Monday, August 12, 2013

Death of a (Door to Door) Salesman

The door to door salesman. I've often wondered, in the age of Wal-Mart and the Internet and Amazon.com, why does this profession even exist anymore? As a full time stay at home writer, aka a broke dude who dresses like this on the regular...


...I get the pleasure of answering the door during the day like the world's ugliest housewife. And most often, even though it's 2013, it's door to door salesmen that have come a-knockin'. But I don't find it annoying. No, I actually find it quite amusing. Because no matter what they're selling, it's like they just don't understand how unnecessary their job is.

Like this guy...





I mean, if I really wanted a magazine I'd just get one at the store. Or online. Or, you know, I'd just find that particular piece of information online... for free.

And let's not forget the Boy Scouts/Girl Scouts. Now I'll admit, the Girl Scout cookies are unique, but if I want those bad enough, I'll go find a gaggle of them outside of a grocery store and buy a box. I don't need you bothering me at home. As for the Boy Scouts, on the other hand... they just plain got fucked over on that one.






And yes, I know, the whole point would be that it's supporting the Boy Scouts of America and blah blah blah. But you know, I was in the Boy Scouts when I was a kid (so was Brandon). Now look at me. An unemployed writer answering the door in his underwear, talking to some 5 year old boy about popcorn. You think that kid needs to end up like me? If anything, I should be a public service announcement AGAINST being in the Boy Scouts.

Or what about fundraisers? If I want to donate to some charity, I'm going to research it (to see if it's legit and where the money goes) and do it myself. I'm not going to give money to some random stranger knocking on my door, who could be doing God-only-knows with that money.



And I don't know about you, but I can't see ANYONE who would buy breast cancer from a breast cancer salesman.

But really, though, whether it's cookies or popcorn or magazines or even just some Christians trying to sell me their particular sect of Christianity (mine, of course, being wrong), I have no desire to buy anything from someone knocking on my door. And in an age where I can have pretty much anything delivered to my lazy ass for free, or I can drive to Wal-Mart across the street, or I can look up a wealth of knowledge online, why would I even need their services?

In the year 2013, how do door to door salesmen thrive? Have you bought anything from a door to door salesman recently?

Cheers and stay classy, friends,
Bryan and Brandon

Music: The Boxer Rebellion
Beer: Upslope


88 comments:

  1. You'd make a great anti-poster child for the Boy Scouts!
    That last panel is awesome. And sadly so true...

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    1. Sometimes when I'm bored I think it might be fun to quiz them or even just debate them, but then I realize that I don't need to "beat up the disabled kid" to justify myself. Maybe.

      Delete
  2. How do they thrive? Well... uhm... Good question. Probably some "hurr durr people will remember it" and "can't say no to my face eh" bullshit. Who knows, maybe our taxes pay to keep them alive?

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    1. I once knew a woman who would order all of those magazines from those poor inner city kids and then just cancel the check immediately after they left. Because it's better to get their hopes up and ruin the sale than just say no in the first place...

      Delete
  3. I live in an apartment-style condo, and I have neighbors knocking on my door trying to get me to join their Bible studies. Even two heavy doors separating me from the outside world isn't enough. There is no escape.

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    1. I used to live in a 3 story apartment (with no elevator) on the top floor. Not even 2 flights of stairs could stop door to door salesmen from hassling me. They're unstoppable.

      Delete
  4. If someone comes to the door trying to convert you to their religion, just do what I do:

    Religious Dude: Hello, I'd like to talk to you about Jesus.
    Me: Well I'd like to talk to you about waffles. Seems we have a stalemate...

    ReplyDelete
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    1. What if they want to talk about Jesus over waffles? Or what if they have a waffle with the image of Christ burned into it?

      Delete
  5. We get kids selling boxes full of Dollar Store cookies for say $6 a box, buuut it's funny to see how nervous they get when you ask them for any paperwork about their charity to keep kids off the street.
    P.S. Loooove your princess phone. Does it only use 7 digits? Can you call the 80s directly?

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Damn right that's my 80s phone, and if you want to reach me back in 1982 just call 867-5309. Ask for Jenny.

      Delete
  6. I don't actually answer my door. My doorbell does not work.
    If someone is at my door and needs me to open up, they can call me. If they don't have my phone number, then I probably don't need to talk to them.

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    1. Even though I live in a new(ish) house my front door doesn't have a peephole, so I'm that asshole that stuffs his face through the blinds on the side of the house, inevitably makes awkward eye contact with the salesman, and then goes back to pretending like I'm not home while they continue to ring the bell.

