How to Cope with the pestilence called ‘Sales Reps."

I miss my dogs.

I am gutless. A wimp. Since moving to NZ, I have had this re-affirmed even more. Why? Two words for you.

Door Salesmen.

Those people that ring your doorbell and then don’t leave until you promise to give them your blood/marry them/bequeath them with a spare organ. Or buy something. I’m hopeless at saying no. As soon as i open that door and see a smiley, businesslike, firm and forward person with a clipboard, a briefcase, a dog collar – I get that Titanic sinking feeling. Oh shit. I’m doomed.

HRH doesnt understand why I’m like a cornered Prison Break-er with sales reps. “Its very simple. You just say – Thank you but we’re not interested.”

Ohmigosh are you kidding? That’s far too difficult for me. That’s just like saying, I eat kittens for breakfast. Or, I hate babies. Or, I daydream about killing Dora the Explorer. Or, I’ve got a bomb in my shoe. You just can’t say stuff like that. It’s bad. Wrong. Twisted. Evil. It guarantees you a seat in hell. Right next to the heartless fool who shot Bambi’s mother. I cannot say those words. (strangely enough, I have no problem saying NO to my children. In a variety of creative ways. Get lost. Go play on the motorway. Stop breathing my air. Get real, of course you cant eat cookies and ice cream for breakfast, only slave mothers are allowed to do that.)

No, I have a variety of strategies to deal with salesmen. All of them require telling lies. And none of them work very well.

#1. Play the dumb housewife card. (Offending feminists everywhere. And betraying my degree in Women’s Studies.) Tell them you can’t make a decision because your husband is at work “and he’s the one who knows all about stuff like that. I can’t buy anything without his permission.” Big sigh. Doeful and woeful. I’ve never been as humble and submissive as I am when using this strategy. The only problem with this is that these salesmen are relentless. They ask, “When will your husband be home? We can come back and talk to him then.” And when you tell them, “oh reeeeeeally late. Like 7 or 8pm” they leap on that gleefully. “Oh we’re working in this area until 8.30pm. I’ll be back then. It’s an appointment then! Its a date!” And off they go, skipping and prancing. Argh. Foiled again.

#2. Deflect and detour. Tell them, “Oh, I’m sorry but we were just going out.” And then they stakeout your home, lie in wait. And jump out at you when you drive back in from your fake excursion to the dairy. Two minutes up the road. Tell them. “This is not my house. Im just a visitor.” or “I no spikkin the english. I very big Samoan coconut” or “I don’t know if my car needs a maintenance check. In fact, I dont even know if I have a car.

As you can imagine, none of these lies work. All the sales reps just go away. And come back. Again. And again. And again. Until they are unlucky enough to meet HRH. Who opens the door and tells them firmly. “Sorry but we are not interested. Thank you.” And then shuts the door before they even have a chance to ask him for his right kidney. And then he gets annoyed with me and my wimpiness.

I never had this problem back home in Samoa. Because I lived at the end of a pot-holed road. In a fenced compound. Guarded by very loud, very ferocious looking dogs. Nobody ever tried to sell me anything then.

I need to go back home where I belong. Or else get tougher. Meaner. More assertive. The next time a sales rep comes to my door I shall imagine they are one of the Fab5. And when they try to sell me something, I shall say, nicely but firmly –

No! Get lost. Go play on the motorway. Stop breathing my air! Get real, of course I dont want to buy anything!”

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5 comments

  1. I know what you mean! Except now I feel more comfortable with saying 'No thanks' before they even open their mouths to say anything. Must be my old age – the older I get the less I care what anyone (well, sales people anyway)thinks. Don't worry, you will get there someday lol.

  2. Get your delicious HRH to make you a sign that says "Thank you, we're not interested" and hold it up while pointing to your throat and gesturing sadly about being mute.Anna

  3. Lani, do I need to fly over there and show you how to put diplomacy into play?! "The art of diplomacy is telling a person to go to 'H-E-double hockey' sticks n such a way that they look forawrd to the trip." I've been told that 've mastered this art. lol @LyfesLyrics

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