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Day in the Life of an Idiot

The Journal of Lyda Morehouse

March 11th, 2009

Why I've Been Absent @ 02:09 pm

Not only am I writing a lot, but the last couple of days have been... weird.

Monday was especially strange. My usual routine got interrupted by Shawn's physical. We only have one car, so, if I want to have the car during the day, it's my job to cart people around. I'm cool with that, and I brought my "homework" (aka the prequel) to the hospital, so actually that wasn't really a big distraction. But, while I was sitting there, one of Mason's classmate's father called with a favor to ask. He was going to be on TV, and the film crew was going to be arriving right about the time he was supposed to pick his daughter up. Would I do it? Of course! First of all, his daughter and Mason have had play dates before, and, not long ago, when my car wouldn't start, I asked him to do the exact same thing for me. So it was like "instant karma." Plus, entertaining this particular young lady is not difficult. This was only complicated by the fact that we were expecting someone to show up at our house at 5:30 that evening to test our drinking water (and try to sell us a filter system, but that's the next story.) Anyway, Mason and his friend played board games like "High Ho, Cherry-Oh" and the like, and I baked a few cookies (we always have some pre-made in the freezer for just such moments.) I felt like a pretty good baby-sitter, even though I probably spoiled dinner a bit.

We dropped the young lady off at her house and zipped home just in time for the saleswoman to arrive.

Okay, this needs a bit of "backstory," as we call it in the biz. Or perhaps foreshadowing. I'm doing dishes several days ago, during the big snow storm and I get bothered by two robo-calls. The first one is from Saint Paul schools telling me that school is closing early, which would matter much, much more to me, if Mason wasn't in a year-round school and, at that time, on intersession. The next call informs me that if I would like a free water test, I should leave my name and address after the tone. If I'd not just gotten an official call from Saint Paul, I wouldn't have made this mistake... but my brain just filled in "Oh, this must be a city thing, especially since it's free." I left my name and address.

Of course, it was a big, ol' sales pitch. The weirdest part is that for some hours after the saleswoman left, Shawn and I almost thought we'd nearly been scammed.

First of all, given how crazy our day had been, we almost missed the appointment. Even so, she was fifteen minutes late. She was dressed... casually, in an Indian print dressy-thing that might actually have just been a long shirt and jeans. In the middle of doing her water tests, she dropped a hand-sized water softener into our sink and broke it, and then said, "This is what I get for not being in my body." She then goes on at great length about her recent trip to India and her attempt to get more in touch with her feminine side. Looking at us, she says, "And then here you two are."

Like, what? We're lesbians from Vishnu? Or... is it the pentacles we have in the house that makes her feel like she should open up about her Goddess needs?

Not sure, but either way, it's awkward. It's like walking into a board room to give a presentation, and singling someone out to say, "So I notice you're a lesbian." I don't know. It was weird. Though, at first, it made us more inclinded to listen to her schpeil (sp?).

Except, after the frightening water tests (wow, THAT much chorline? Really?) she goes into full hard sell mode. And never stops talking. I'd been told on the phone that the whole thing was only supposed to last a half hour... she was there for two, and I would have kicked her out a whole lot sooner, except I couldn't get a word in edgewise. And even when she finally laid the whole, "So can I count on you [to buy my product]" line on me and I clearly said, "No," she still persisted. I finally had to do that thing where I stood up, in that mostly universal sign of "now you stand up, because it's time for you to go." She still didn't get it, and kept pushing her product. So, I kept repeating "no," until she was finally forced to leave. Worse, even though the estimate she gave us was supposed to be good for eighteen months, she neither left a copy of the estimate or even a business card.

If Shawn hadn't found this woman's company on-line the next day, that last part would have completely convinced me she was a fraud trying to scam us. Because Shawn and I kept saying to each other, "What kind of sales person doesn't AT LEAST leave some literature around." In all honesty, the product was something we might have considered if we had any real income, but, the way my money comes in from writing, it's difficult for us to budget, and if we were going to commit to anything we REALLY can't just sign a paper on the spot. We need to plan and think and mull.

She was all about, "I need an answer now." I was all, "You're not going to get one."

The best and most unprofesional part of the whole thing, IMHO, was when she pouted after I flatly told her she was out of luck and wasn't making a sale tonight. She huffily tossed everything into her bag and stompped out.

I hate to tell you this, lady, but throwing a tantrum isn't going to make me change my mind. I've GOT a five year old already. I'm hard to the whole "maybe if I cry, they'll give in" thing, sister.


That was Monday. Tuesday, I spent much of the day recovering from crazy saleslady. I spent much of the day worrying that we'd almost been scammed. Because we decided she must either have been the most incompetent sales person ever, or a pretty good scam artist.... and I'd started leaning toward that last one the more I thought about everything that went down. Particually, she didn't seem very comfortable with the fact that, thanks to my fish, I actually had performed most of the water tests she was doing already. And when I asked her which hardness she was testing for KH or GH, she didn't know what I was talking about -- (I could tell it was KH when she started though, as it was almost the exact same kit I used.)

Also, on Tuesday, I got a ridiculous amount of writing... reformated -- is probably the most accurate word. As I've writing a million versions of the Mouse prequel before, I mostly re-keyed and changed the verb tense of several pages I'd already written. But since I worked out in the morning, I didn't really have a lot of time to hang out with you kids here on the Interwebs.

So what happened while I was away? Anything?
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Date:March 16th, 2009 06:04 pm (UTC)
I'm so sorry to only be replying NOW. Mason goes to Crossroads Elementary. I don't know what 45/15 is.... but I love the whole year round thing, except when I never seem to have any time to write. (But I think it would be worse with an entire summer off.)
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Date:March 12th, 2009 07:49 am (UTC)

My folks got hit in exactly the same way a few years back. Saleswoman made an appointment for a free water test and proceeded to scare the daylights out of them in trying to sell them a water filtration system.

Thing is, we have _excellent_ water here in Melbourne. Maybe not very much of it, but what there is is really good.

Those salesmen lie and exaggerate for a living. 10 years ago the same woman would have been selling knives, and 15 years go cosmetics.

-- JF

-- JF
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Date:March 12th, 2009 04:47 pm (UTC)

Saint Paul scamming

I live on the Eastside and I get a LOT of high pressure "I have a deal for you but it is only good if you write me a check NOW" sales people. I'm always getting window salespeople, security system people, tree trimmers and so on. I wonder if it is because I live in a working class neighborhood with perhaps less educated people and more elderly people and immigrants than some neighborhoods? Often these folks approach me if I am out in the yard, which I hate. Anyway People never tried this high pressure schtick with me when I lived near Uptown in a more expensive neighborhood.

Oh I also occasionally get a truck that stops by when I am outside and asks me if I want to buy frozen meat because they want to sell the rest of their load and they were "in the neighborhood". Call me crazy but I am just not into buying meat from complete strangers in an unmarked truck. Scary.

Day in the Life of an Idiot

The Journal of Lyda Morehouse