Tuesday, October 14, 2008

$ Pressure $

About 10 years ago I was approached at my job in the mall. Some guy was selling magazines for some college deal. Even though he wasn't supposed to be bothering mall workers, he did it anyway. He was loud and a fast talker. Before I knew what I was doing, I was signing a check for a stupid magazine I didn't want, just to get him out of my face. I swore that day that I would never again buy a product under pressure or to shut someone up. Buyer's remorse is not for me. Here's the problem, though: Turning people down is difficult. It's a form of confrontation. I've gotten a ton better, but I'm still working on my confrontation skills. I can disagree with people I've known for 10+ years, no problem, but it gets situational from there.

So now the story connects to an experience from last week. Jake got a call from a lady asking if it would be alright if someone came to our home to test our water. In return we would get a free two night stay at a nice resort. She had our number from when Jake decided to enter to win $1000 dollars from Home Depot... Anyway, Jake asked the lady what they were selling. She said that there was no pressure to buy anything, they really just want to come out and test our water and then give us the two free nights for our time. (And tell us how nice the water is and leave? Suuuuuure.) Jake set an appointment and discussed with me the fact that certainly they were going to try to sell us something, but that 45 minutes with a water testing/soft water salesman would totally be worth a free stay at a nice hotel. I rolled my eyes and asked if I could set the egg timer when he came. Jake said I could and got excited about a resort weekend.


So, Salesman arrived a couple nights later with his water testing chemistry set. He was very amiable. He joked and laughed with us until the fateful time came to show us just how gross our water really is. Of course it's gross. It comes from a recycled man made lake. We weren't surprised by anything he told us, but I think he was hoping for gasps. I really do believe the benefits of what he was selling. It's a reputable company that has been in business for decades --which is usually a good sign. But truth be told, we don't have money for something like that right now. I said to him, "I have to be straight up with you. This is something that interests us, but there is no way we can do this right now. It will have to be later." The mood changed instantly.


He said he appreciated the straightforwardness. I don't think he did.


Jacob agreed with me that it was a home improvement that would have to wait, but we sincerely wanted a brochure and information to keep on file. Please note that we were being sincere about this. It had nothing to do with the stupid two night stay in Randomtown, USA. Mr. Salesman went off about how people who tell him that they will call in a year NEVER do and that he and his buddies at work have bets going about it. Besides, who knows if the price will go up one or two thousand in a year? Are you kidding me? (Also, I didn't tell him I'd call in a year. I was thinking more like two years.) He went off about how much money we are wasting by spending $40 a month on cleaners. I don't know where he got that number. Jake explained to him that we don't have 5 grand just to drop right now, especially in our current schooling condition. Salesman went on to ask personal questions and then explain the one year no interest, no pay plan. Um, but then we have to pay money we don't have at the end of a year. Yes, but, and here is where the red flag really started waving, "you can transfer the balance to a 0% credit card at that point and pay lower interest. I can give you the name of at least 5 different credit card companies who will give you that. Anybody will take your money." Including you. His you-two-are-complete-idiots tone shut me down completely. I wanted him out of my house. He started saying that he would buy the system for us and we could pay him 40 dollars a month. He'd at least make money on the deal.


No.


He said some things that were ridiculous and bordered on offensive during the Mr. Hyde portion of the evening. Finally, right before he left with the obvious attitude that we'd wasted his time, he said, "Well, I guess they promised you something," and flopped the envelope with the resort info on the counter after Jake replied in the affirmative. Jake and I were respectful during his rants, but I was angry after he left. I kept thinking about what I should have said --especially in letting him know that I thought his behavior was out of line and doing no favors for his company. Baby steps. At least I could say no and not budge.


No pressure, indeed. I told Jake that NO prize is worth having to go through that (he agreed) and that this had better be the best two night vacation I've ever been on.


...On Sunday our ward had an adult financial fireside. Jake and I kept joking with each other about how the soft water system could fit in to it. Turns out, it doesn't fit into our budget. Go figure. :)

Our bishop showed us this SNL skit . Funny stuff.


