Wish There Was A Salesman Filtration System

, | ON, Canada | Working | July 26, 2017

(Having grown tired of door to door salespeople knocking at all hours and waking my kids from their naps I place a sign on my front door explicitly stating we are uninterested in any sales pitches — specifically listing several that are well known scams. Despite this, there is a knock on the door. I find a woman standing there with a clip board.)

Woman: “Hi, we’re going around offering a free water filtration system due to bad water quality in the city.” *lie #1*

Me: *points to the sign on the front door*

Woman: “Yeah, I read that but I don’t think that applies to us.” *launches into sales pitch*

Me: *points out one of the specific scams listed that, while not exactly the same, is in the same family as her spiel*

Woman: “Oh, we’re not [Specific Scam].”

Me: “Close enough; we’re still not interested.”

Woman: *sale spiel* “—free water filter—” *blah blah* “—just need to come in and check the pipes.” *lie #2*

Me: *wanting to get rid of her* “Okay, leave me some information and if we decide to we’ll call you back.”

Woman: “Oh, I can’t do that. I only have [number] of pamphlets and if someone wants to sign up I need to give them one.” *lie #3*

Me: “Then I’ll look your company up online and call if we decide to do this.” *closes door in her face*

(I looked up the company online. Sure, the INSTALLATION of the water filter is free but there’s a $60/month rental fee for the equipment.)

Millionth Of A Meter Will Cost You Millions

| England, UK | Right | April 17, 2017

(We specialize in high-value engineering equipment. It is well-known that these items cost tens if not hundreds of thousands of pounds. Just looking at them it is obvious as they are made from carbon fibre and granite.)

Me: “Good morning, this is [My Name] at [Company #1]; how can I assist?”

Caller: “Yes, my name is [Caller], the director of [Company #2]. I need a [specific] measurement device.”

Me: “Not a problem. Can I just get a few details to narrow your search?”

Caller: “Yes. I was only interested in the most accurate [Expensive Type] units you have.”

Me: “Okay, great. Well, we have a range of equipment. Our top end system is accurate up to 0.015mm.”

Caller: “No, that’s nowhere good enough; I need something better than 0.001mm.”

Me: “Erm, well anything that accurate is pretty specialised. Maybe I can refer you to one of our partners. What sort of budget do you have?”

Caller: “£10,000.”

Me: “£10,000?”

Caller: “Well, yes.”

Me: “Sir, our most basic system costs five times that amount, You are asking for the most scientific piece of equipment on the planet. I would have to guess but for something like that would cost you at least a million.”

Caller: “What? I don’t have that sort of money; that’s not good enough. Who can I speak to? I want something for £10,000!”

Me: “I would be happy to show you what we have, but from what you have told me today, it isn’t going to be possible in your budget.”

Caller: “What?! This is ridiculous!”

Me: “Sorry, sir. You can of course try other companies, but I am sure that they will tell you the same.”

(I found out that he had again called but spoke to a different employee, telling them that a competitor promised them this magical unit and he wanted us to match the price. Obviously lying, he was politely told not to ring back.)

Email Fail, Part 9

| England, UK | Working | January 24, 2017

(I work at a sales company. The best part of the job is responding to emails potential customers sent us. I call Mr. T.)

Me: *getting an answer phone* “Good morning, my name is [My Name] calling from [Company]. I am calling to respond to an email you sent us needing some information. I will try you again later today.”

(Later that day…)

Me: *getting an answer phone* “Good afternoon, my name is [My Name] calling from [Company]. Just a quick call to try to reach you about some information you requested from our website. I will send you an email and hope to speak with you soon.”

(A few days later… no calls, no emails…)

Me: *he picks up* “Good morning, this is [My Name] calling from [Company]. I am calling to respond to an email you sent us needing some information.”

Mr. T: *gruffly* “I didn’t send any email.”

Me: “Apologies; I have an email with your contact information a few days ago.”

Mr. T: “Oh, well, I might have sent it. I don’t remember.”

Me: “I imagine you are quite busy. Let me send you the information and I can speak with you once you have had the chance to review it.”

(Not looking forward to dealing with him again a give him a few more days.)

Me: “Good morning, this is [My Name] calling from [Company]. I am calling back about your request.”

Mr. T: *very aggressively* “I am in a meeting. Don’t call me again!”

(I have had enough. Clearly he did send us that email; that is the only way we had his email address. I don’t bother contacting him again and make sure my boss and his file makes it clear what sort of person he is.)

Boss: “Hey, can I talk to you a minute?”

Me: “Err, yeah, sure…”

Boss: “What’s this note about Mr. T?”

(I explain the whole story, worried that I may have been a little too honest.)

Me: “Is that okay?”

Boss: “Hmm? Oh, yeah, of course.” *he goes back to his office strangely leaving his door open*

Boss: *on phone* “I don’t care how big your budget is. If you cannot speak to my staff with some common courtesy, then I will not help you.” *pause* “Well, that is the situation you put yourself in. You are a manager, you should—“ *pause* “No. I am the boss, there is no one else to speak to, I make the decisions, and no, I will not help you.” *hangs up*

(Even though he lost money that day, my boss was in a great mood. Some managers do value their staff.)