      Delete
  7. Mormons still come door-to-door here in Canada, but I haven't seen a Jehovah's Witness for years now. Instead, they've taken to mailing a beautiful handwritten letter with an enclosed religious tract in it. Lazy bastards.

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    1. Sometimes I get the lazy flier tucked into my door that says, "Come to our church this weekend!" Nice to know I can go directly to THEM to learn I'm going to burn in hell for eternity rather than them having to come to me.

      Delete
  8. I didn't know there were still door to door salesmen or sales kids. I haven't seen any in 30 years. Of course that's how long I've been living in my house over in the woods that not even UPS can find.

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  9. The only money I've spent at my door was a donation to Equality Maine when that group was trying to get same sex marriage legalized. It did. I do get hit up for that boy scout popcorn from my grandson, though!

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  10. Love your pit stains in that wife beater. Classic!!!! Oh and the boy scout popcorn just plain sucks!!!! However, thin mint girl scout cookies are laced with crack and I'm addicted.

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    1. A door to door crack salesman. Is there anything more conveniently diabolical?

      Delete
    2. We haven't come to that, but we did have in a neighboring county a couple with a working meth lab in the back seat of their car try to drive past the cop at the gate of the county fair, so we're getting close.

      Delete
  11. Not a big purchaser from door to door salesman and I avoid girlscout cookies, I'd rather just give them some money. Living in an apt, I barely see door to door salesmen. Sweet

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    1. I lived in a crappy apartment and always got door to door sales. Mostly scams, like the "We're selling steaks at half price because our freezer is overloaded" BS.

      Delete
  12. My friend sold knives door to door for awhile...it actually went way better than expected. That's a lot of talking to strangers for me. And fundraisers (especially school fundraisers) are total bullshit. You just have to become so weird and menacing that all the parents tell their kids to skip your house.

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    1. We're known as the "meth house" because my neighbors think we sell drugs, so I'm surprised we get as many kids doing fundraisers around here as we do...

      Delete
  13. Yeah those stupid bums that come around with their cancer crap, I tell them to take a hike, literally. Nothing but a racket. Not sure how they still thrive though.

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    1. I seriously once told a guy that line from above ("Oh, what, you SUPPORT breast cancer? That seems like a terrible thing to fund, when it kills so many poor, innocent women") and he didn't even know how to respond, so without saying a word he just lowered his clipboard and walked away.

      Delete
  14. I get the Jehovah's Witnesses a lot. I want to get a Halloween devil mask and answer the door with it on and just be like, "Hey, what's up?"

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Or just get them a birthday cake. I hear celebrating your birthday is a surefire way to go to hell. Same with drinking. And smiling. And beating up hookers.

      Religion is so confusing.

      Delete
  15. Good one. If some people label me as rude person I blame these door to door sales and religion sellers.
    One time there was one bitch who wanted mw to donate for kids and I told her that I am already a member of that group and I had donated 100 prev week and even showed the receipt but god no it didn't stop her. "good good but would you like to donate 100 more this week, or your husband or dad would like to donate or would you like to donate in their name this week and how much percentage is your donation from your salary and you know the percentage of autistic kids in normal kids" and blah blah blah.
    And other one was preacher/neighbor who I think had bugs in my house tp do live surveillance. " you went tp temple and prayed tp an idol, Jesus would not forgive people for that ans you ate eggs during lent you are going to hell, Santa , Easter bunny these are sacrilege ever thought about baptising your kids? " I think aloud to myself "if that is the case I would ask this god to fight your god , just leave me alone"

    At least for these telemarketers you have donotbugme.com. See seriously I would consider that sign to secure me from these sales people over that ADT sign.

    Good that I live in apartment now.

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    1. "How much percentage is your donation from your salary?"

      Zero percent. Also, I should mention my salary is zero. So what's zero out of zero? Doesn't that break calculators?

      Seriously, mention that you don't make any kind of money at all (even if you do) and those people will go away QUICKLY.

      Delete
    2. Yep, I am keeping that in mind. Sometimes I feel like I am hulk, when this woman started to take my fake politeness for pushover and tried to do that "guilt talking " in patronizing tone, I got mad and turned the tables
      "so they pay per hour to collect money from people "
      "they pay allowance and travel cab fare ?"
      "this is your full time job and not honorary job or volunteer work?"
      "so you have a target amount dictated to ou for commission ?"
      - I wanted to ask all these questions but she got the message got after two and left with "thank you miss"

      I don't know sometimes I feel like I am a woman with short fuse or something or low boiling point, but actually I am pretty tolerant as long as that condescending tone isn't used.


