Saturday, December 2, 2006

Chinese moratorium begins! No Chinese food until Dec. 24th!

I'm currently at home... again. I feel so weird coming back two weekends in a row, especially right after Thanksgiving... But I have a job! And it's at Vector... which is totally unexpected...

OKay, here's the thing. Vector isn't really door-to-door sales. What they do is they have these knives, by a company called Cutco, that are really, really cool and very high quality, but cost less than the top quality knives. But they don't advertise the knives on TV or in magazines, and they don't put them in stores. Instead, they operate completely by word of mouth. See, a customer hears about the knives from someone who's already bought them. If he expresses an interest, Vector sends out a representative- that's me- to their house at a pre-arranged appointment time. The representative has a display set, they show off the product and demonstrate how cool they are- kitchen shears that can cut through a penny, pretty sweet- and then, if the customer is interested, they buy something. If not, the representative still gets paid $16.50 just for making an effort. Either way, the representative asks the customer if he or she knows of anyone else who might be interested in the knives, and if they can think of a few, the representative asks if they wouldn't mind letting those people know about the product, and that they can expect a call from Vector. Then the representative waits a few days, to let the customer make some calls or something, and calls up the referrals, and asks if they'd like to have a representative come out for an appointment. Usually you get a few people interested enough at least for you to come out.

But unlike regular door-to-door sales, the people are expecting you- it's by appointment only. So you're not going to be interrupting them in the middle of something, and they won't sic their dogs on you. Hopefully. And some other pluses include the fact that I'l get paid even if I sell absolutely nothing. I'll also get paid if I make appointments with family members- they expect you to do that for the first couple appointments. The only rules are that you can't make an appointment to someone under 25- so like, friends and stuff don't count, which is a bummer because I think Shrewd might want to buy something- you can't make and appointment with someone who you know isn't employed, because why would they be buying knives, and you have to go one-on-one with the customer.

Plus, they offer pay incentives if I sell over certain amounts, so if I wind up being any good at this salesman gig, I can make quite a bit of extra money. However, that doesn't mean I'm supposed to pressure people into buying stuff. Actually, that's the fastest way to get fired- a customer reporting that you were pushy. We're just supposed to be friendly, personable, and knowledgable, and let the products sell themselves.

The base rate is really good, considering that the average appointment is a half hour to forty-five minutes. I figure I'll try to schedule 5 or 6 appointments a day, which would be the same as working at a minimum wage job for 13 hours a day; or a 48-hour workweek for $12 an hour.

And don't worry. They train you. For three days. Some of which is actually teaching you about the product, but most of which is teaching you how to make a good impression on people.

And honestly, I think that the training will be a much greater advantage to me than the money...

THe only major flaw is that the job starts the day AFTER Christmas. Apparently people buy knives after they cooked over the holidays and realized that theirs sucked. I kinda wish I could start earlier, but the training begins Dec. 26. I dunno. Maybe I could get a job at another store, one that doesn't need post-holiday help, until Christmas.


The other interveiws went okay. Macy's was looking for help more immediately, but asked me to call on the 13th to see if they still needed assistance. I don't think they want help after the holidays, though. It might work. TJ Maxx is calling me back later this week- but they're doing lots of post-Christmas work, so that's probably a no-go.


So I came home, all excited because I had the job at Vector and all. And what do Daddy and Mummy do but start telling me all these horror stories about sales experience and pyramid companies and frauding poor college students out of training fees and buying the product, and Daddy starts talking about how I need to go with someone or I'll be attacked, and that confidence wave I was riding kinda flopped. But I spent the next couple hours getting valuable experience as a salesperson by trying to sell the idea of this job to my folks. Meanwhile they're making me all nervous about having finally taken the initiative to go outside my comfort zone and do a job that will teach me a great deal and give me something very, very good to pad my resume with.

So I promised Daddy I'll carry mace in my purse and I explained to Mummy that all I pay is a security deposit of $135 on the knives that I can get back at any time if I return the knives. Or I can keep the whole $517 set for the cost of the security deposit, if I want. There's no training fees or anything. Absolute worst comes to worst, I don't make any money over break and I leave with some sales skills and something else to stick on my future job applications.

Unfortunately, Mummy and Daddy basically destroyed any self-confidence I gained from beating out like seven other applicants who were at the interview with me as the best candidate for the job. Now, I'm petrified. Gee. Thanks, guys. Way to be supportive and encouraging...

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