Monday, August 06, 2007

perhaps the marketing equivalent of "hoof and mouth" isn't far behind

I was leaving the confines of Casa Camino this afternoon at the crack of three-thirty when I, after gasping a string of curse words directed at the general state of sauna-ness in front of impressionable though slow-witted neighbor children, noticed a local restaurant advertisement on the ground that had just seconds ago been nestling peacefully between the knob and door frame. You may have also noticed the door-to-door salesman population on the rise once again. A general crackdown on telemarketing has brought a replenishing to their near-extinct herds and driven them out from behind their telephones, though we sadly see so few of their carcasses littered along the roadsides.

Then again, I suppose the poor bastard who has to slip these things around neighborhood doors is merely a newly hired peon at the establishment and therefore a different and more forgivable beast than the one who wishes to have me answer a series of questions or demonstrate a brand of detergent. Those kids probably have plans in life and will go on to someday either meet or fall short of those goals. Either way, they will likely go on to something higher than being a full grown man trying to sell things door to door.

I say that with some confidence because I safely assume that they will maintain a shred of dignity.

There were always telemarketing and door to door type gigs available when I was working through various temp agencies, and temp agents used these sort of jobs to gauge the desperation of potential employees.

"Are you willing to do any kind of work?", they would ask as the interview drew to a close.

"Anything", answered the obviously desperate bastard on the other side of the table with the useless English degree and apartment full of hungry and increasingly more desperate housepets and wife gathered teary-eyed on a tattered photograph in the forefront of his feeble and easily distracted mind. They were accompanied by sad depression-era violin music, and their eyes upon closer inspection were cartoonishly larger than normal. They blinked them quite a bit and always in unison as they directed them through the front window of the local butcher shop while huddling in the cold and driving snow, which was rather odd because 1) the young wife in question was vegetarian at the time, and 2) it was the middle of Summer. It made very little sense and served to only add to the overwhelming evidence that this poor bastard had indeed spent too much time in front of the television as a young lad back in...

"How about telemarketing?"

It would have been a startling question even if he had been paying attention and knew immediately the context and why exactly he was wearing dress shirt and tie in the middle of Summer across the desk from a guy whose name plate he couldn't read for the stack of papers piled haphazardly in front of it.

"What are you doing with those?"

This was an easier question. "Just straightening your desk a bit, Larry. You must be a busy man."

"So, have you ever done any telemarketing?"

Our poor bastard sweating through the dress shirt suddenly thought he knew how people who wind up doing pornographic films feel. He did a quick dignity check and found it to be small and disoriented, though fully capable of gnawing at his gut.

"No", he answered. He then followed it up with the tasteful and marketable way of saying, essentially, "Let's place that somewhere beneath Crack Whore or Assistant Meth Lab Technician on my list of acceptable positions."

Anyway, I folded and rewedged the advertisement and then went about my bid'ness with every intention of bringing it in to the recycling bin upon my return this afternoon. Imagine my surprise when I returned a couple of hours later to find it gone and replaced by a completely different advertisement and one that was in no sort of competition to the one that had nestled there previously. It was for water filtration or something along those lines, an the evidence showed that the clean water bastard had taken the advertisement left by the local restaurant bastard before replacing it with his own.

I gather from this that the herd has grown so large as to turn to cannibalism.