Related:
Email Fail, Part 8
Email Fail, Part 7
Email Fail, Part 6

An Interview Boo-Boo

| Birmingham, England, UK | Working | December 2, 2016

(This was back when I was searching for a job. I’d signed up to a job seeking site and as a result a company had called me offering an interview for a position. I got past the initial interview process and was offered a chance to shadow a team the next day with a promise of a final interview at the end of the day if I’m interested in joining up.)

Supervisor: “Hey, [My Name]! You may not remember me. We both worked on [university radio station] a few years ago. As soon as I saw your name I knew I wanted you to follow my team.”

(I’d seen him maybe twice while I volunteered at my university’s station and his enthusiasm was a bit creepy but I dismissed it.)

Supervisor: “Right! Time to get on the bus!”

(I’m a little confused as I wasn’t 100% on what the position was but I’d been led to believe it was office based and wondered why we were getting on a bus but thought it best just to go with it for now.)

Supervisor: *as he points out which bus we need to get* “You may want to invest in a bus pass. You’ll be getting a lot of buses for this job but today, a day ticket will do.”

(So we all follow him on and after being on the bus for about ten minutes.)

Supervisor: “Oh, s***! We got the wrong bus! We were supposed to turn down that street! Quick press the button! Press the button!”

(We all pile off and start to head back the way the bus had come.)

Me: *noticing that I’m the only one wearing non-flat shoes* “Well how long are we going to have to walk? Not too long, I hope.”

Supervisor: “Two minutes tops.”

(Twenty minutes later we arrive at a small local shopping-centre where the most high-end shop is a pound store.)

Supervisor: *when we get to an empty kiosk area* “All right, team! To work!”

Me: “So, what am I supposed to do?”

Supervisor: “Watch the magic happen.”

(So I sit there for approximately four hours watching this group of five people try and sign up strangers to give a weekly donation via direct debit to the charity du jour and if they sign someone up, they tell the supervisor who puts a tick next to their name on a tally sheet. They’re allowed to take a five minute toilet break every couple hours but they’re staggered, except the supervisor, who disappears for half an hour and comes back with a sandwich.)

Supervisor: “Right, [My Name], it’s time to hear about your career prospects.”

Me: “What about the others?”

Supervisor: “What about them?”

Me: “Don’t they have to get their sign ups verified by you?”

Supervisor: “Oh, they won’t sign anyone up.”

(He then spends about half an hour explaining how, within a year of starting with them, I could become a manager like he will in about a month’s time. When we come back, he encourages me to talk to his team before coming to him with my final verdict.)

Supervisor: *at the end* “So, what do you think? Ready to go for that final interview?”

Me: “No.”

Supervisor: “Don’t be nervous. I think you’re a real contender. You’ve got the right attitude.”

Me: “I mean I’m not interested in working with your company.”

Supervisor: “What?! Why?!”

Me: “You said that if I’m successful I’m expected to start tomorrow morning. No time to seriously consider whether or not this is the right job for me. Second, you had no idea where we were going this morning, and I have blisters because you told us to get on the wrong bus. Your attitude towards your potential customers is completely wrong—”

Supervisor: “It is not!”

Me: “One of your team chased an old lady, who said she wasn’t interested in hearing his talk, to try and force her to listen.”

Supervisor: “Which one? I can fire him.”

Me: “I don’t blame him. Not when you’ve all told me that if you don’t sign people up you don’t get paid.”

Supervisor: “It makes our staff motivated.”

Me: “No, it makes them shell out for travel and give up their time to you for nothing. Do you realise that [Team Member #1] has been working for you for over a week and spent £20 (~$28) on travel but not earned a single penny back.”

Supervisor: “She’s new; she’s not in the swing of it yet. Did you ask [Team Member #2] what he earns? Much better indicator of the job.”

Me: “There’s also the fact that nobody gets a lunch break, which I’m pretty sure is illegal.”

Supervisor: “They can eat and work!”

Me: “Not if you aren’t paying them. Look, I really need a reliable income where I’m working 40+ hours a week and I know I’m getting money that is worth my time. Time which is honestly better spent looking for better jobs than this one. I’m not going for that interview. Not even if you pay me, which I doubt you will. Goodbye.”

Supervisor: *as I walk away* “Yeah, well, I didn’t think you were a good fit for this company anyway!”

(I ran into the ‘new girl’ a couple weeks later, working with a different team. Apparently higher-ups found out about them not getting breaks, and the supervisor’s team was disbanded and reassigned. And despite working for them for three weeks and spending over £60 (~$85) on travel to work for these guys, she still hadn’t earned any money.)

Mrs The Point

| Germany | Working | February 19, 2016

(I am a trans-man who started hormone therapy a few months ago. Quite early in the morning, the doorbell rings. I wake up from it and, as I’m expecting a parcel, hurry to the door in my old and rather girly-looking pajamas. As soon as I open, the salesman outside seems ready to start his spiel, but pauses and looks at me in confusion. I am aware what he sees: A short person with a noticeable chest and bright pajamas, but also broad shoulders, a masculine-looking haircut and visible stubble. He blinks and starts again.)

Salesman: “Are you Mrs… er…” *he pauses, now visibly distressed* “Is your name [Last Name]?”

Me: *in my currently gender-neutral sounding voice* “Yes!”

(He tried to finish his talk as quickly as possible, still looking confused the whole time, and left in a hurry. Poor guy – but I admit I found it amusing!)

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