Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Squashing the Salesman

I read somewhere that a good salesman can convince a customer she needs whatever he’s selling. Sure as shooting, this is the first lesson taught in sales class. I’m just guessing here since I’ve never been to a real how-to-get-people-to-buy-stuff class.

But I did piddle around with a short stint of selling vacuum cleaners when I was in college. That was a lot of years ago, last century to be more specific. Back when selling vacuum cleaners door-to-door was in its heyday.

It seems a good door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesman (sorry about the historic terminology, but I did say last century) doesn’t walk into the customer’s home and think:

This person doesn’t need this wonderful but pricey vacuum cleaner. Lord knows she ain’t got that much to vacuum.

Real quick like, I learned feeling sorry for your customer
means you don’t make many sales. Which means you don’t make much money.

Gotta admit, this attempt to sell stuff was an eye opener for me. I was right young when I discovered what a lousy salesperson I was. Which pretty much slammed that door in my face. But as y’all know, when one door slams shut another one opens. Not sure what door opened way back then, but I did study journalism rather than marketing in college.

On the other hand, having been on the sales end of the stick, I’m wise to the ways of salespeople. This came in real handy when Jeb and I were renovating our house many years ago. The sales rep of a popular brand of windows tried to convince me to buy his windows over another brand.

Bless his heart, his windows were less expensive than the ones I wanted. And the cost of renovating the house was eating our lunch, so saving money was a good thing. Problem was, we wanted windows that opened from the top. And this guy didn’t have any that did.

When he wasn’t able to convince me how great his windows were, he tried using the old “Dr. So and So over in Rich People’s Subdivision had a bunch of our windows installed in his house. He’s right happy with them.”

Now I was glad for Dr. So and So, but I wasn’t fixing to live in his house so I really didn’t care what windows he had put in. Right fast, I put the squash on that move with a very polite-don’t-give-a-hoot, “You don’t say.”

The window rep finally recognized defeat when he saw it. That’s another aspect of sales I don’t miss, doing all that talking and not making a sale.

Then again, being a rotten salesperson led me right out of sales into the newspaper world. Which pretty much assured I’d never have the money to buy an expensive vacuum cleaner, either.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Doggone Right They Need Seatbelts

There sure are a lot of folks around here who don’t seem to understand basic physics. Remember this law? For every action there is a reaction?

Action: Slam on the brakes of your car.
Reaction: It skids to a stop. 

Simple? Right? 

Car going, apply brakes, car stops.

Problem is, the stuff IN the vehicle keeps on moving at whatever speed the vehicle was going. So you’re humming down the road at 60 mph and a deer runs in front of you. SLAM! You hit the brakes. The car skids to a stop, but guess what? You, and everything else in that car, keeps going at 60 mph.

This basic law of physics is the reason seat belts and air bags were invented. To keep folks from eating the steering wheel or going through the windshield head first.

Seems to me, folks would respect physics and secure all the passengers in the car. 

Even their dog.

Oh, no, not my Peaches. She’ doesn’t need a safety harness. She just loves to sit in my lap and look out the window. 

Yes, I hate to admit it, but there are some good ole boys around here who have let their lives be ruled by little bitty dogs.

As you can tell, I’ve got problems with folks who think it’s okay to have their cute little dog standing on their lap. It’s usually small dogs since the larger ones squash your legs and make it hard to even see out the wind shield, but still, do you really want your Pomeranian crushed when you ram into another vehicle and the air bag deploys?

Because, another law of physics. In order to protect the driver those things blast out at oh, 100 mph upon impact. Blink your eye and its over. As is your dog.

Or how about folks who think it’s cute to let their dog stick his head out of a vehicle window? Think of the crud blowing into their eyes and ears at 20 mph. Multiple that by more damage if you’re going 50 or 60 mph. What about a rock tossed up by a passing truck? If it can dent your car’s windshield, think of what it can do to your dog’s head

Don’t even get me going on folks who put their dog in the bed of a pick up truck. Again, basic physics. For every action there’s a reaction. Slam on the brakes and yes, the dog somersaults out of the truck to death. Or permanent maiming. One of my neighbors crippled his beautiful Golden Retriever when she was thrown out of the truck bed.

Jocko loves to ride in the car, but he’s always secured to a harness in the back seat. I even bought him a little dog booster (yes, they have them for dogs!) seat so he can see out of the side window. 

Be a good dog guardian. Secure you pet in the car (Mr. Tibbs said to be sure an keep cats in a carrier and strap it in). Think about how you’d feel if you slammed on the brakes maimed or killed your dog.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Cotton Picking for Real Snow in Alabama

Seems I got tied up with doing other things since last summer and neglected to keep everyone entertained with my blogs. Since you keep showing up to read them, I'll try and do better writing them in 2018!

Several years ago I wrote a blog about how we don’t get much snow down here in LA (lower Alabama). In fact, most years near about as close as we get to anything resembling snow is during the fall cotton harvest.

Which based on recent activities down here in Tassanoxie, it’s a good thing we don’t get snow often. You know what happens hereabouts when it gets cold and we get snowy sleet and way below freezing temperatures? 

Well, first of all, everything closes–schools, businesses, events, city operations except for emergency personnel. Who are going to be greatly needed based on all the idjits that think the advice not to drive isn’t meant for them.

Second, some idjits get in their vehicles and off they go.

Right into an accident as they skid all over the roads and cause massive pile ups. Especially on roads that cross bridges due to that thing called black ice, which it appears Alabama drivers do not recognize as being a problem. Until their car slides around backassward to where they were going. 

The real kicker comes when the next round of idjits get mad at the state and local police officers because the road has been closed to more traffic. As if the emergency folks don't need time to sort through the mess made by the first round of idjit drivers. All those cars that skidded every which a way need to be untangled and the cars and people moved out of there.

But noooooo, the idjits are mad because now they don’t get a chance to skid off a bridge. I know. I know. Bubba has 4 wheel drive and can just drive around any pile ups. Yeah, right off the bridge into the river because that’s where most of the accidents occurred. Surprise! Black ice forms on bridges.

And let’s take a looksee at who is out there skidding off a bridge. What’s so important these guys have to be out and about. Oh, yeah. They can’t miss that volunteer meeting that some other idjit insists is happening. 

All I know for sure is that Alabamians are a lot safer when it’s only cotton lining the sides of the road than when it’s real snow.