Tuesday, October 04, 2005


No Solicitors

One of the disadvantages of running your own small business is the constant bombardment of people looking for a bit of your money which you can ill afford. I am constantly receiving phone calls from different publications wanting me to advertise, or some charity or another looking for a donation. A technique that seems to limit the amount of money we give away is to explain that we are run by a board of directors (my business partner, our accountant and myself) and that any decision must be done by the board and I ask them to fax any information to us. Nine times out of ten, nothing is faxed to us, making me wonder how many of these organizations are even legit.

Perhaps the most annoying group would have to be the door-to-door salespeople who pull up in the mall parking lot and hit each of the businesses with their cardboard boxes of crap. Normally they arrive with about 5 or 6 late teen or 20-something people in the car or van, and they go either individually or in pairs to each store. They try to sell anything from knife sets to vibrating stuffed animals, children's books, watches and so on. Sometimes they will show up two or three times a week. I mean come on, enough is enough. They have even taken to harassing customers and pedestrians walking down the sidewalk. It really annoys me when they try to sell something to one of my clients in my shop. I tell them that as soon as they pay part of my lease and utilities and taxes, they can sell their things to my clients.

One day, we had three groups come in one after the other, and when the third guy came in with his box o' crap, my business partner just looked at him with this incredulous look. He said "you are the THIRD person in the last few minutes who has come in here with that stuff!" The vendor said "sorry, man, I didn't know" in a rather rude tone. So my BP tells him, "You all came from the same car, you should decide who's going where instead of everyone bothering the same store." So this guy starts bitching at my BP, saying "You don't have to give me attitude", and as he turned to leave muttered "dumbass" and "fucking jerk". So of course, not willing to let this punk get the last word, BP yells out "This is my fucking store, get the fuck out and don't come back!"

It would appear that the pressures of the job got to the guy because we never did see him come back. Not to say none of them ever came back, because they certainly have. I guess I shouldn't have bought that poker set off one guy, but it really was a good price. Unfortunately, once you buy something they keep coming back. Sort of like feeding a stray cat.

The girls in the office next door got so pissed off they put a "No Solicitors" sign on their door. It hasn't worked so far. In fact, one day a vendor came by and went into their office. The girl closest to the door said "Didn't you see the sign?"
"What sign?"
"The one that you walked right past on the door."
He turned to look at the sign, looked back at her and with a look of confusion on his face said "I'm not Sicilian".
"It says 'No Solicitors', not 'No Sicilians', and that means you. Out!"

I couldn't believe it when she told me that.
Sicilains. Too much.

Dave, People are not smart...it's a sad, cold fact of life.
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