Salesman: (noun) A liar. One whose selfish attitude will eventually expose him to the anger of many well-meaning secretaries and any honest, sane people.
I've prolly mentioned this before, but in case I haven't, I am a secretary at Preventive Pest Control. This job comes with a lot of responsibilities, and before you snort "secretary....whatever...." and roll your eyes and think that I'm stupid or something, I wanna state that secretaries prolly have one of the top 10 toughest jobs. We have to deal with irate customers, less than enthusiastic co-workers, and last and certainly least....salesmen.
I hate salesmen. I'm sorry, Troy, Josh, and Jordan. I like you guys, but all other salesmen SUCK. Except for Matt T and Clayton B. I lovee those boys. But that's it.
I think I will tell a couple stories from my job to illustrate whyy I would ever hate those charming young men who walk around with sensible haircuts, no tattoos, smiles on their faces, and promises of the moon on the tips of their tongues. So sit back, relax, and watch how salesmen have ruined my life.
Story #1: "I'm 21, I'm married, I have kids that I need to support....No I umm....lost my wedding ring...."
One day I was sitting at my desk, prolly sharing a laugh with Michelle (shout-out! I absolutely LOVE this girl! I need to call her for Sunday chat after this....), when the phone rang. Michelle looked at me. I looked at Michelle. We looked at the receiver. Whoever picks this one up will not have to take the next customer. Michelle smiled expectantly. Oh what the heck? I picked it up.
"Thank you for calling Preventive Pest Control, this is Nicole speaking, how may I help you?"
At this point a very nice man began speaking. I smiled. Michelle had been silly to give up this phone call. It's a nice one. Then I started zoning into what he was saying. My mouth dropped open. I blinked rapidly and reached for a tissue (as you should know from this post, my nose knows, so this is never a good thing). "I'm sorry, could you repeat that?"
"Well it's like this," he patiently said. "One of your salesmen, Penser Sallen, came to my house and demanded to speak to us. Last week a salesman had been rather rude to my wife, so we had put up a 'No Soliciting' sign. So I asked him if he was selling something? He said no, so I asked him if he wanted us to buy something from him? He said yes. I asked him to leave, and pointed out the 'No Soliciting' sign. He refused to leave. He said that he had a wife and kids and he needed to support them and if I could just listen to him I would be very happy. I said 'no thanks, but if I ever need pest control I would be happy to look up the number myself' and I asked him again to leave. He continued to stand there, not moving, at which point I had to escort him off the property myself. So I don't want to cause trouble, but is there someone I can talk to to report this?"
"Oh my," I muttered. Penser Sallen is most definitely not married and he does not have kids, and unless the female population has suddenly found itself infatuated with males who make a living off of lies, then he is nowhere close to either of those chapters in his life. "Oh my. You'll probably want to talk to my manager about that. I'm so sorry. That's unacceptable."
"But do you know if he is married? Was he at least telling the truth?"
I bit my lip. What was I supposed to say to him? I had to remind myself that even though I may despise a good part of our sales teams, they are a part of our company and as a secretary it is my job to do some damage control. I took a deep breath, "I'm not personally acquainted with all of our salesmen, but I do know that the majority of them are in their early twenties....and single."
Story #2: "You won't see any bugs ever again. EVER....What? Well yes of course we don't have technicians! Who needs those guys when you have magicians?"
One of the catch-phrases in our office is, "It wasn't an overnight problem, it's not gonna be an overnight solution." Soo true. So when salesmen go around promising a complete annihilation of stinkbugs all up and down the East Coast with just onee spray of our power-sprayer, they are lying.
I cannot COUNT how many times a customer has called me and said, "What do you mean you can't get rid of them? I paid you to!" Here's the thing....ants, mice, roaches, spiders....etc. we can get rid of for a good nine months. Stinkbugs are a whole different issue. Listen to me as I type loud and clear; WE WILL NEVER GET RID OF STINKBUGS.
And I don't mean "we" like, Preventive Pest Control (even though that is true), I mean "we" like anyone. Only an act of God will get rid of those pesky beasts, that or a nuclear bomb. I'm serious.
So somee salesmen walk around being all, "Oh yeah no problem just one puff of our magic pixie dust and you'll be all good. Stinkbugs, rats, spiders, centipedes, all will flee before you! You have but to sign this check....Go on, don't you believe in magic?"
Here's what I believe in. Honesty. GET SOME PENSER SALLEN.
I'm sorry. You just have no idea the amount stress he puts me through :(
Story #3: "No there is no cancellation fee. Yes, oh could you sign next to the paragraph regarding cancellation fees? Thank you very much sir. No, no penalty at all."
This is the most annoying thing. The salesmen actually think that they can convince potential customers that there is no cancellation fee. Of COURSE there is a cancellation fee, what are you dumb? I don't understand how people even glance at one of our contracts and do not realize that there is a clear cancellation penalty. This really ridiculous guy called in the other day and tried to argue with me about his cancellation fee. I looked at his notes and he had had this conversation SIX TIMES already with almost every single secretary ever to walk PPC's hallowed halls. He asked, once again, for a copy of his contract. I copied it and then helpfully highlighted every single place that it even hints of a cancellation fee. That was a lot of yellow.
Story #4: "You silly goose! This official looking document that says contract is lying to you! This is not a binding contract."
This guy called in the other day and here was his tale of woe. He was sitting in his house, tired from a day of hard work, when one of our salesmen knocked on his door. He graciously let them inside and listened to them explain our company. He signed papers. He signed several papers. There were several signatures on each paper. He did not look at them. He had no idea what he had signed. The salesman (Penser Sallen, I do believe) told him that it was not a contract, he just needed proof from his supervisor that he had spoken with him. The customer signed. And signed and signed again. And then....never looked at it? Not even afterwards?
That's right. He didn't seem to even think there was a reason to. Listen, if my John Hancock was so super popular that day, I would look at what I was agreeing to.
And not only that, but all our customers get a welcome letter that explains their contract in such explicit terms a baby could understand it. That's right. A BABY. But, woe is he! He did not read it, and wanted no cancellation fee.
Not on your life.
Story #5: Eliminating the Competition
Some salesmen will run into people who already have contracts with other companies. This is where the salesmen will convince the customer to leave Terminex or whatever and come with us! The customer will say, "Well....there is that cancellation fee...."
"Not to worry!" Super Liar exclaims gallantly. "I will cover the fee!"
Bull. Yes I am right. That is complete and utter bullshhhh
That salesman will NEVER pay that fee. Oh he may try, but if they are anything like Eff and Pill Tearfart they will never give it a second thought. Which is really stupid, because the Tearfart twins don'tt get commission if a really irate customer calls in saying she won't pay until Eff coughs up the cash. So, Effer and Pill, you're idiots.
Ever since that day with Penser Sallen's fake wife and kids I would look at the sales teams in a different way. I used to love them! They would invite us to join their ping pong games. They gave us food. They smiled and were attractive. What wasn't to like?
Unfortunately I was given a rather rude wake-up call, and if there is one thing I could take away from this job is that "salesman" is synonymous with "liar," and that under those carefully toned arms and mussed hair is a tricky, deceitful, scheming, awful slimeball who deserves to be shoved into a river full of very hungry alligators. Ok I'm too nice for that. But really, they deserve a big kick in the pants.
I will never date or marry a salesman, even just a former one. And my sons will never take a summer sales job, or any sales job. That's just it. I cannot stand salesmen. They are like, in my top three least favorite people list, and that includes terrorists. Maybe top five. And how sad, right? Because they really are cute....