You can tell a lot about a person by the vehicle they drive - and other things.
I had a dream last night - more of a nightmare - that I had a major plumbing project to be done and I called three plumbers for estimates on the job. The first one showed up in a big 4-door crew-cab dually diesel RAM pickup, with a huge TRUMP 2024 flag and a "Rebel" flag on the back, along with a host of stickers saying obscene things about Hillary Clinton, Biden, and so forth. He was wearing a red MAGA hat and during our conversation, he seemed to be more preoccupied with talking about politics and how "Liberals" were ruining his life with high taxes and what a bitch his ex-wife was. He also trash-talked about some of my neighbors, claiming they were unreasonable assholes and so forth and so on. I noticed he had no plumbing parts in his truck, just a toolbox under his tonneau cover. He said he would get back to me with a quote, but never did. He did call me back three months later asking if I still needed the work done and got pissed-off when I told him it was already finished.
The next fellow also had a pickup truck, an F150 "Raptor" with giant bozo bling rims that stuck out a foot on each side of the fenders. It was shod with ultra-low-profile tires. The result was a truck that had less carrying capacity that a Toyota Camry but looked badass - to a third-grader. He had a number of visible tattoos, a few piercings, and was wearing pre-distressed designer jeans. He spent a lot of time talking about his truck, but again had no plumbing parts inside, only a small tool box with a few pipe wrenches in it. Again, he promised an estimate, again, I never heard from him. Why do guys like him even bother showing up? (And yes, this has happened to me, in real life, more than once).
The third fellow showed up in an older 1-ton white E350 Ford van, with the name of his company on the side. On the roof was a ladder rack with PVC pipes attached as well. Inside this no-nonsense van were a plethora of tools and racks of plumbing parts. It was shod with steel wheels and 10-ply tires. He gave me an estimate on the spot, along with three references from people in the neighborhood and told me he could start next week. He was also wearing distressed jeans, but he had distressed them himself, by working in them. Since he already had the parts in his truck, there would not be several trips back-and-forth to the commercial plumbing supply store (or in the case of the first two, Lowe's or Home Depot) to buy parts. He invested in inventory, not bling rims.
Can you guess who I would have hired? While this came to me in a dream, it is based in part on real-world experiences. I see all the time, people pretending to be tradesmen, driving around in blinged-up trucks, showing the world they value style more than substance. And bear in mind while the first fellow was a hard-core Trumper, the same effect would be seen (and I have seen it, albeit much less) with people on the far-left, who show up in a Prius covered with different bumper stickers, complaining about how "the corporations are evil, man!" and whatnot. Same shit, different day.
You can tell a lot about a person and their values by appearances alone. The merchant who puts a Jesus fish on his business card and store sign might not be keeping his eye on the ball - and might have forgotten to read Matthew 6:5 (or any of the Bible, for that matter). When it comes to business, I don't want to know your religion, your politics, or the name of your cat.
You could argue that going by appearances alone is unfair. Maybe the Trump-truck guy is a really hard worker and gives good value for the money. Maybe, but I doubt it - anyone who gets so riled up about politics of any sort is delusional and externalizing their problems. No doubt he would be muttering under his breath about "faggots" particularly three months later when I told him someone else already quote on the job and finished it. People like that have a finely tuned sense of entitlement, and when things don't go their way, it is always someone else's fault - preferably a nebulous outgroup or vague government or business group or conspiracy.
Similarly, the guy with the designer distressed jeans and tattoos is telling me they value style over substance, and want to "invest" their surplus income in outward appearances rather than his business. This is a guy who cares more about what strangers think of him that what his customers think. Rather than invest in his business, he invests in gaudy trinkets.
Fair or not, in this world you will be judged by appearances - we all are. If you are slovenly, people will assume you are unreliable and lazy. If you are fat, they assume you have no self-control. If you display flashy things - even if you really are wealthy - you are judged as nouveau riche or worse yet, putting on the dog with borrowed money. In each case, you are exhibiting (or give the appearance of) having poor judgement.
The same is true for the hiring process. First impressions are important, and if you show up wearing odd styles and looking weird, well, it may not give a good impression, unless you are in a field where talent outweighs eccentricity. Back in the 1970's, it was the style among teens and young adults to wear long hair - and by that, I mean shoulder-length or longer. I had it, when I was 16. But when I went to interview with General Motors, I cut my hair shorter (still long, but a length considered acceptable at the time). I know others, friends and family members, who refused to cut their hair for a job interview, valuing their hair length over a job or career. This sends a distinct message to the employer.
Frankly, if I was a hiring manager today, I would ask the interviewee to see their vehicle (if they have one). If the back end is covered with bumper stickers - pass. And quite frankly, in this era where you risk being accused of various forms of illegal discrimination, maybe the "car test" is the only thing we have left.
I am not sure what the point of that dream was, only that it sort of summed up something that has been brewing in the back of my mind for a while. It seems that a lot of people today who are fairly well-off, squander most of their money (I know I did!) but when it all goes wrong, never admit that they are culpable, even in the tiniest part, for their misfortune.
If you are going to be a carpenter, you need to have more than a pickup truck and a circular saw - yet it is a stereotype of many a young man who wants to go out and work in the construction field. Paychecks are to be spent, not invested. And as a result, they end up as perpetual employees and never employers.
Or take the truck driver "Owner/Operator" who puts every spare paycheck into buying yet more chrome for his truck, rather than buying a second truck and starting a trucking business. Granted, that is his choice and maybe that is a good choice for him. But he can't at the same time, bitch about how others have it so great and what a raw deal he got in life. You make choices, you have to live with them. We all do.
Well, most of us do, anyway!