      But you can't try my trick on these religious nuts, there is one guy in our street yelling and screaming all day long without mike and he looks like a carrot even in winter and that sun dried olive and sometimes like roasted bacon. He says that he is trying to save people from going to hell while he looks like he just got off the bus from hell.

      Delete
  16. Ha! That last picture was a real hoot. Having read so many times "that" Book he's selling, my Pa sometimes told me I should invite one of "those" people into the house and to start grilling them about various things in that Book which (you're right) many of "them" have never even read from cover to cover once.

    >>... Have you bought anything from a door to door salesman recently?

    Actually, yes. A door-to-door salesman was selling front doors, and ours was in such bad shape that we told him, "We'll buy it if you install it." But he said he wasn't a door installer, just a door salesman. He promised to send MacCATver here to put the door in for us. So we purchased the door from the dude and MacCATver did the rest.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I think he was just being lazy if he pushed off MacCATver on you. That same guy installed a front door at Ray Manzarek's house earlier this year (before he passed).

      At least you got a quality front door, though. After all, he was The Doors' door to door door salesman.

      Delete
  17. We get a lot of salesmen selling insurance or vacuum cleaners and I'm fecking terrible with them and usually end up booking an appointment for a representative to call later that day or week....when I'm not in but the other half is!

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    1. I have no problem saying no. I'm kind of a dick. I interrupt them mid speech and say, "Look, I'll save you the hassle of spilling your guts. The answer is no. But at least I saved you from 5 minutes of talking, right?"

      Delete
  18. Surprised the police haven't followed up with you on answering the door to an underage youth in your overaged underwear. think about it.

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    1. I put on pants for strangers. Begrudgingly. But for the sake of the comic it's pretty damn funny.

      Delete
  19. Hahahaha XD. We don't have that many salesmen over here BUT that could be from the fact they've changed our entry doors so you have to be buzzed in the building. And nobody lets anybody in unless they know who it is. There used to be religious people here all the time when the entrance was unlocked. Not to mention people from different Internet Providing Companies or "Change your Electrical Company Provider to us!". I complain a lot about the company that is my landlord, but locking that door is the best thing done by far XD!!!

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  20. I usually get people trying to sell me a new roof or solar panels, although I do get those kids trying to sell magazines. The best was a girl, recently, trying to sell me "educational aids" for my kids. She actually tried to come in past me while apologizing to me for how much my dog was barking at her. And, no, I was not fully dressed. And she tried to come in anyway.

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    1. That sounds like the beginning of a really bad porno.

      Also, the best kind of AIDS are always educational AIDS.

      Delete
  21. I'm surprised that they're still at it, honestly. Growing up, I can remember the encyclopedia salesmen, the Jehovah's, the Scouts and a few more, but I haven't seen one in quite some time. Except the Jehovah's. They're everywhere.

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  22. We have so many door to door salesmen. And people wanting us to sign petitions and give money. But then again, I always say we live in the 1950s.

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  23. I never get nobody coming to my door selling crap but we do get the Jehova's witness every now and then.

    One saturday my fiancee and I were about to leave her house and we saw two JWs walking up her drive way. You know when you see two people rush back inside a door with one of them saying "get the f back inside" then you don't have to knock three loud times.

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    1. I've run inside and drawn all of the blinds and STILL heard the doorbell ring afterwards...

      "Ooh, that means he needs Jesus more! Let's keep knocking!"

      Delete
  24. That last picture is spot on. You can have several entertaining moments with Jehovans and Mormons on just that basis. I think, though, that I've been black balled.

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  25. I don't ever buy them. Most common here are just garbage bags and sweets, and well.. that's what the supermarket is for.

    Though, I'd rather buy off drug addicts in the street than walk into a Walmart.

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    1. And really, buying from a cracked out drug addict doesn't look much different than buying from your typical Walmart employee. The only difference is a blue uniform.

      Delete
  26. Good point buddy, I'd never thought about how door to door salesmen are outdated but you're actually right, magazines and informational literature are also quite outdone because of the concept of finding your information on the internet, great post guys.

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  27. I'm so impressed with the details you put into this post. The magazines even have ISBN bar codes. It's hilarious and very well done.

    When anyone comes to my door, I say "No thanks, I'm Jewish" as a standard response. The Jehovah's Witnesses get confused and run away. The others get confused and walk away. It always works.

    xoRobyn

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    1. I need to remember that. That's brilliant. I can accentuate this point by taking a long swig from my flask that says, "MAZEL TOV, BITCHES!"*

      *I really do own a flask that says this. Don't ask.