14 comments:

Rasmussen Forever said...

Crazy salesmen! They are like unwanted body bulge. You don't want them there and they just make you angrier the longer they stay. Oy! Sorry about that. No worries you'll get your bootstraps on and one day you'll not even notice that you've said no and before you do realize it that salesman will be at your neighbors house. I hope you have a wonderful getaway though. That SNL video clip is hilarious. I love it. Thanks, Maren, this sure made me smile.

adrienne said...

I can so relate to this experience! I HATE having to deal with salespeople, especially when they come to my home!

The Farrell Family said...

I hate stuff like that! When we were on our honeymoon we went to a timeshare presentation that promised us all sorts of cool prizes for listening to a presentation. We listened, we let them know we were as poor as dirt and not in a position to shell out $$ for a timeshare, but they still pushed and pushed. Then they were like so bugged with our constant no's that they said they weren't going to give us our free stuff. We had to throw a little bit of a fit with the manager to get it. Humpf. No more timeshare presentations for me!

Lori said...

Oh my gosh! Seriously, that guy was desperate. Maybe you and Jake should have given him some advice about finding a different line of work. I loved the Jeckel/Hyde picture!

Marilyn said...

Okay, this is the voice of experience here - when you go on your little free weekend, you will undoubtedly be offered an extra night or, at least, a free dinner IF you will listen to another 2 hour presentation. DON'T DO IT. I've been there, done that. Unfortunately, I am married to a man who is one of those suckers that is born every minute. I always have to play bad cop to his good cop. Jake knows how mean I can be.

KRISTA said...

My favorite is when they use your neighbors as examples. Well, next door they bought x and down the street they are going to write a post-dated check. Salesmen, uuggh! I am surprised you kept saying no. Good for you. It is easier when there is a lot of money at stake. How was the two night stay? P.S. Stop thinking about making long-term home improvements. Hopefully eventually (meaning soon) Jake can transfer somewhere closer to home.

Haskins said...

THat is a funny story!!! I hate salesman especially when they act like that, and after you went thru all that trouble it seems like the resort doesn't seem as fun. We did something like that with a time share thing and we promised our self never again because I felt like you when it was over.. "wished I would of said this..." Oh I was so upset it took me awhile to calm down!! I loved your story! Thanks for sharing!

Lisa said...

WTH? I want to believe that I would have thrown the gift back at him and said "No. Thank You". Sounds like Salesman was a real piece of work. Maybe you should turn his name in to the missionaries. That'll teach him!

Talbot Family said...

Suckers! I once got a vaccuum cleaner salesman sicked on me by my inlaws. I will never forgive them.

The Egans said...

We've been through that before too and learned our lesson so quickly! LAME Salespeople! That guy was just ridiculous though! Great SNL skit! Seriously,what is with people? Why can't they figure it out?! So funny Maren...thanks for sharing!

rosebud said...

That's quite a story! The State Troopers really make my day -- trying to get me to commit to send them money before they take no for an answer and hang up on me. My favorite salespeople are in the mall at the kiosks..."can I ask you a question?" I walked into the mall a few days ago feeling like a hot mama just to be deflated by the flat iron guy asking me, as he studies my hair, if I ever I ever bother styling it! What a sweetie!

The Godfrey's said...

next time tell him about how he puts the toilet paper on backwards and how he shouln't have to move his hand upward, only downward. I am sure he would have a memorable blog post too.

Jay said...

That is all too familiar -- funny thing was this quy was a liar -- we live in a circle and he tried to use the ol' your neighbors just ordered a system -- and knowing that all the homes already had systems (for a lot less money) and one of the homes was vacant I asked -- which one? he out the vacant home -- when I mentioned that home has been vacant for 6 months he started doing the texas two step and said oh must be another neighborhood and he was confused -- YEAH WHATEVA!

Kelley Rae said...

So sorry - I love how they think by being rude and condescending you will recognize their "logic" and sign your life savings over. Brilliant!