Welcome to my blog, aka my place to comment and reflect on things I find inspiring, amusing, irritating, or baffling. When I was young, my Stanford PhD, former physics professor, software engineer father used to help me with my math homework, and I, being mentally deficient in all things math, could never quite get it. He would constantly say to me, "Jill, it's not rocket science." (Did I mention the PhD was in Aeronautics and Astronautics??) So I thought it would be an appropriate title for this blog because everything I write about is, indeed, not rocket science.

Monday, July 9, 2012

The Worst Job Ever?

No, it's not mine. It's the door-to-door salespeople who harass and annoy people like me at work. Corporate door-to-door salespeople, I guess. These people must take all kinds of abuse - I know I dish it out. And sometimes I feel bad about it. But there is no one more annoying or intruding than salespeople who come into my office trying to sell me something, especially when I'm busy. It ranges from payroll service to communication devices, data storage, IT service, office supplies, flower delivery, and even artwork.

I sit at the front desk, so I'm the first line of defense - it's their goal to speak to my boss and my job to keep them away from him. I can sniff them out a mile away. They open the door slowly and often timidly, and stand there and pause for a second with a slight smile and a dumb look on their face. It goes something like this:

Them: "How are you today?"
Me: "Fiiiiiine." (Annoyed already)
"Can I ask you a few questions about your telephone service?"
"No, thank you, we're not interested." (First and only attempt at being polite)
"But my company does something that NO OTHER company does! And I ASSURE you that you need my product!"
"We're doing just fine, thanks. And frankly, our phone service is none of your business." (Blood pressure starts rising at this point) 
"OK, is your manager available?"
"No, he's not here." (True) "And I'm very busy." (Might be true)
"Well, I'm going to leave you my card. What's your boss's name?"
"He's not interested, I assure you. Please leave."

And then finally s/he (usually he for some reason) leaves, feeling defeated, and me feeling a little bitchy. But you know the saying, if you give an inch...

I once had a salesman say to me after I told him that we don't use any of the services his company provides, "I highly doubt that." I took his brochure, threw it in my recycle bin and told him for the second time, "We're not interested. And I'm very busy. Please leave." Then I felt bitchy because I could have given his brochure back to him, but I threw it away in front of his face.

I had another woman from an office supply company tell me that she "wasn't taking 'no' for an answer." She was as green as they come, and she must have just finished her "Selling 101" class. It was her last resort. I basically had to threaten her to get the hell out.

Another guy came in and noticed that our office was a mess with stacks of files piled high (it was April busy season for God's sake), and he actually had the nerve to remark on the state of our office and laugh. Needless to say, I told him to leave.

I think corporate door-to-door sales must be the worst job ever because nice, polite people like me turn into mega-bitches. And they leave feeling dejected, probably thinking, "Wow, what a bitch." They're probably used to getting rejected and abused, but that's why it must be one of the worst jobs - who wants to be used to people treating them like dog shit? 

But this is why I'm good at my job. No one gets past me. I am the first line of defense. And my boss thanks me for it...and pays me for it. 

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