I used to feel bad for these people. Occasionally when I lived in Missoula, MT I’d tell them ‘I know you have a hard job. I’m sorry, I’m not interested in your product, but here’s 20 bucks, good luck.’
I figured that had to at least be helping them out a little bit.
Imagine trying to sell things door-to-door, especially in this age. I might be able to understand it a little more in the 70s or 80s, but certainly not now. Not when we’re just a click away from something magically appearing on our doorstep the next day.
Since moving to Texas I’ve noticed the door-to-door salesmen always manage to ring my doorbell every time we’re in the middle of dinner, when a diaper needs to be changed, or any other handful of inconvenient times. Because of this, I have started to feel less and less bad for them.
And after today I feel nothing.
I’m outside, watering some spots in the grass that the sprinkler system consistently misses, watching my two little ones running around playing with their toys and striders, never a moment of silence,…and some guy walks up on me with a business card and a laptop, selling some kind of pest control repellant service.
At first I was not turned off, knowing how much my wife hates seeing any sort of bugs in the house or otherwise.
But that changed quick.
He went through his entire spiel, while not seeming to care that I needed to make sure my kids stayed off the street or that I had to put my hose down just to talk with him.
He hit all his talking points and buzz words, and played the roll of slimy douchebag salesman to perfection.
After he was done I said…
“I’ll tell you what, it’s a big neighborhood, I’m sure you or one of your guys will be back here tomorrow, correct?”
—“Yeah, but I don’t have very many spots left for the service at this price point. You’ll wanna jump on this right away. That price offer will be gone by this time tomorrow.”
“I’ll tell ya what, I’m gonna need to talk to my wife about this regardless, so I can’t commit to anything tonight anyway. So you can either come back by tomorrow after I talk to her or you can consider this a ‘no’. Whatever is most convenient for you.
—“Okay well what if I brought the price down from $500 to $400 dollars and eliminate any estimation or hourly fees?”
“That sounds great, but like I just said, I’ll still have to talk to my wife before I make any decisions on this.”
—“Well how about I bring it down to $275 right now, no added fees, and I can get you set up for service first thing tomorrow morning, would that work for you?”
(At this point I’m laughing in my head…of course...)
“You’re getting a little closer to what I’m looking for,” I said to the man sarcastically, “but I still need to talk to my wife. If you or one of your guys wants to come back tomorrow after I talk to her, I’ll let you know for sure then.”
(Amazingly, and you can’t make this stuff up, as I get done with my answer my wife walks out into the yard to check on the kids and everything.)
—“There she is right there, you can go and ask her right now.”
(Can you believe this guy)
“No, I will ask my her on my own time. Thanks for stopping by.”
—“But she’s right there, I just saw her come out. You can go and talk to her for a minute and I’ll wait right here.”
“Listen…I’ll talk to my wife when I want to talk to her about it, and I won’t be making any decisions till then.”
—“Are you sure, I mean she’s right there?”
“Mara, Harrison, c’mon lets go inside, dinner time.”
My little ones hustle around me, both screaming ‘I want apple juice,’ as they run inside…the jackass salesman desperately lurked in their direction as they do. Trying to get a hello, goodbye, or any sort of eye-contact with either one of them before they went in. At that point I was actually starting to get pissed off.
“Don’t come anywhere near this house again. You’re lucky you didn’t have to deal with my wife.”
I don’t know whether it’s marriage, fatherhood, or getting older…but I’m done with these guys. I won’t entertain them for more than a hello-goodbye anymore.
And I’m not gonna feel bad about that ever again.