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Feeling The Weight Of Years Everywhere.
Old Commerce And New. via

Old Commerce And New. via

A fifty year old has earned the right to a few groans and moans in the morning.

When a sixty eight year old takes a knee during a softball game, don’t be surprised.

These are the boomer years my friends, with birthdays between 1946 and 1964.

While we celebrate our health and vitality, we also remember those the same age when we were young.

We’ll never be that old.

The years might disagree, but the fact is boomers are forever young. Just ask Dr. Bob Dylan.

Recently I grew older than a redwood after my millennial son schooled me on how to make an online purchase, and why.

It happened like this:I drive a Toyota van, a soccer mommy car from the soccer kid days. Instead of trading it in after the last “GOOOOOAAALLL” I kept it. I was a soccer coach and the car reminds me of some great times.

Besides, if you keep up with maintenance, a 2000 Toyota lasts and lasts.

One day I opened the back gate and heard a crack.

After that moment the back gate wouldn’t open with the handle or key.

I broke the latch, a $300-$400 fix at the dealership. Amazon had the part for $13.00.

How can this be?

Millennial Man saved the day by saying google the problem and watch a youtube video. Learn how to do it. Good idea?

I followed a static page on how to unlock a locked back gate from the inside, then checked a video to be sure I was on the right page.

So far, so good.

Local Toyota dealers had the latch assembly part priced between $70 and $210. Broadway Toyota in NE Portland had the best deal.

After turning into the service lane to ask directions to the parts counter, the first man I spoke to suggested a new car was a better idea.

He pointed me toward a parking spot in front of five sales guys who all jumped into their sales routines when I opened the door. It was pure stage craft choreography.

The fellas made me feel so special with, “Don’t bother fixing an old car when you can buy a new one.”

I got the giggles, bought the part, came home and installed it with no extra pieces.

My kid came home and I shared the good news, even had him open the back gate. Then he unloaded.

“This is the difference between young and old today. You’d rather spend four times the money for something instead of ordering online with a two day express delivery.

“The world is changing and your generation is dragging it’s feet. Online savings are real. Why spend more when you don’t have to?

“The urgency to fix a door latch isn’t real. Neither is the dealerships’ sales guys idea of buying a new car instead of fixing a door. I hate that stuff. Save money and get results instead of panicking and going through the harassing sales gauntlet.”

The kid made sense. Does it make sense to his boomer dad? Of course it makes sense. But it also disconnects you from the human element.

Do you want to place an order online then wait for drone delivery, or chance a trip into the flesh and blood world?

I think there’s still room for both.

How about you?



About David Gillaspie


  1. I can relate to your story, I embraced online sales a long time ago, despite being born in 1958 – I have bought everything from technology to books and electronic cigarettes…I actually prefer the savings and the choice online. you get plenty of human interaction from grocery shopping which I have not yet subscribed to online grocery delivery, although it is tempting!

    • David Gillaspie says:

      Hi Michael,

      My biggest online purchase was buying the gear for this blog, but my wife is a big shopper from the keyboard.

      What I left out of the post is the taunting my kids provided at no extra cost, and the big reason I didn’t jump on the door latch online: I forgot my Amazon password and didn’t want to admit it. Pretty lame, I know.

      The reward from the experience was avoiding taking the car to the garage and waiting for someone else to fix it. While it’s not new age or digital, I think I came out ahead with the whole deal, but could have done better.

      While the human interaction at a car dealer isn’t always the one you choose first, it was hilarious.

      Thanks for coming in,


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