Tag Archives: salesmen

Don’t know what to call this post

I’m rambling again. It’s okay, we all need to from time to time. I just do mine in public.

I probably ought to be writing, but Old What’s Her Face is off today and tomorrow. Mondays is looking like my best opportunity right now.

Serang has been on the shelf long enough to start my word searches. Probably not long enough for my first editing pass, but there is always the wrong word that sneaks in somewhere. It’s-its. There – there – they’re. That kind of thing. Somehow, I just haven’t gotten to it.

I ought to be reading. I’m so horribly behind on that it isn’t funny. Several of my friends have released books, and while I’ve purchased them, I’ll wager they would appreciate some reviews too. I’ll get there, I promise.

Instead of that, I finally got around to watching “Thinner,” again. It doesn’t completely fit the fairytale mold, but several of the elements are there. Obviously the curse. The use of the number three is rampant. More rampant than I’ve ever used it.

  • Family of three
  • Three people get cursed
  • Encounter the Gypsy king three times. (Middle one is a beatdown)
  • He loses three pounds per day. (Most days)
  • Three acts of revenge against the Gypsy king.
  • Many more.

There is a neat parallel too. In order to remove the curse, the main character has to curse someone else. Love the idea of a curse pie.

Then there is Dish Network. My wife has no idea how to get rid of door-to-door people. This includes religious cults, salesmen, Girl Scouts, and others. Some kid has been stalking her and trying to convince her we need to switch to Dish.

I just bluntly tell them to peddle their wares elsewhere. If they still persist, I get rude. They have no problem interrupting my serenity, so why should they deserve any? I think the next time I deal with one, I’ll wipe the back of my hand across his/her cheek and say “Thinner.” I even have a cool witch hat I could put on first. Might not work, but I could freak someone the hell out.

This kid from Dish was supposed to come back and talk to both of us the other night, but managed to show up at 8:50 pm. He came back today and it looks like we’re switching back to Dish Network.

Old What’s Her Face has been talking about this for months to give her a fair representation. The kid is just someone I get to make fun of along the way. There was a time when all the providers were the same, but that isn’t the case anymore.

To get Dish, we have to give up HBO and Cinemax. They simply don’t have them available. As a packaging choice, we are giving up Turner Classic Movies. It comes in a bundle that costs too much for one decent channel. I watched all these channels. Game of Thrones is over, so that helped with our decision, but you know they’ll have the next big deal very soon.

The biggest loss for me is called Warrior. It’s based on some loose writing by Bruce Lee, and is set in San Francisco’s Chinatown during the 1800s. I’ve enjoyed it, and the first season ended last night. I just won’t be there next year when it returns.

I am picking up a sports package that will include Major League Baseball. This means I’ll get some games, but not all of the games the Extra Innings package provides. I can live with this, because I’m getting none of them currently.

The biggest factor for me is the price. We are going to save EIGHTY dollars per month. We can use the savings around here. That’s enough money for a nice date night, maybe a couple of movies per month. It buys a tank of gas so we can take the camper out this summer.

So, here I am, goofing off and not getting down to business at all. I’ve hit it pretty hard lately, and expect new words of fiction before I go back to my work week. Today just isn’t the day, and tomorrow might not be either.

PS: The new hazelnut M & Ms are awesome.


Filed under Uncategorized

An odd day

It was kind of an odd day today, no productivity at all. I accomplished another 1000 words yesterday by setting an alarm. This bought me some time before my daughter awoke, and I had to call my parents.

The first technology complaint was the ten minute power outage during Game of Thrones last night. But wait, there’s more! It took another fifteen minutes for the entire television system to reboot. We got to see the Mormont girl with the giant, but prior to that is a loss. Probably didn’t miss much, because it was a black screen for most of the episode anyway.

One of my daughter’s tasks yesterday was to get her own telephone account. This kind of started the ball rolling on today’s topic. She was at the Verizon store for hours. This stuff is becoming as bad as buying a car. It just seems absurd to me that someone can’t just walk in and do business in a reasonable time.

To finish her project, after her number was fully transferred we had to remove her from our account. My wife had to call ATT three times today. The call kept getting dropped, then one person put her on hold for 30 minutes so she could look up our account.

It shouldn’t take half an hour to look up an account. This is what they are paid to do, and they have a computer at their desk. I think it’s kind of telling that our ATT service to the ATT billing desk kept dropping too. Great product and service there.

After that was sorted out, my wife started surfing for television providers. DirecTV is getting too damned expensive.

We opened a HULU account for the free month. They advertised one month free. Within a week they charged our card for the full amount. Idaho’s Attorney General takes bait and switch advertising very seriously, but my wife doesn’t want to to bring it to their attention. We cancelled immediately. Two weeks later we got an email about an update to our account, so she called them again. Everything went smoothly, but can you trust what they said?

Dish Network is a service we’ve had before. They were always fine, so she surfed their site. HBO isn’t listed as one of their options, so she called them. The question was a simple “yes or no” question.

She was on the phone with them for over an hour. They transferred her to different departments a couple of times. Jesus Christ, do you have HBO or not??? Even the janitor at Dish ought to know that off the top of his head.

They eventually confessed they do not offer HBO, but told her about an app she could download that would provide this service. They spent twenty minutes telling her how it was actually better. Yeah, right.