      Delete
    2. My only question is: Where can I get one?

      Shalom. =)

      Delete
  28. I've never seen an actual door to door salesman and I've only ever seen one or two Jehovah's Witness's. Actually I got into a nice debate with one which wasn't so bad. I'm kind of surprised that door to door salesman actually do exist still.

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  29. I haven't seen any door to door in years, but three years in the islands and now on top if a steep hillside. Before that, I lived in the middle of nowhere, smack dab center of 800 acres. A great deterrent to this type if pest. When I was somewhere in MT on a trip I saw a traditional 'welcome' sign that said 'Go Away' instead of welcome, always sorry I didn't buy it.

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    1. I have a feeling THIS is going to be my next purchase...

      Delete
  30. Haha...I rarely get someone dinging my doorbell and trying to sell me something. But if they do, I usually look through the peep hole and won't answer the door while my dogs go crazy barking nonstop.

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  31. The door-to-door religion peddlers were the worst.

    I was good at cutting them off....sometimes before they got half of a sentence out I'd already said "no thank you" and closed the door.

    A couple of months ago, I spent a few bucks on a "No Soliciting" sign that seems to have discouraged them. If that didn't work, I was getting a "Beware Of Psychotic Owner" sign.

    That was an impulse purchase but may be the best five bucks I've ever spent!

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    1. Back when I lived in an apartment my 80 year old next door neighbor had a handwritten 'No Soliciting' sign that was just a 3 paragraph essay on why he didn't want people knocking on his door and why he didn't believe in buying things from strangers door to door. It was so batshit insane that it deterred pretty much everyone from knocking on his door, even those who weren't salesmen...

      Delete
  32. I think if you wanted to make some money selling stuff door to door your best bet would be to sell "NO SOLICITING" signs. You would probably sell a lot.

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  33. I like to point to my "no soliciting for whatever reason" signs and hand them a piece of paper with adult literacy classes listed on it. I then like to offer to help them with the big words, since they obviously cannot read.

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    1. My parents have a 'No soliciting' sign in their door, and it's always amusing to hear them talk about the Jehovah's Witnesses that still ring the bell and then say, "Oh, well I saw the sign, but I'm not selling anything, friend! This gift is free!"

      This, of course, is followed by a door slamming in their face.

      Delete
  34. I HATE door to door salespeople! I never know how to say no in just the right way that comes across as both polite and still leaves no room for argument.

    However, I am WAY more creeped out by our regular mailman. Every time he comes to the door to have me sign for something...ugh. He's weird. Very, very weird. Apparently, driving around in a mail truck for years on end does things to you...

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    1. How much time do you have? One example is when he comes to the door, he asks for my son by name, "Hey, can CT come out to play?" In fact, he seems to know all of the kids in the neighborhood by name. CREEPY! I live in the same neighborhood as my parents, and somehow he's made the connection between our two houses--I know I've never told him--but he's made multiple comments about my parents and siblings, he knows what's going on in their lives. He makes weird jokes, and he has a "Beware of Dog" sign in the front window of his truck...seriously. I dread getting packages in the mail, because I'm forced to interact with that guy. I'm always polite, of course, because he's EXACTLY the kind if mailman who's gonna go postal someday, and I don't want to be on his list of victims...

      I know this kind of thing was pretty normal in the 1950's, everyone knew their mailman in those days, but now...it just freaks people out.

      You know, you guys could probably write a really great story based on my mailman. You should! It could be both funny and disturbing. Think about it.

      Delete
  35. That's why they make a door so it can slam

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  36. I just ask them if they're here for the books and then begin piling all my give-away books into their arms.

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  37. I have banned hubby from talking to people coming door to door. Especially electricity sales people. It only complicates things when he tries to help

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  38. I once purchased a calendar from a French door-to-door volunteer fireman.

    Before you get any ideas: A) The firemen in the calendar were fully-clothed and B) the calendar in question lived a short life collecting dust on a table.

    However, the best door-to-door purchase that I remember happened when I was a child waiting for a dental appointment. A salesman poked his head through the door and asked everyone in the waiting room if they would be interested in buying a set of high-quality and very sharp kitchen knives and a pair of scissors capable of breaking bones. My father initially said "no," reflected on the spot, then chased down the salesman to hear his sales pitch.

