To which I sighed and mumbled, “Aw, shit.”
It’s true the people down here in Texas are way friendlier than those in the north, but they’re not that damn friendly. I wasn’t even in his Social Zone yet, which can only mean one thing: he wants something, and that something is invariably going to take up my time and his, and we’re both going to be disappointed in the end. These salespeople work on commission, making them like pit bulls with their jaws clamped on your meaty calf.
Here’s how the rest of the conversation went, and picture me slowly pushing my cart away from him as I try my best to shake the dog loose in the nicest of ways.
Him: May I ask if you have satellite or cable TV?
Me: [glancing at the table behind him with a DirecTV sign on it & becoming instantly optimistic I can get out of this quickly] Oh, sorry, we rent our house so we can’t get satellite TV.
Me: Nope! Sorry.
Me: Well, my husband makes all the decisions on things like this, so you’d have to talk to him. (I use this excuse all the time.)
Me: [now walking backward as I continue to push my cart away from him] Can’t. He’s at work. [shoulder shrug that says Whaddaya gonna do?]
Me: Next…year? (Yes, I phrased it as a question.)
Me: [apologetic smile] You too.
Was that not ridiculous? Sometimes I hate that I can’t just ignore them and walk away guilt free. I even let telemarketers go through their schpiel before telling them no. After all, I understand that it’s their job to be annoying. I can’t bring myself to say “kiss off” when they’re just trying to make a living. (Plus, what if I’m super mean to a telemarketer and they’re already in a really volatile position in their life and my rudeness and lack of respect is the last straw and they end up on a fast downward spiral until they end up going completely postal and taking out a bunch of innocent people kind of like Michael Douglas in that movie Falling Down?! I don’t want that on my record when I have my chat with Saint Peter at the Pearly Gates.)
Later I was thinking of all the things I could’ve said right off the bat to shut him down quicker, still without being rude. I mean, I’m a writer for chrissakes, I should be able to spin a tiny yarn or two to get me out of uncomfortable situations, shouldn’t I? The problem is, I’m the least witty person off the top of my head. Unless I can think about it and rehearse ahead of time, I’m useless when it comes to lying.
So, I’ve decided to come up with a few elaborate lies that will hopefully stop these people in their tracks. They’re trained on how to come back from almost anything (as you can see from the above conversation) so I need to do one of two things: say something that covers every possible base so they don’t have anything else to toss back at me, or say something so outrageous that it stuns them for at least a good two seconds so I can make my getaway.
In Part II I’m going to let you know a few that I come up with. What about you? Do you have a funny or crazy story about being molested by a salesman? Have you ever told them something crazy to get them to leave you alone? Share it in the comments!