Thursday, October 20, 2005

Just Another Hair-brained MLM Scheme

The service industry is tough. Turning on a smile, dealing with upset customers, answering customer questions... keeping people happy is difficult. I actually enjoy meeting new people and believe that I learn something every day from the ones that I work for and around. But, sometimes the customer doesn't want to be a customer. That's right, you are being solicited.

When was the last time you went to a convenience store and told the clerk that their life is heading in the wrong direction? This seems to be happening more and more in what some call 'viral marketing.' Sure, there are companies out there that actively pursue employees as if they were a sale. I'd mention some names but I'd like to cut the lawsuits down to a minimum.

The last few days at work have been solicitation hell. I can't actually count on my fingers and toes how many times I've dealt with this. This one unnamed company is in our building holding sales conferences (I worry that what they are doing is trying to meet people on the street and ask catch them off guard.) As an employee serving a customer, you are pretty much trapped in conversation with them. The conversation usually makes a turn at "So, how long have you been working here." A simple and easy question but you know the follow-up of "How do you like it?" is just awaiting whatever response you have. Now you are trapped. No one likes to work. Everyone wants to be paid more. Everyone would love to have better days off (like football Sundays.) Any way you answer the question you will be given a card, asked for a card, be told about how you can make money in your spare time (I have spare time? Really? Someone drug test this person!) or how something can change your life. I'm devising a plan for the next couple days to combat the scenario without endangering the job but I wonder how often you've felt cornered in the same way?

10 comments:

Lily said...

Hmm sounds somewhat disrespectful to be soliciting those who work in the building that is hosting their conference.

The way I see it, once they start soliciting you they have just changed the customer/employee dynamic. Tell them that their line of questioning makes you uncomfortable in *your* workplace.

LoraLoo said...

I have never had to deal with that in my workplace. In the gov't agency I work for, you'd never find a successful outsider lurking...

I agree with Lily. There's absolutely nothing wrong with telling someone (customer or not) that you're uncomfortable.

Vavoom said...

Man, I get solicited to all the time. I always hear, "Geez, Vavoom... you seem like a smart guy. If you work for us, we can offer you more. Also, have you looked at our product line, blah blah blah blah blah."

I feel your pain.

RT said...

Mmm. As much as I'm tempted to agree, I have to ask, if you're not happy with your job, why not entertain their offers?

Me? I'm probably one of those rare people that actually enjoys her work (even though I complain about it sometimes, lol.) There's only one thing that I would give it up for, and hey, if someone wants to pay for my education in psychology, I'll be all over it!

In the mean time, a few extra bucks and specific days off are not worth what I would be giving up.

Teri said...

How annoying! Sometimes it is easier to nod your head and smile, especially when you are at work.

Fred said...

When I used to work at Burger King, I'd hand out my card to competing fast food managers. I was a recruitment manager and had to hire about twenty people a month. After awhile, I was asked not to be so forward; I guess I was causing headaches for the competitors.

Fred said...

Weird. My comments don't show up when I hit the "Responses" link. But, once I get to the "post a comment" pop-up, it's there.

Do..do..do..do...

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