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.

10 Comments:

Blogger Southern Beale said...

That's a funny one. I posted on a similar topic today, as well. A lot of the times the folks they hire to slip menus on your front doorknob are the homeless, believe it or not. At least, that's the case around here. But I really hate the dog-and-pony show hucksters like the kid who knocked on my door today. I just need to learn how to say no.

6:36 PM  
Anonymous jeffrey said...

priceless.

7:20 AM  
Blogger Rex L. Camino said...

They must be in season, SB. I find that I no longer see them as human in the same way that I am human--like some sort of dignity deficient zombie--and am therefore able to be less than cordial when I need to be.

8:25 AM  
Blogger Scooby said...

"Let's place that somewhere beneath Crack Whore or Assistant Meth Lab Technician on my list of acceptable positions."

*chuckle* I'll have to remember that one if I ever have to work at a temp agency again.

6:05 PM  
Anonymous David said...

I may be late to notice but... I am so glad your back. My faith in the internets has been restored. Rock on Rex. I like your style.

12:19 AM  
Blogger OpenJoe said...

We don't get too many fliers - none actually at our house. You know there should be a database on that - flier susceptibility - for home buyers.
But we sometimes get a knock on the door. A seedy looking fellow said he was one of my neighbors and working his way through college or some such.
I thought, you don't look like one of my neighbors - heck, I don't even look good enough to be one of my neighbors.
Anyway, I don't remember exactly how, but he somehow wheedled my first name out of me before he went away. As he left I thought, whew, he looks suspiciously like someone who might come back later when I'm not home. Well, later he did come back, but by mistake - to the front door again. How could he have forgotten my overshrubbed front door? He would have had to push away the bushes to get to the doorbell.
Anyway, when he realized he had already come to my house, to my horror he called me by my name. "Oh, I've already been here, haven't I? You're Joe, aren't you?" But so far no ill effects.
Then I read Southern Beale's and Kat's posts and I am very thankful.
Rex, do you think I should make a weblog entry about my door-to-door days with Manpower thirty-six years ago? Or shall I just post it here?
Joe

9:36 AM  
Blogger Juan Horsetown said...

I used to have a job placing fliers in newly constructed homes. The window blind market is pretty cut-throat, so I had to go into the houses (which are usually unlocked, strangely) and stuff the fliers in drawers and dispose of the competition's fliers. I'd have to hit the same house several times over a period of several weeks as construction was finishing before someone moved in. I would record the house's address so my boss could send a card, and I got paid $1 per house.

Doing a half-ass job, I could earn about $36 per hour on a good day. Does it sound so bad now?

7:45 PM  
Blogger Rex L. Camino said...

I was making twice that as an Assistant Meth Lab Technician.

However, Crack Whore doesn't pay too well.

7:34 AM  
Blogger David Stefanini said...

"no longer see them as human in the same way that I am human--like some sort of dignity deficient zombie"

I have to agree with him. I tend to think of them as a lesser species.

David,
americanlegends.blogspot.com

12:52 PM  
Blogger Lee said...

"Anything", answered the obviously desperate bastard on the other side of the table with the useless English degree...

Alas, I did it for four months.

Do you want to know what my major was in college?

I am a walking stereotype.

12:52 AM  

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