A new set of sales dweebs appeared at my doorstep a few days ago, attempting to shill more Rogers services to me (if someone can point me towards a NO SOLICITORS sign cheap I’d appreciate it). The way I was spoken to was rudeness personified.
The two young folk, addressed me by my actual name (no unfortunately they did not call me Big Cajun Man), and asked me how I was doing, I said fine, and gave my best, Can you please get on with wasting my time look. The sales team consisted of a young lady and a portly young lad who seemed to be the mouth piece of the duo. He asked me about how I enjoyed my Rogers services, so I ranted about the overcharging game they play with their Internet Access products, and the young man smiled, but never really addressed my concerns.
The young man then made a classic sales blunder, that this generation of sales folks never seems to grasp, which is, if your customer is old enough to be your Father, do not address him as either:
- By his First Name (before they say it’s OK)
- Friend -or-
- My Man
I am very old fashioned, and anyone who is the age of one of my kids addressing me with one of those colloquialisms, is the ultimate in terms of rudeness, and guarantees that this sales person will not be making a sale to me. If this young salesperson had thought about it, he should have started with Sir , and if I had then said, “Call me C8j or Mr. Big…” then become more familiar, but leaping to My Man as your title for your customer is just a loser 10 times out of 10.
I know that I am a sadistic bastard (another colloquialism I occasionally answer to) once I have decided I dislike a salesperson or their product, and I will then let them ramble around, give them as little information as possible, and then when they throw their sales pitch I answer with a quick, “No Thank You”, and will start closing the door on them. I must admit I did this and then the young gentleman continued blundering along and asked, “Can I ask you why not, My Man?”.
Once you have addressed me in an inappropriate manner and then insulted me with a crap deal, please don’t feel that I will follow any normal rules of engagement (i.e. I feel that I no longer need to be polite with you), and I will start to create complete fabrications about why your offer is a load of festering canine feces. I went on for a short period about how I had gotten a much better deal with Rogers through their phone center (which is true) and that I am a former Bell employee and get a great deal on all other services (a fabrication). I then said, “Thank you and have a good night”, and started to close the door.
“Wait, my man…”, my portly adversary blurted again as the door started to close. I gave an inquisitive look which hopefully suggested he now was at the level of the bacteria that causes cold sores, but he then thanked me for listening and he and his sidekick left with their tails between their legs.
My question is this, am I just too old fashioned to be assuming that someone who is at least 1/2 my age might address me with some level of respect? If you are dealing with your elders should you address them as Sir or Ma’am, or is it just the way things are that a door to door shill can address you with whatever odd colloquialism they wish? I guess I was lucky he didn’t call me Big Dude, or Home Boy?
Oh and if you have pieces of metal sticking out of parts of your face (other than your ear lobes) or have a really bitchin’ tatoo on your arm, please don’t knock on my door (yup, that bugs me too).
I use “Sir” so often, some people might be offended.
I address my two boys as “Gentlemen”. Actually I address any group of boys as “Gentlemen”, even at times when I should be addressing them with a cat-o-nine tails. There are people who get rankled if you call them “Sir” or “Ma’am”. The ones who say “My dad was ‘Sir’, my name is Bud,” will usually forgive you though.
If you call me by my first name, I will have a different reaction to the author though. I will start to wonder if I should know you, which may be what they want. If I think I have forgotten who you are, maybe I will treat you better for my mistake..
Remarkably funny post. You had me at “dweebs.”
I wonder, though, if the young Stan and Ollie in question weren’t using “my Man” in the utterly formal or feudalistic sence… much like “Yes, my Lord.”
Since moving to Japan 8 years ago, I am always shocked by sales and retail staff when I go back to Canada. I was buying some shirts at the mall once, and had to listen the the two clerks conversation of what they would have for dinner as well as their evening plans. I really didn’t exist to them.
Here, even workers at the “dollar” store treat each customer with respect.
It seems that general manners is disappearing these days.
I’m always surprised when companies send out the least trained or experience people to be the initial point of contact for their organization. These people make the first impression with potential clients.
Banks are notorious for this, putting new employees at the very front desk to be a “greeter”. The first person a client sees should be very knowledgeable, experienced in service and obviously well mannered!
I quite agree with you. Don’t they tell young people to address strangers as “Sir” or “Ma’am” anymore? I’m only 31 and I know at least that much!
Hope so my learned commenter.
It never ceases to amaze me that folks feel obligated to be polite to the telemarketers who call and salespeople who come to the door. I am civil, but neither rude nor polite. They are interrupting my life without my having requested they do so; in fact, I’m on the ‘do not call’ list, so they are doing so expressly contrary to my wishes.
As soon as it becomes clear that they are taking up my time to try to sell me something, either in person or by phone, I interrupt, say “thank you, I am not interested” and either close the door or hang up. I don’t wait for them to respond. Some may view it as rude, but I’m practical. The faster I get shoo them away, the faster they can move on to the next call/door where they may have a chance of a sale.
I recently had a young person reach out and start to open the screen door through which I was speaking to him. I grabbed the handle and pulled it shut just as my two large dogs came running up, barking. I could not believe his boldness and told him to leave the door shut, thank you. He seemed genuinely surprised.
Do they teach these kids anything these days?
No, Mr. Big Cajun Man, you are not the only crotchety old fart out there, not by a long shot.
Thanks for a great laugh. “My portly adversary”: I love it.
I had a hotshot guy try to convince to pay him to seal my driveway this month. After I told him no thanks about four times he said, “Well, I’m very disappointed in you.” I had to restrain myself from using profanity and violence.
Violence is not the answer, however, Profanity or a simple, “Have a nice day, Douche Bag!”, always works too.
Right on! A little respect goes a long way. But still, I have never and will never purchase anything from someone at my door so I don’t give them the time for their spiel whatever that may be.
Glad to see I am not the only Cranky Old Man in this world
Nice post Mr. Big Cajun Man sir 🙂
I recently had two rather thug like individuals come to the door and try and sell me an alarm system. I was sort of thinking if I didn’t buy it from them, they would come back and rob my house. One even tried to step in the door – which is when I slammed it in their faces.
I’m sure they prey on the stay at home mom’s and seniors, maybe telling them that “there has been a few break-ins in your neighborhood”.
Pretty much on target. I don’t even care about the sir or ma’am part so much, but to just dismiss your concerns was probably the worst part of the whole thing and where I would have been turned off. Well, no that’s not true, I would have been turned off when I saw that they were salespeople because I hate that as well.
I couldn’t agree more. Just the fact that companies still try to sell “door to door” boggles my mind. That model went out in 1972. That a company would send out, as a representative of their brand, a rude, obviously untrained and poorly educated, twit, speaks volumes about the respect, or lack thereof, they have for the customer.
People really need to stand up and reject this kind of disrespect from large companies that just assume we are a bunch of mindless rubes who will run to their every offering because we’ll save a buck or two.
It’s time to seek quality and reject quantity.
Thanks for a great post,