I was lucky to learn what a miserable profession sales would be as a Cub Scout trying to sell Scout-O-Rama tickets in my neighborhood. I finally sold one ticket to an eighty year old lady down the street... not enough to even qualify for the free subscription to Boys Life, let alone win the Schwinn Stingray with the monkey-hanger handlebars and the sissy bar on the back. But bless the little old lady down the street for buying the Scout-O-Rama ticket. I looked for her at the event, and worried she'd want her money back because she'd missed it.
After graduate school I tried a sales job selling ads on the back of cash register receipts. I went through two days of training, and because I was an actor, I nailed the sales presentation. The directors thought I was the best trainee they'd ever seen. However, the pitch was full of deceptive practices like telling the retailer that we we would lose money if the presses weren't rolling, and I only had one more ad to sell before we could run the presses, so let me call my manager and see if I can get you a price break. Of course, there's nothing wrong with selling something at a discount, but the part about one more ad and the dormant presses was pure cow pie. And everyone got the same so-called discount. I quit after one day.
Of course, my favorite sales experience was when Mrs. Wanders and I were newlyweds. I came home and she laughingly told me that some salesmen had just come by selling magazines. The story was that if they could sell enough subscriptions, they'd get to go to Hawaii instead of living lives of crime, or some such nonsense. However, when Mrs. Wanders first answered the apartment door, the lead salesman had said, "Hello, are you a model? Is that your Porsche in the parking lot?"
I ran out in the hallway and the salesmen were downstairs. I said, "Hey, there's no soliciting here."
"We're just selling magazines."
"Then why are you asking my wife if she's a model and driving a Porsche?"
With that, the lead salesman, who was quite big, turned around and ran out of the building. The younger salesman looked sheepishly at me and said, "Sorry." Then he followed his trainer outside.
Suffice it to say, one of my favorite things to ask my wife is, "Are you a model? Is that your Porsche?" She laughs and kisses me every time.
Today's Full Strip