I Legitimately Sell A Product Called “Mr. Sticky” At a Store Called “B.J.’s.”

27 Nov

I recently just starting working a second job. This is because I am a 23 year old college graduate, and apparently that’s what we’re supposed to do… like, work multiple jobs until we can afford to, you know… be alive. Basically, I’m a live infomercial girl, but I think the official title is “sales representative.” I like saying that. Before when people asked me “So, what do you do?” I would say “I’m a singer/dancer!” Then, their faces would fade a bit, and to cover up their confusion, they’d all say some rendition of “Ooohh… that must be, fun?” or “How neat! Great! Cool! So, you like… get paid to… do that?” 

Now, when someone asks me “So, what do you do?” I get to say, “I’m a sales representative for a large outsourcing company.” Now people’s faces don’t fade. Absolutely not. Now they just nod in validation. I feel important. I feel like I’m finally a part of “normal” society. I have a “normal” job. I get to wear “business casual” attire and “sensible” shoes. 

But basically what I do is go into big, classy stores like Sears, K-Mart, and… BJ’s. (I am, unfortunately, not joking about this establishment’s name… It’s basically the southern equivalent to a Sam’s Club.) I put on little 20 minute shows selling different products.

Now I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking that deep down, behind this writing, I’m actually feeling sort of resentful about my please-buy-this-product-so-I-can-afford-the-expensive-kind-of-cheese-at-the-deli job. But you couldn’t be more wrong! This job actually makes me very happy. While I may not be onstage in a theme park singing a blazing rendition of “I’m Walkin’ On Sunshine” to a giant golden toilet and a mob of attention-deficit teenagers (Please see former post: I’m Walking On Gibberish… WOAH) this job still fulfills my need to perform. After all, I’m in front of people. I’m talking to them, telling them how awesome something is, and at the end of my little pitch I get instant gratification. If I did a good job, they buy the product. If they don’t, it’s not like I “don’t get the part.” That’s the beauty of this job: I already have the part. I just have to make an adjustment or something in order for my performance to be more convincing and effective.

Right now, the company has me selling a product called… “Mr. Sticky.” (I am, unfortunately, not joking about this product’s name, either.) You may have seen this on TV, you may have not. Basically, it’s a life time guaranteed lint roller, which means “never ever as long as you own this will you EVER have to buy a refill!!!!” No, but seriously guys, this thing is pretty bad ass. It literally cleans anything- cars, glass, ceiling fans, counter tops, live dogs- and it never stops being sticky. You just rinse it off with water to clean it, dry it off, and BAM- it’s right back to being sticky again. The best part about the job is that I don’t feel like Matilda’s skeezy car salesman father or anything selling this thing. It actually is a great product.

So today was my first day of training. I’m paired up with one other representative, Jenny, who is an absolute angel. She’s one of the top sellers of our area, so I’m learning from the best. The whole day I was able to watch Jenny do her pitches, take notes, and learn by observation. I’m not completely memorized on my script yet (I’m close!) and in between her pitches we’d practice on my performance.

As always, watching human beings proved to be a very insightful experience. The first pitch, I was feeling pretty nervous and out-of-place. Obviously, I was in training, so… was I supposed to act like I wasn’t associated with Jenny at all? Was I supposed to “ooh” and “ahh!” when Mr. Sticky proved to be sticky again after just one rinse? I ended up just kind of standing off to the side, not saying much, and participating only when the entire group was expected to touch Mr. Sticky or something. (Yes, I do get joy from telling people to “go ahead and touch Mr. Sticky. You know you want to.”)

I learned a lot today from watching and listening, but the most valuable thing I learned today is as follows: People. Are. Nuts.

I think that’s the major lesson I’ve learned since graduating college. Going out into the real world where you’re exposed to… everyone… you start to realize that human beings are actually insane to the membrane. And there’s nothing anyone can do about it.

For example: Our first pitch today. I stood off to the side, quietly watching Jenny go through the live infomercial presentation. I was taking mental notes when I noticed that near the back of the group, a man who quite resembled Clint Eastwood in Grand Torino was standing, arms crossed, looking like he was about to shoot someone in the kneecap with a shotgun. I wondered what on earth could be the matter… didn’t he want the free gift that we offer everyone at the beginning of every sales pitch? Was he dissatisfied with his free gift? If he was so angry, why was he still standing here? He could leave at any time…

Clint continued to look at Jenny like she was his life-long enemy. I was actually pleasantly surprised when he didn’t punch the back of the woman’s head in front of him. Jenny was nearing the end of her pitch, and still, there Clint stood, arms crossed, brow furrowed, lips curved slightly downwards in a dissatisfied grimace. I mean if I’m being honest here, he looked like a rhinoceros concentrating on fighting off a rectal infection. I was expecting Clint to throw his hands up in the air, mutter something about the filthy Japs taking over our economy, and return to browsing the chainsaw section of Sears, when Clint threw his prune-like hand up into the air.

