Door-To-Door Book Salesmen Still Exist?!

, , , , , | Working | February 28, 2020

A young man is at my home, selling educational books door to door. He started his spiel even after I told him I wasn’t interested.

“My children are all adults, I have no grandchildren, and I know of no neighbors with school-age children. If we need information, we’ll use our computers or smartphones. By the way, your set includes a dictionary, right?”

“Yes, do you need one?”

I point to my sign above the doorbell.

“No, I want you to use it to look up what this means. Goodbye.”

And I shut the door.

A couple of days later, my next-door neighbor and I are talking.

“Did that fellow who was selling books stop at your house the other day?”

“Yes, he appeared to be going to all the houses on the street.”

“I thought he did. He told me all my neighbors he’d met so far were really nice, except that lady next door who was rude. And I said, ‘Oh, like this?’ and shut the door in his face.”

I guess he hadn’t looked up what “No Soliciting” meant, or he didn’t care.

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The Customer Salespeople Dream Of

, , , , , , , | Friendly | February 21, 2020

(My boyfriend and I are downstairs at my family’s house when my brother calls down to say that a friend of his will be coming over and ask if we could let him in. About five minutes later, there’s a knock at the door and my boyfriend goes to answer it, though he’s still mostly focused on his phone.)

Visitor: “Um, hello, I’m–”

Boyfriend: “Hey, yeah, come on in. Just through here.”

Visitor: “Oh…” *hesitates* “All right, I guess.”

(He follows my boyfriend through to the kitchen and, just as he’s about to call up to my brother, my boyfriend turns to actually look properly at the guy he’s invited in.)

Visitor: “Hi, so, I’m here to talk to you about the great work that [Cancer Charity] is doing.”

(My boyfriend freezes, suddenly noticing that this guy is in uniform with a clipboard and realising his mistake. He’s pretty socially awkward normally, so he’s really not sure what to do.)

Visitor: *continues spiel*

Boyfriend: “Um… I thought–”

Visitor: *continues spiel*

Boyfriend: “Uh, I guess I can afford that…”

(And that’s how my boyfriend not only accidentally signed up to a monthly charity donation out of sheer embarrassment but also was too socially awkward to call and cancel the donation despite being a poor student who really couldn’t afford it.)

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Smells Like Teenage Cleaning Products  

, , , , | Working | January 20, 2020

(This happens at an in-home cleaning products party when I am 23 but look much younger. As the room fills up, I realize that there aren’t enough chairs and give up my seat for the host as it’s her home and she’s much older than I am. I sit on the floor. Here are the interactions between myself and the lady who is presenting and selling the products.)

Sales Rep: *obviously mistaking me for a teenager as she’s handing out order forms and sees me sitting on the floor* “Did you want one, too?”

Me: *knowing I’m going to order around $700 worth of cleaning products* “Yes.”

(Later, after filling out my order form.)

Me: “Hi, I’ve filled this out but [item] is on sale for [cheaper price] than the price listed. How do I adjust that on the form?”

Sales Rep: *not listening to me at all* “What you do, sweetie, is add up the prices and put the total here at the bottom.”

Me: “Yes, I’ve done that for everything else but what about this item that’s on sale? Where do I record the sale price when it’s already listed as [normal price]?”

Sales Rep: *finally paying attention* “Oh, sorry. Wow, you’ve ordered a lot of stuff here.”

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Ich Bin Ein Idiot

, , , , , | Learning | December 21, 2019

(I’ve spent some 33 years calling on Illinois high schools as a textbook sales representative. On one occasion, while walking through a school hallway, I notice an empty classroom. Looking inside, I can tell by the posters on the walls that it is a German teacher’s room. Furthermore, the teacher’s name is on a large poster board taped to the door. Knowing the teacher will be returning soon, I pull a new German book out of my heavy book bag and wait for the bell to ring.)

Me: “Hello, Mrs. Willkommen. My name is [My Name]; I am a textbook sales rep and I’d like to show you our new German reader.”

Teacher: “Let me get this straight. You are selling German textbooks and you didn’t know that ‘Willkommen’ in German means ‘welcome’?”

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Selling Fast Internet But Slow On The Uptake

, , , , , | Working | November 23, 2019

(We got a new house in a great neighborhood. But one of the few drawbacks is pesky door-to-door salesmen. Usually, we send them away with a polite “no, thanks.” Not on this day. My family and I have just gotten back from the park to celebrate my baby’s first birthday. She is tuckered out and I am trying not to wake her as I get her out of the car. It takes me a while and anyone looking from the street can see I’m unloading a sleeping baby. Right as I close the door and set the diaper bag down, the doorbell rings and the baby wakes up. I’m not a happy mama and I answer the door with my cranky — but still chill — baby in my arms.)

Me: “Yes?” 

Salesmen: “Hi, ma’am. I’m going through the neighborhood talking to people about their Internet service. Are you familiar with fiber optic cable?” 

Me: “Not interested. Thank you.” 

(The salesman steps up onto the stoop, invading my personal space.)

Salesman: “Can I ask why not? All your neighbors are quite interested.”

Me: “How about I’m trying to put my baby down for a nap?! This isn’t a good time.”

Salesman: “But this is a really great deal! I’d hate for you to miss out.” 

(He reaches to touch my baby and I quickly move her out of his reach.)

Me: “Get off my property. Now.” 

(The threatening tone of my voice summoned my husband and mother. I was about to hand the baby off to my mom, but the guy finally got the hint and slunk off, looking at me like I was the jerk.)

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