Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Would you like your answer loud or soft?

Weird shit is happening this week.

Being a nonprofit (read: shoestring budget), we are located in a funky, industrial area because it has cheap rent. We're hard to find and we rarely have walk-ins. In fact, in the two and a half years we've been in the space, we've only had six.

Three of them were in the past two days, and they included someone looking for a mental health networking group, someone who was so drunk he couldn't stand up and was hurling profanities until the police escorted him out, and someone who REALLY PISSED ME OFF.

If you have been reading this blog for awhile, you know I believe in the therapeutic qualities of venting. But it takes quite a lot to really, really piss me off, and yesterday, someone managed to do it.

Tell me if this makes any sense, from either a marketing or a common sense POV. Someone who works at a treatment center halfway across the country happens to be in Oregon, shows up unannounced and wants to make a sales presentation about a facility that 1) is - hello - halfway across the country; 2) hugely expensive; 3) halfway across the fucking country!

We politely explained that we serve people in our own state and the communities bordering our state, as some people work in one place and live in another, and thus refer to local programs. She pushed. We explained that most of the people we serve are uninsured or underinsured, and can't afford a private, for-profit treatment center far away.

"Maybe they have friends or family who can pay privately. You know, your national organization refers to us all the time."

This is hilarious, because the national organization doesn't make any referrals; it leaves it to the state and local organizations, who are actually familiar with services in their respective areas.

Seriously? I'm being nice. I've closed the conversation several times. She won't leave! I tell her my volunteer, who she has been nagging alternately, needs to get back to her work. She makes me promise to give a bag of free crap to my boss (pens, post-it notes, information.)

What I wanted to say, and would have had someone try to do this sales shit to me if it wasn't in the context of work: "Lady, I have a marketing background and this is fucking pathetic. No means no! We're not your target market and we're nowhere near your target market! Do you really get paid for this? And none of your office supply crap will make a difference to my boss, who also has a marketing background and would be trying really hard not to laugh in your face if he was here."

What I said: "Yes, thank you, we will give it to him."

Her: "Will you really give it to him?"

No, lady, I'm planning on fucking eating it! I thought that very loudly.

Finally she ran out of bullshit and left.

You should all be proud. I didn't say "fuck" once until after she left the building.

You also have to wonder how these people tie their shoes in the morning - no wait, that's why velcro was invented.

And at times like this, I wish I could revert to what my dad said to us growing up when we nagged and were being general pains in the ass: "Would you like your answer loud or soft?"

Sometimes, we'd say, "Soft!" and he'd whisper, "No."

Sometimes, we'd say, "LOUD!" and he'd roar, "NOOOOOOOOOOO!" and we would collapse into giggles.

Wouldn't that be satisfying?


LL Cool Joe said...

Ha ha your Dad sounds like my kinda man. I'd love to see you in these situations. So did you eat the post-it notes? :D

OldLady Of The Hills said...

She sounds like she doesn't LISTEN!!!!!!! OY! One wonders if someone like that should be representing any kind of Mental Health Facility. She sounds so out of touch with reality when it is happening right in front of her....!

I love what your father sounds like a very smart man!

Rock Chef said...

Wow, what a waste of time and what a bitch.

"Will you really give it to him?" WTF? That concludes Lesson 1 in "How to piss people off".

Love the Loud or Soft option. I want to use that now. Maybe next time I get a telesales call...

Lynn said...

I love it when sales people drop off pens and postit notes - I use the heck out of them.

Sales people who drop by like that are trained to not take no for an answer and keep the conversation going. We have one place that is just not giving up - this guy calls every day (sometimes twice a day) - he's been told repeatedly that we don't need a "consultant". He dropped by the other day - plopped down in front of the receptionist and said he had an appointment with the owner. She knew it was a lie and I was about to step in and kick him out (because I recognized him from before and from all the calling), when she said, "I don't think you have an appointment" and got him out of there herself.

I would hate having a job like that - being pushy.

G. B. Miller said...

I think it takes a special kind of lobotomy to me a sale rep.

I had one call me a work about a decade ago trying to get me to sign up for a credit card. Even though I told him repeatedly that he was calling a business number, he would "I understand, but let me tell you...." and continue for another minute or so.

Not sure how I finally got rid of him, but I can tell you it had to be done very nicely.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

So -- did the bag of office supply crap go straight into the dumpster, LOL?

Dexter Klemperer said...

Great response by your dad; must remember to use that in my life.

At our restaurant, people selling credit card services showed up everyday. They are the worst people on earth; they make timeshare salespeople look like saints. One guy actually came in the next day and tried to convince me I had agreed to buy his product the previous day. Oh no wait, people sending you unsolicited office supplies then billing you for them are the worst, stop me!

Cheryl said...

I try to be patient with sales people knowing that it is their job to push and not take no for an answer although my patience is often tested....BUT this chick was out of line. The minute she questioned IF you would give the free crap to your boss she loss all rights to you being civil. Good for you to handle it so well.

Charles Gramlich said...

Hard sales pitches like that are bad enough when they actually make sense. This one clearly didn't.

rockygrace said...

Sounds like an AFLAC rep.

A Beer For The Shower said...

How people like that even make a single sale is beyond me.

But wait, she gave you post-it notes? Hold on, we totally have to reconsider our position. Here's a blank check, just charge however much you want to our company. You have completely persuaded us!

Ileana said...

Your dad is hilarious and wow, I have to hand it to you for keeping your cool. That's just beyond rude and clueless...but the way you tell a story is just priceless. I really enjoyed reading this post!

Introverted Art said...

I can't sell anything, not even water in the desert...I hate it too. You dad rocks!

DWei said...

I feel a bit bad for her because I've heard of a lot of people in her position. She probably realized that you weren't interested but knew that if she didn't push as hard as she could, her boss would give her crap for it later.

Hell, he probably gave her crap for it anyways because she failed to make a sale. It's a lose/lose situation.

Claire T said...

Wow, that woman sounds like a royal pain! Well done for controlling the rage!

Riot Kitty said...

Joey: Not yet. But I'm saving them for a snack.
Naomi: Agreed on both!
RC: Go for it!
Lynn: WOW, that is unbelievable. Does he really think this is going to get you guys to suddenly change your minds? More like getting banned from the building.
G: If you remember, let me know!
Debra: We saved the office supplies. Free is a good price. I am giving the info to my boss - info about what a pain in the ass she is, as she'll probably follow up and call him when he's back.
Cheryl: Exactly. Talk to me like I'm 5, and you've crossed the line.
Charles: I know! It's one thing to be pushy, but pushy and clueless are a special combination.
RG: I should have been so lucky!
ABFTS: Ditto!
Ily: Thanks chica! It's funny looking back on it.
IA: I couldn't either, if only because I'd have to work with people like that.
DW: I don't feel bad. She lied and was rude, and there was no sale to make - just wanted to secure a promise that we'd refer people to a for-profit facility halfway across the country. She's the marketing director, so she is the boss...I feel bad for her staff!
CT: Thank you. I did say, "FUCK!" as soon as she walked out.

Poster said...

lol your dad sounds pretty awesome

Riot Kitty said...

Poster: He is :)

Lee said...

This is further proof that some people just don't listen to others. Those ignorant people are more interested in the sound of their own voices that in what others are saying.

People like that a very, very, very put it politely!!

Riot Kitty said...

Lee: That is polite :)