It seems like everyone out there today is a sleazy salesman. Never let them go without a purchase of some kind is an old sales tactic. I hate all of them, and it’s a miracle anyone does business with any of them. How about a simple answer to a simple question???

When my daughter wants to know what the bottom line is, why can’t they just tell her? They know their inventory, specials, and pricing. Why so God Damned cryptic? Why make her drive back to Sun Valley in the dark? She wants to give you her money!!!

I had my own issues today. My number one goal was to mark up a few chapters for a partner. My apps kept crashing. This is likely a CableOne issue. I marked up three chapters only to have it delete everything I’d done… twice. I finally gave it a few hours, and it worked just fine. Who knew Monday morning was a high traffic time for CableOne?

My issues were the minor ones. The bigger one is pervasive in our whole society. A customer wants to do business with a company, so the company treats them like dirt to try extracting every possible cent from their account. They’re only happy if you have to skip meals to pay their bill every month.

It seems sales staff doesn’t celebrate new accounts, they mourn the possibility those new accounts could have been bigger.

It’s a shame someone can’t form a think-tank of upper executives from the fast food industry to tackle this issue. Ask me if I want fries with that, no problem. They get me down the road in a matter of minutes, and they post menus with their prices so I don’t even have to ask a salesman. They even bundle things into popular meals.

Think about it, a menu at the cell phone store. Phone + cover + internet = $$$. Push the button and walk to the counter. Sign the contract and out the door.

Television service should be the same way. Open the website, add on your premium stuff with a running balance in clear view. Take stuff off it goes down, add it on the price goes up. Enter your account number and make the change instantly. New account, proceed to the next page to enter your data and schedule your service appointment.

I don’t get it. I’m almost looking forward to going to work tomorrow.


Filed under Uncategorized

Well, it was a weekend

I had company this weekend, so productivity was at a standstill. Mom needed a new car, and Boise is a better area to shop. That’s how it all started. My task was to take her and Dad shopping and help where I could.

Mom doesn’t shop like most people. Her goal was a purple SUV. According to the Internet, GM makes a few in that color. There just aren’t any in Idaho. We cruised the Chevrolet/GM/ whatever dealership, and there was an interesting vehicle. We elected to leave in favor of cruising the Toyota lot. My parents both know how I like Toyotas, and long term followers will remember helping Dad get a Toyota Tundra a couple of years ago. (Note for later: It has nice running boards.)

There were a better selection of Sequoias this time, but they don’t have anything in purple. I really liked a Champaign/gold one they had. The best deal was a loaner car they were selling. It was a red Lexus with 10,000 miles and a pretty good deal going with it.


Back to the GM lot to check out the earlier vehicle. It isn’t purple, the color is called Black Current. About six hours later, we drove it back to my place. It’s a Chevrolet Traverse, and is a pretty nice SUV.

I deal with sales people every day. I was in sales for ten years. I also write articles, and make public presentations. In that world, you have to know your audience. Probably good advice for a fiction author too, but I am my first audience.

It was absurd watching two young salesmen trying to sell my mother a car. One at the Toyota dealership, and one at the GM dealership. I made the mistake of telling the Toyota kid I liked the new orange color on the trucks. He pulled a new orange Tundra around to take us driving around the lot.

Here’s the deal. I’m not the customer here. This truck didn’t have running boards, and I had a hard time getting in it. My 86 year old father was with us, and he uses a cane. He managed to crawl inside, but I still don’t know how. He drove around, including the back lot, and told us about all the different SUV models. Then in desperation, he offered to drive the lot a second time so Mom could find a different color she liked.

The Chevrolet salesman was just as bad. He talked about all the USB ports, the OnStar system, the wifi hotspot, and the magnetic phone charger built in. Mom doesn’t own a smartphone, and doesn’t want one. She certainly doesn’t have one that would use magnetic charging. She doesn’t even like Sirius radio. She doesn’t want a computer console at all, but is willing to accept there aren’t any vehicles without one.

She bought the Traverse despite the salesman’s best efforts. They treated her well because her old SUV had TV monitors in the back of the headrests. Mom sewed covers to hide them, because she heard people break in and steal them. I didn’t even know they were there. They’ve never been used… ever.

Know your audience. Don’t make an 86 year old, with a cane, crawl four feet off the ground into a gigantic pickup. Don’t try to sell an elderly woman on all the high tech features in the car. She didn’t want magnetic phone charging and wifi. She wanted purple. I even pulled the salesman aside and told him this about half-way through his pitch. It was that embarrassing. He was a nice kid, he just needs to learn some things.

The upgrades guy was a pain in the ass. He pushed the ten year extended warranty so hard that Mom wound up buying a six year warranty just to shut him up. I know he makes money on these, and doesn’t care that they probably won’t be driving at all in ten years. Finally when he mentioned how many hundred computerized components the car had, and that they were guaranteed to break down, I told him, “That doesn’t speak well for Chevrolet products if you’re guaranteeing they will break down.” I even suggested we might be better suited with a different manufacturer. That toned him down, but not much.

They got on the road early this morning, and called when they got home. I wasn’t very productive, but it was nice to help them out where I could.

Today, I managed to read one short story. Two smelly bulldogs got baths too. That’s about it around here. Hope you guys were more productive.

Next weekend isn’t looking good either. I have Thanksgiving company coming, and have to bake until the wee hours on Wednesday.


Filed under Uncategorized