Sexism and the Sales Guy

by on March 9th, 2015
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If you want to irritate a housewife, there are many ways to do it. In fact, I spent some time looking at how salesmen have made an art in irritating via the first sentence out of their mouths. Here are some examples:

Mom and the Grave Plot Guy: I have permission from my mother to tell this story, and I remember it quite vividly. We lived on a farm, and the phone calls invariably came when mom was in the field furthest from the house when the calls came in. The guy wouldn’t take “no” for an answer from a kid, and I was too polite to just hang up.

The guy was selling grave plots. Now why he’d call a healthy forty-two year old trying to sell such a thing, I don’t know. He called several times over the course of the summer, and each time mom would be extremely angry. Finally, she told him he’d be the one needing the plot if he called again. Miraculously, the calls stopped.

No means no, and internal plumbing isn’t going to make us change our mind. If it was no this week, it’s going to be no next week. In fact, when it comes to grave plots, I’d just as soon wait till one is needed, thanks.

Yes, I’m the Lady: But, I’m not “the little lady.” In fact, I’m not little. I’m tall and big boned. I don’t like the implied idea that because I’m female, I might not be all that bright, either. If you *want* me to hang up on you, try that line.

Don’t Assume I Can’t Answer the Questions: There are matters that are handled strictly by my husband, but it isn’t your place to assume that being female is the reason. I’m not alone in being frustrated by guys who assume that the reason I’m having a problem is gender related. That will get you reported to your supervisor. If you repeat that performance with enough of the female gender, it also might cause you to need a new line of work.

When I say I’m not Interested: I’m not interested. Sometimes I’m not interested because you caught me in the middle of an article and I will have a hard time getting back into it if I stay on the phone with you more than thirty seconds. Sometimes I don’t want/need your product, and other times I may not be able to afford it. Accept my comment and go to the next number. You’re wasting both your time and mine.

Most of the men that cold call our house are polite, well behaved and don’t need any of the information above. However, if you are a guy and you find that you irritate almost every woman you call, you might want to keep the above points in mind.


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