    We still chop vegetables and occasionally cut chicken bones with them. :P

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    1. I have a set of very, very sharp knives that my parents bought from one of those salesmen that no one is allowed to use. Because all we do is end up maiming ourselves.

      Delete
  39. I haven't even had somebody knock on our door in a long time. Last time, it was somebody inviting us to some church block party that they were having right outside our house. We also get a couple neighbors who make homemade food they sell around here for extra money and we get that sometimes, but nobody really knocks on the door for that. Too scared the 130 barking machine will eat them, I guess.

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    1. Meanwhile, my 5 lb barking machine does not do much to deter intruders.

      Delete
  40. No one comes to my door, probably because my apartment looks like a sex-trafficking safe house, but I would gladly buy some thin mints from an adorable little girl. If she brought milk or a $6 bottle of wine, I would put her ass through college.

    But like I said, it probably wouldn't end well for her. So I guess I'll just put pants on and go to the store.

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    1. If they sold wine and beer door to door, I don't think I'd ever leave the house.

      Delete
  41. I don't have door-to-door salesmen because I have dogs and a fence that is always locked (I'm neighborly that way..), but even I can't escape the girl scouts or boy scouts propaganda. I swear, every teacher's kid belongs to one or the other and they bring their 'fundraisers' to school!!!!! I think it's a conspiracy, just wait till they start selling magazines....Love your 'work attire' Bryan...:)

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    Replies
    1. Well, you don't need to sit around in an Armani suit to write a best seller...

      Delete
  42. Love it. We get missionaries and telemarketers. I am too polite according to my Hub. I say hello and goodbye, i don't invite them in for tea and a footrub !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Acknowledging they exist is just encouraging their type of behavior.

      Delete
  43. What??? People actually answer the door??? I thought everyone was like me and ignore any unsolicited doorbell ring. Because, I am pretty sure that if someone is actually ringing my doorbell they have the wrong address. Family members and friends would have texted me with a "I'm here..open up, I have to pee. "

    Although, perhaps I don't look as good/funny/interesting in my underwear as you. If I answered the door in my underwear they would quickly...more than quickly run away.

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  44. The poor salesmen and Jehovah's that come to my house get two completely unique experiences. I am always "way too nice" according to The Husband. I talk to them and although I don't buy what they are selling, they tend to come back. The Husband, instead of opening the door, loves to sneak up behind them and scare the crap out of them. He is huge, looks like a lunatic and is usually dressed in camo. He comes at them yelling and accusing them of trying to steal stuff off of our porch or trying to sneak up to look in the windows. Funny, they never seem to come back after that :)

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  45. I've just come across your blog and I love it! This post was amazing.

    When I last visited home we got a cold caller and my mum invited him in for about an hour! Thankfully he wasn't trying to sell breast cancer but I wish she'd get some friends instead of putting the kettle on for men that start their sales pitch with: 'Do I look like Will Smith?'. True story.

    Jess
    cantshutitup.blogspot.com

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    Replies
    1. They decided he looked more like Jaden Smith. Which makes it all the worse that she was flirting with him!

      Delete
  46. I love that you took the time to make pit stains. Classic.

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  47. I've never bought anything from a door-to-door salesperson. Mr. RK's ex-roommate apparently now, somehow, sells vacuums door to door...really. Of all the careers in the world, how do you end up with that one?

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  48. I work part time as a door-to-door guy until the end of the. Not fun, and if the pay wasn't decent thanks to commission, I'd have quit long ago.

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  49. I'm such a soft touch, I'm always buying things from door to door salesmen. Thank god for the mandatory 10 day cool down period for all door to door contracts, I just call up a couple of hours later and cancel.

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  50. there was one yesterday, trying to sell something. He asked me if my parents where home - I said no...he left...I think m anti aging cream is working.

    I wish we had people selling cookies door to door...i actually have to go to the supermarket. There should e a cookies take away.

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  51. There is one company in my area that is relentless! They show up every other month like clock work. We had people installing a new roof and they still had the balls to knock on my door and ask if we wanted, yep, a new roof. WTF? Now, I just lie to them and tell them I'm a renter so I don't have to listen to the whole spiel.

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  52. LOL! Where I live the gypsies from across the way come 2/3 times a week to ask if I want them to pave my (already paved) path. When I say no they invariably steal one of my plants that aren't tied down, or smash my wingmirror off x

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  53. You forgot the Jehova's witnesses, knocking on our doors trying to sell religion. Those people are the worst! They are relentless! They peek in my windows and continue to knock. "I see you in there, I know your home!" they say, "God needs you to open the door!"

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