Thursday, July 15, 2010

Southwestern Publishing

Did you know people still sell things door-to-door? I know, it is crazy! There is a company called Southwestern Publishing that recruits college kids to sell children's books door-to-door and apparently the training program also teaches you how to be a persistent and slightly passive-aggressive as a stalker.

I usually don't answer the door if I don't know who it is, however, to get my dog to stop barking on Tuesday I peeked out of the curtain and was spotted by Tracy, a student from Texas. She gave me a line about how for college credit (liar) she was talking to local moms about these educational books. In the meantime, Gavin is upstairs yelling for me since I was in the process of putting him to bed before I had to go make Toby stop barking. Long story short, she said she'll come back later that night. I'm a wuss and say ok, even though I tell her I'm not interested, I pretend to buy the line that if she spends 5 minutes with me it will be part of her college class..whatever.

Well, she doesn't come back, and I'm happy because I figure she's gotten the hint.

So last night, while watching So You Think You Can Dance with my visiting mother and sister-in-law, the doorbell rings. I look out and it's my old friend Tracy. She says, "Hi, where would you like to talk about the books I have?"

Uh, nowhere...I'm thinking, but I am polite and say that I'm not interested again. At this point she is like, well you told me yesterday I could come back and you'd take 5 minutes to talk about this. I say, well you were supposed to come back yesterday. She says, I knew you had family around and didn't want to intrude (I told her they were visiting, I know, like she needed to know, whatever, I know I'm dumb, too). I say, well my family is still here and we are busy. She says, what are you doing (dang nosy) and I say, just hanging out...which is obviously nothing too important but it was the first thing that popped into my head. She says, so your family minds if you take 5 minutes of time to talk to me? Even though they will be here for a few days? I mean I drove all the way back here, you should have told me you weren't going to take the time. WHAT? Basically she's using telemarketing skills on me, but face to face, which is totally weird and catches me off guard. She then proceeds to start taking books out of her backpack and says, let me just show you these so you know I'm not selling magazines or anything like that point I just said, sorry I don't want to be rude but I'm not interested, and closed the door.

I looked up the company on the Better Business Bureau website and online, and it is a real company but has nothing to do with college credit. Basically it is like Avon, where the salesperson an independent contractor, however I did learn that each person is given a territory and sometimes lives with a host family to do this job over the summer. Tracy needs to be a fund-raiser or something, she is definitely aggressive and I can see her getting lots of sales just by the awkwardness of this all-American-looking girl guilt-tripping people into letting her do her sales pitch. So, in closing, watch out for Southwestern Publishing, and watch out for Tracy.

Oh, and I started a youtube, that's cool.


cfleming said...

you better hope this Tracy gal doesn't go all "Single White Female" on you...

Sarah Lynn said...

You should get a peephole so they don't see you peeking out the curtains! :-)

We had this same situation with the Schwan's guy that kept coming back... if we saw the truck driving through the neighborhood, we'd turn off the lights and TV and hide upstairs! :-P