some kind of "TODAY ONLY!" offer. Which I can't remember a single thing about, except "Don" saying, when "Manager" had finished, "Look at that!"

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