Tonight, I got a call from a local number I don't recognize. Lately, if I don't know the number, I don't answer. However, there are a few people's cell numbers I haven't programmed in yet, so I answered this time thinking it was one of them.
A young woman was on the line stating I had taken a 30 second survey about 6 months ago and had been placed in a draw to win a prize. I had won! The caller asked if I would be home in the next hour as someone would drop it off and ask me a quick survey about it. I agreed, I was home.
It's not out of the ordinary for me to answer surveys or chat with sales people over the phone lately. Ever since Lyn had a job cold-calling people about murders -- and instead got yelled at for being a telemarketer -- I've been trying to be kind to strangers calling my house. I didn't remember this survey at all, but also figured that was not out of the ordinary.
I hung around playing on the computer and doing dishes while I waited. 45 mins later, the dogs went wild. Someone was at the door. A young man in his early 20s with a shy smile stood on my door step trying to make friends with the dogs. He also had a huge box of stuff. So, I let him in. I figured I must have won a heck of a prize.
He never mentioned a prize.
Instead, he started a presentation about vacuums. I had myself a real life, door-to-door, vacuum salesman. I felt very much like a housewife in the 50s. Except my house was filthy, I was not in a full skirt, nor wearing pearls, and the salesman was not dressed in a tweed suit.
He was a nice man and it was his first day. I figured I would let him do his little presentation and send him on his way. How long could it be? Why do I always insist on asking that question?
It was 2 hours. TWO. HOURS. He was the energizer bunny of awkward little salesmen. He Just. Kept. Going. Then, he called his boss on my phone and chatted away. Then the boss talked to me. Asked me how the call was going, how the kid was doing, etc. Then, he offered me the price for the vacuum. $2989.00 plus tax.
He offered me discounts and trips and trial times and payment plans, etc. I told him I couldn't. First, I wouldn't make a purchasing decision which would force me to decide that moment. Second, I wouldn't make a decision of that magnitude without consulting someone else. (Anyone else. Really. Usually just to talk me out of something stupid.) Thirdly, I am not in the financial position to pay $50 a month... forever.
The young boy took the phone again, jotted some notes and "uh-huh"ed a lot. I tidied in the kitchen, organized some papers, filled out the survey (which had NOTHING to do with a prize) and waited. And waited. The young guy hung up and started the third round of his pitch to get me to buy the vacuum. I refused again. I admitted, I would want it. However, I couldn't afford it and wouldn't make the decision to do it.
He called his boss again, said some more "uh-huhs" and then turned to me to start again. It was then Montel saved me from another hour.
Montel threw up on the couch next to the guy's pants. He left a few minutes later.