I am a salesman’s dream. I have the hardest time telling people no, even when I don’t really want their product. I’ve gotten better about brushing telemarketers off, mostly because I now have dial-up* at home and generally when they call, they kick me off the internet, which makes me angry and more likely to growl at them than buy their product. Telemarketing charities still suck me in though. I end up sending checks to fight against breast cancer, cure diabetes or buy teddy bears for the sheriff’s department to give to little kids who have been in car accidents. Don’t get me wrong, these are all great causes, but by the time the third police charity has called asking for money, I just don’t have much more to give. And they don’t seem to understand that I just had a baby and diapers and formula are bleeding me dry financially. They always make me feel bad though, as if I am somehow contributing to the disease/car accidents.
Although I have gotten braver over the phone, if the salesperson is face to face, I nearly always cave. I don’t mean to. I know that I have no need for a $8 box of peanut butter kisses (which I might add usually contains about 8 pieces of candy), or a discount booklet for Papa Johns (which I don’t like), or fancy knives** with a lifetime guarantee. They’ve all gotten me in though.
Today was a perfect example. Several weeks ago Eee and I were at VonMaur so she could get some super nifty face cream she’d heard about on the radio. The salesperson mentioned a facial consultation day. Always on the look out for new face products that make the tiny wrinkles beginning to form disappear, we signed right up. Now, I knew they were going to try to sell me something. I have a drawer full of other facial products I have bought and either forgot to use, didn’t like or were too harsh for my skin, so I certainly didn’t need any new ones. Yet, I went. I sat in the chair for nearly an hour while a very congenial pregnant woman put on layer after layer of skin care essentials. Before she even got to any of their make-up, she’d already put six different products on my face, all but one of which she told me I’d need to use every day. Five products every morning? I couldn’t help but wonder if there are people who actually have the time/memory/luxury of performing such an intensive facial ritual every single morning.
When she was finished, my face looked fine. I didn’t notice any dramatic change, although it did feel a little heavier with the now eight layers of product on it. As I was looking in the mirror, the pitch began. I went to the counter with her. I looked at all the products and just as I knew I would do, I bought something. Well, not something, $50 worth of face products, almost all of which I have other versions of already at home. She didn’t even give me the hard sell. I just felt after taking up an hour of her time and getting the “free” make over that I owed it to her personally to buy something. I knew I couldn’t walk away from that counter without a bag in my hand. I guess I should be happy, I got off cheaper than Nancee did. My make up also looked a lot better***.
I can’t blame the saleswoman though. I’m an easy mark and I know it. Apparently so did she.
*DSL is not available in my neighborhood, despite the fact that I live right next to a major intersection in the 12th largest city in these here United States—and right across the street from a school and down the street from a hospital.
**One of my former students became a Cutco rep. after he graduated. I agreed to the pitch only because he said he got paid for every presentation he gave. Even though he repeatedly told me I didn’t have to buy anything, I bought nearly $100 worth of knives (just about the cheapest I could get) because I felt bad for wasting his time. I did not, however, give up any of my friends to him as he wanted, which is one reason they are still my friends.
***This is not a knock on my dearest friend. As soon as we left the store she remarked on the fact that she looked like a drag queen, despite asking the nice lady to make it natural. As soon as we got to my car, she scrubbed most of it off. Neither of us bought any makeup.