Clint: (sandpaper voice) I’ll take three.
Jenny & I:

Then, later, a large African American woman pushed her way to the front of the counter and took full advantage of Jenny asking her to “get a front-row seat.” Throughout the entire presentation, this woman looked like Jenny was selling the world’s first flying car for 12 bucks. I’m serious. Her eyes were as big as tea saucers. Her mouth could have been an acceptable storing place for a clementine. But the most amazing this about this woman is that she was completely silent. She literally did not make a SOUND. I mean usually, people will “ooh” and “ahh!” and answer the rhetorical questions during the presentation. Oh no. Not this woman. The only thing on her body that reacted to anything Jenny said was her face.

Jenny: And the best part about Mr. Sticky is that it comes with a lifetime guarantee, which means never ever as long as you have this will you ever have to buy a refill!
Woman: (Makes a face as if someone just told her she won a million dollars in a library.)
Jenny: Look! All you do to clean it is put it in a little hot water- see that?- and all of that hair and dust and debris just falls right off, literally falls off
Woman: (Makes a face as if someone just showed offered her a ride on a real-life unicorn during the most somber moment of New York Ballet’s  production of “Swan Lake.”)
Jenny: So! You get Mr. Sticky, the Jr. Sticky, AND the GIANT STICKY all for just 29.99 today!
Woman: (Head explodes.)

I was completely positive this woman was not only going to buy a Mr. Sticky for herself, I thought she was going to buy one for everyone who she had ever been introduced to in her entire life. By the way this woman was looking at the presentation, you would have thought her day, her year, her entire LIFE had changed, all because of Mr. Sticky.

Jenny: Okay! So, I need you guys to tell me right now who wants one- you want one? You want one over there?- okay? Who else? You want one?

I AM NOT JOKING. It’s like this woman FROZE up when Jenny asked her if she wanted a Mr. Sticky. You would have thought Jenny asked, “Would you like to tickle my thighs near the employee entrance when I get off work?” with the reaction that this woman gave her. Absolutely appalled, absolutely offended, almost disgusted in a way. But I think the most interesting thing about this woman is that she didn’t leave. She was LITERALLY the last one to walk away from the booth. I mean just… just so awkward. It wasn’t even like she was standing around, debating if she wanted to spend 30 dollars on a lint roller. It was like she was sticking around (ha ha… see what I did there? Sticking around??? …sorry.)  just to give us the stink eye, after being COMPLETELY CHANGED by this lint roller’s existence.

And so, I reiterate: People. Are. Nuts.

I have to wake up early tomorrow to drive to another location that’s an hour away for day 2 of my training. I should probably go to bed. I mean, when I really think about it, my parents paid 40,000 dollars a year for me to sell a product called “Mr. Sticky” at a store called “B.J’s.” I should probably be well-rested for it.




2 Responses to “I Legitimately Sell A Product Called “Mr. Sticky” At a Store Called “B.J.’s.””

  1. Margie/Mama December 4, 2012 at 4:09 pm #

    You are brilliant. It’s amazing how well you can tell a story, remember the details, etc. No matter what you choose to do in life, I know you will make that small corner of the world a better place. I’m glad you are my daughter, and I’m glad that Dad and spent the money to send you to school. I love you.

  2. New Salesgirl Emily January 29, 2013 at 4:39 pm #

    Hi, there. I, ah… Just got recruited for this job too. My first training day is this coming Thursday. I’m looking online for the TV version of the infomercial, I guess, but I found this first. Love your stories. I can tell you exactly what was going on, though. People aren’t crazy. We’re used to the skeezy car salesmen, and we are trained not to believe anything a salesperson tells us. The Clint fellow was being skeptical, not to show that he was impressed, and probably waiting for the last moment to make up his mind and be completely convinced. The dramatic lady… well, that one seems a little more odd to me. I’d guess she was actually impressed, but decided to stick to her training and not buy from a sales person. Her loss, though.

    Mr. Sticky salesgirl in Canada

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