Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Surest Way To Get Me To NOT Buy Something

Flipping through the channels yesterday I stumbled about Giada's latest show Giada at Home on Food Network, and she was in the midst of making what looked like an interesting meat loaf from ground turkey.
It looked pretty good, so I decided that I'd try it out, planning to stop somewhere on the way home from work today to pick up what I needed.
All I needed to get was the ground turkey, Feta cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, bread crumbs, and eggs.
I didn't realize that buying this handful of items would take almost an hour and involve going to two different grocery stores.
The road I used to take to get home is closed for some construction work until September. Driving on Route 7 in the afternoon is out of the question, and taking the Greenway to and from work is way too expensive, so I decided that what I would do is take 7 in to work in the morning when it's not quite as congested - though it's still pretty bad; objectively, it only adds about ten minutes to my commute, but subjectively it feels like an eternity - and take the Greenway home.
The exit I take off of the Greenway brings me past a grocery store, so, since it's on the way, I decided to stop there rather than going to Super Target or Shoppers.
I ended up spending nearly a half an hour in an only partially successful search for these items.
Eventually I had everything I needed except the sun-dried tomatoes. I looked all over for them, but couldn't find them in any of the places I thought them likely to be found.
Finally, I was about to ask an employee where they were, but before I could another customer came up to ask him where he could find...sun-dried tomatoes.
(See? It wasn't just me being incompetent; either they were well-hidden or the other customer was also incompetent.)
Eventually I found where they ought to have been, but apparently they had none in stock, so I ended up having to go to another store to get them (and upon finding them there had to wait for some obnoxious lady to get the hell out of my way).
I got home and set to work on mixing the ingredients when I heard someone at the door.
It turned out to be some kid doing door-to-door sales of some security system.
I listened to his pitch, but given that the surest way to get me to not buy something is to try to sell it to me, I ultimately opted to say no. It actually seemed like a pretty good deal, but there was something that just seemed hinky about the whole thing, and seriously, the fact that it was a door-to-door sales pitch threw up a big red flag.
Of course, now that the sales guy's had a chance to case the joint I'm sure I'll end up getting "coincidentally" robbed like the people in the anecdotes he told about people who passed up on the system.
Oh well.
What made it all seem so fishy was the disingenuous nature of the pitch. They weren't trying to sell me something, rather, they were offering me an opportunity. They just want to get their name out there, so in exchange for me displaying their sign prominently in my front yard they would "compensate" me by giving me all of this free equipment and a "reduced" monthly fee.
Again, maybe it really was a good deal, but the whole pantomime of him calling in to "qualify" me and being "amazed" upon being informed that I qualified for the "B" package, which hardly ever happens, and calling his manager to get me the alarm control key fob - a $100 value - for free...no. Just no.
Then there was the way he was hitting all of the points he was instructed to hit in his training, like constantly using my name, complimenting me on my house, and continually saying "you guys," even though I'd told him I was the sole occupant, since he was clearly trained to deal with couples and families, which just annoyed the hell out of me.
I've worked in customer service. I know all about using "power words" and trying to form a connection through constant repetition of the customer's name. I've done that crap, and I'm keenly aware when it's being done to me.
After he left I finally got back to making dinner. It actually turned out pretty well, despite the fact that I added too much salt and that it actually fell apart when I was trying to get it out of the pan.
In any case, that was the excitement for today.

1 comment:

Merlin T Wizard said...

But Jon, you guys would really benefit from this amazing opportunity to not have your home robbed by a thinly-veiled security/burglary protection racket!