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premature death of a salesman

doesn't even look like me
for some reason, i've been getting a rash [the metaphor is deliberately chosen] of telephone calls from oddly named agencies interested in hiring me and asking if i'd like to come in for an interview. my reaction, which is becoming less and less cordial the more of these phone calls i get, is to ask if i could have a bit more information, like what the job is, what i'd be doing, where they're located, what kind of experience they're looking for, etc., which i don't think makes me an unreasonable person.

however, i've noticed that this reaction tends to make the callers deeply uncomfortable and they brightly insist that all will be made clear at the interview and that, yes, i certainly have the qualifications that they're looking for. eventually, if i hint that i would at least like to know the nature of the job i'm perfect for, they take a long pause and fess up to who they really are: an insurance company i've never heard of looking for a "recruitment agent" or "upgrade specialist" or "business development associate". when i get that last answer, i ask if what the post is a sales job. yes, it is. invariably. it's a sales job going on visits and getting people to buy insurance, very much like willy loman. and we all know how he ended up.

my first inclination is always to ask why, if these people have found my resume, they think i would be qualified for a sales job. i've never held a sales position in my life. i've not even worked retail for more than a few months. and i'm not asking this for my benefit, but for theirs. after all, it's no skin off my nose if they want to call me and have a five minute conversation that ends with me telling them that i'm not interested, but i would think that employing someone to call dozens of people like me, all woefully unqualified, would be a drain on their resources.

BUY from me baby
then, of course, i tend to get a little annoyed, because dom and i have insurance and lots of people i know have insurance and it dawns on me that our premiums are going to pay someone to call people who have no interest in or talent for the work to try to get them to attend a group interview. and it occurs to me that the reason that they're calling people who aren't qualified is because people who are in sales can earn more at other sales jobs. if they wanted salespeople, they'd be looking for people who had a lot of experience in that area.

often circumstances force us to do work in which we have no meaningful interest and while that can be draining, it's not the end of the world. but i think that even when circumstances do force us into this, we tend to seek out positions at which we have at least some skill, so that we don't end up getting canned a month later when the boss realises that our standard reaction to being told that someone isn't interested in what we're selling is to take them at their word. if i had any talent for sales jobs, believe me, i'd be all over the internet like a horny octopus looking for something that let me flex my persuasion muscles.
this is why you should buy the deluxe package

one particularly chipper caller asked me repeatedly if i had a car i could use for work and, when i said i didn't, she asked if i'd consider buying one for this job. i pointed out that she hadn't [at that point] told me what the job was, to which she responded that all would be made clear if i just let her book an interview. in retrospect, i'm thinking that this might not be about jobs or insurance at all and that montreal is secretly the home of some cult hiding under the guise of an insurance company. because that would make about as much sense as calling people out of the blue to ask if they want to sell insurance. of course, if i thought there was a cult waiting to try to convert me, i'd take the interview.


ahoythere said…
I think this is actually a scam that has been going around lately......
So don't tell them anything!
flora_mundi said…
It's funny that this actually makes me want to see if I can mess them up by giving them a fake profile. I could mock up a resume for a convicted criminal and then forward a story to the media "such-and-such company hires convicted arsonists to sell you fire insurance"

as long as you're here, why not read more?

mental health mondays :: where even the depressed ones are happy

this past week saw the publication of the annual world happiness report, a look at nations around the world and how people in each of them feel about their lot in life. i started following this a few years ago, and this year it occurred to me that it would be fun to look at how the happy places compared to the crazy places. i mean, what if those countries aren't really all that happy, but just have an extremely high rate of psychotic/ delusional disorders?

so, i set to work putting together a comparison. as it happens, that's a bit trickier than it sounds, because information on any kind of disability is more difficult to come by than you might think. and no type of disability is more controversial than a mental illness, which means that there are even more complications around definitions, seeking treatment, prognoses, record-keeping... it's hard to tell how reliable anything you're looking at is. [not that there aren't some good sources.]

and what sources there …


i keep seeing this ad for tictac candies:

am i the only one who finds the suicide bomber clown at the end a little unnerving? all the nice natural things like the bunny and the [extinct] woolly mammoth and the fruit get devoured by a trying-to-appear-nonthreatening-but-obviously-psychotic clown who then blows himself up. congratulations, tictac, i think this ad has landed you on about a dozen watch lists.

oh and by the way, showing me that your product will somehow cause my stomach to explode in a rainbow of wtf makes me believe that doing consuming tictacs would be a worse dietary decision than the time i ate two raw eggs and a half a bottle of hot sauce on a dare.

making faces :: a lip for all seasons [summer edition]

this may seem like an odd time to think about summer, but not to think about coolness. it can be hard to wrap your head around the idea that summer is considered "cool" in colour analysis terms and, in my opinion, reads as the coolest of the cool, because everything in it is touched with the same chilly grey. winter may have the coldest colours, but its palette is so vivid that it distracts the eye. everything in summer is fresh and misty, like the morning sky before the sun breaks through. in my original post on the season, i compared it to monet's paintings of waterlilies at his garden in giverny and, if i do say so, i think that's an apt characterisation.

finding lip colours touched with summer grey and blue is, as you might expect, kind of tricky. the cosmetic world seems obsessed with bringing warmth, which doesn't recognise that some complexions don't support it well. [also, different complexions support different kinds of warmth, but that's another…