Thursday, May 14, 2009

Adventures In Direct Sales: Overreacting?

I've run into my share of crazy people doing this job. And probably your share, too. :P Some of them have been just amusingly kooky, while others have been downright frightening. What's unfortunate is that when I tell my boss about the really bad ones, his reactions range from flat-out not believing me and accusing me of just trying to get out of work, to insisting that I should still have finished the presentation in spite of being in a situation that is more terrifying to me than he can likely wrap his head around.

Let's take a situation that I've been in several times in the past few weeks, with some variations. I introduce myself to the man who answers the door and go inside. I see his wife, possibly some kids. I attempt to introduce myself to his wife, and she mumbles her name, then looks at her husband. He shakes his head at her, and she spends the rest of the time I'm there staring at the floor and looking like a scared puppy. That's bad enough, but I can usually muscle through and finish the demo if I have to. (See why I call my job "soul sucking?") What gets me really upset is stuff like what happened yesterday morning, when the domineering husband in question first of all said that "on the phone, it sounded like there was supposed to be a man coming to do this," and then actually grabbed my hands and pushed them away from what I was showing. Seriously, he grabbed both my wrists and pushed my hands to my sides. At that point, I decided to cut it short. If the guy's wife is sitting there looking terrified and he's the kind of person who will, without hesitation, put his hands on a stranger? Yeah, that's not somewhere I'm going to be staying for long. After that, I went to a house that smelled so strongly of human waste that I could smell it on the way up the driveway. When I called my boss and tried to explain that I couldn't go through with it, he told me to do it anyway. Then the whole "random stripping" incident...all in all, I ran into a ridiculous amount of crazy for one day. And for every one of those situations, the boss had a reason I was "overreacting."

His favourite is to just not believe me. "Oh," he'll say, "people just aren't like that." No, young, middle-class white man, they're not like that to you. He refuses to believe that I get treated this way, not just occasionally, but every freakin' day. I don't even know what to do anymore, aside from bitch about it.

1 comment:

Sylina said...

That's some serious shit! Your boss sounds like one of those "open-minded" types, you should really start carrying a tape recorder or one of those digital audio recorders.