“Hello, I’m Tim— your friendly pots and pan salesman!”
One of my first jobs was as a salesman for a fly-by-night company whose ad I answered from a Norfolk, Virginia newspaper. After two weeks of pumped up sales training (and a non-refundable entry fee of fifty dollars), I was cast out into a cold world not particularly fond of door-to-door salesmen. For two more weeks I honed my selling expertise at the expense of unsuspecting housewives who actually opened the door, which eventually led to my first sale!
Unfortunately, the woman was not interested in my expensive “waterless cookware” package at all. Instead, all she wanted to buy was the electric skillet we gave away as a “free” gift upon purchasing the complete kitchenware system. After placing a call to the office to determine a fair price, I sold her the skillet for nineteen dollars and ninety-five cents, plus $hipping and handling. A steal at any price.
I received my $.97 (five percent) sales commission check one week later!
Two weeks after that, the woman called me back after receiving her free $19.95 “gift”. She was irate at the inferior quality of the electric skillet, and demand her money back. Not only did I have to repay my company the shipping and handling charges, but I also had to give them back their ninety-seven cent commission check, which, I had not yet bothered to cash.
Thus ended my first professional career. And everywhere across the city, housewives sighed in relief.