The Encyclopedia Salesman - a thing of the past?



 Even the President has a hard time getting rid of the encyclopedia salesman.

My past relationship with Direct Sales


It was 1975 - My new husband and I hadn't been married 2 weeks, until one day an Encyclopedia salesman came to our apartment door. Now these people were hard sell.  Once you let them in, they are almost impossible to get rid of and both husband and I were too young and inexperienced to order this man  (who was old enough to be our parent)  out of our home.  So for 3 hours, we sat -  my dinner in the oven, while this nut, spread encyclopedias all over my living room carpet. He would hop on a encyclopedia and present his spiel.  26 hops = 26 encyclopedias! We did the only thing we could do at that time. We purchased a set of Britannia Encyclopedias for over $1000 on our brand new credit card. Wonderful. What did we need with encyclopedias? We had no children and was not planning to, for a few more years. And personal computers at this time, wasn't even a gleam in Steve Jobs eyes.  We had no idea, that one day we could be lugging around these heavy books, that would be so old and obsolete,  that the public library wouldn't even take them.  $1000 in 1975 was a lot of money!  (Lets get real - it is still a lot of money!)

That evening after we ate our over-cooked dinner, my new husband and I went to bed. We were mute. Then at 4am the next morning, we both sat up in bed. We had BUYERS REMORSE! I immediately retrieved the receipt and in teeny tiny print, it said I had 3 days to cancel. I had to send it registered mail. That morning, both my husband and I felt relieved that we were able to slither out of this deal in time! We had learned our lesson and that is when I developed a real distrust of anyone in direct sales.


 They think they own you!

Of course I don't feel that way now. Some of my best friends are in direct sales and MLM companies. I had to grow up a little and evolve - I had to go through the job market - get laid off, collect unemployment. I had to go through sexual harassment on the job, back when there were no protections from it. I had to commute, pay a monthly parking spot in San Francisco - I had to buy new clothes all the time, repair the car - get new tires - deal with office politics, "chip in" for office gifts, go to holiday office parties, sit in bumper-to-bumper traffic. Get "written up" for something I supposedly did - I got verbal notices, and written notices. I was docked pay - I worked overtime - was made to feel guilty when I called in sick when I really was sick. So I would go to work and spread my germs. That is what the bosses wanted. WORK WORK WORK your butt off and for what?

Then I started having children - and I wanted to be home, to hear the pitter patter of those little feet!

Now what?


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