Wednesday, April 8, 2009

What A Ridiculous Lie My Whole Life Has Been

There was a knock on the door today, an unusual occurrence at our residence, and Tiffany and I both went to answer it while Robin hide from Stranger Danger.

Much to no one's surprise, we were met by people who wanted to sell us stuff we neither want nor need; in this case, a faster Internet connection. Or a slower Internet connection. They didn't really seem to care either way, as long as the made their commission. Tiff beat me to the door, so I stood back in the hallway at let him do the talking.


Here's the thing about Tiffany, though, as he explains it: He doesn't like being rude to people. Huh. Okay, not really my thing, but I guess I can understand. Anyway, he knew our Internet connection was fast enough, he knew our price was pretty decent, and he knew Verizon had nothing to offer us, but rather than saying any of this, he squirmed uncomfortably and answered every question and allowed the salesman to continue their frivolous pitch uninterrupted.

After a few minutes of this, I jumped in, saying that our current connection speed is perfectly sufficient and asking them to skip straight to the price. They asked what we were paying. I wasn't really interested in this game. "If I tell you a price, are you going to try to beat it?" I asked. "Because it just so happens we're paying five dollars... a year." Obnoxious, I'll admit, but after that, they finally revealed the price of their fastest connection. I told them our connection was fine and we didn't need anything that fast. The gave the next fastest connection, priced at more than double what we pay now. I repeated that we already have a great connection speed.

"Why have great Internet when you can have... What's better than great?" One of the salesmen asked. "Why have great Internet when you can have Verizon?"

Then they started cracking up and congratulating themselves on the witty line.

I said no thanks, they pushed a little more, I thanked them and repeated that we were happy with our current service, and they finally left.

Sorry to go into such a detailed account of the story. My only real point with all of this is that I don't think turning away someone who comes to your house to try convincing you to buy something you neither want nor need is rude. Annoying though they may be, they have a job to do, a job that requires them to go door-to-door and bring you this incredible offer. It's a crummy, sleazy job, and tough to respect, but employment can be hard to find, and sometimes good people get stuck in bad jobs.

While I've said already that I acted obnoxiously, I make no apologies for being direct or asking the salespeople to do the same for me. If they truly had a good deal, I was willing to hear it. If not, there would be no sale. What reason do I have to waste their time in this case? Saying no - that is, being honest - is the most polite thing you can do in a situation like that. Playing along with their questions and games, which will only waste everyone's time and will result in either no sale or wasted money, is far more rude.

Once again, this isn't about salesmen; it's about the perception of polite vs. rude. I'm sick of this idea that everyone a unique and beautiful butterfly that needs protecting. If someone says or does something stupid, call it out. You don't have to be rude. You don't have to tell the person that they're an idiot, even if they are. You should be honest, though. What kind of world is afraid of honesty.

Sorry again for rambling so much, but, seriously, keep that point in mind if it didn't get too lost in all of that. Honesty is a good thing, and I've seen too many people to each other and lying to themselves lately.

Oh - totally unrelated, but, Mom, this is Beat, and he is awesome.

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