Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I can't sell ice to Eskimos *Kind of personal. If you actually know me, you might care*

At times like this I wish I was one of those natural born salespeople. People that could sell ice to Eskimos, not only sell it, but for a high margin, with plenty of commission in it for themselves.

I am a salesperson. I sell stuff. I find out what my client is after, I bid/design/draw/specify it, and see if I can get them their desired solution for a price they are willing to pay. I only put food on the table when I sell stuff. I have a little product management position, which brings in a fraction of a poverty level income.

Right now it is really hard to be a salesperson, period. Add to that the fact that the products I offer I heavily tied to the housing market. Add to that the fact that my largest client, Regency Homes, collapsed last year, under the weight of clueless, reckless, foolish management. The homes that are moving in this market tend to be bare bones, hardly the type of homes that require all the goodies we offer.

My identity is not wrapped up in being a salesperson. It is my job, my career of choice, not who I am.

I do what I do with, God willing, integrity. I don't jack up one person's price and cut an other's based on my perception of their income or likelihood of buying. I try to earn repeat customer's business not because I know the name of their kid's little league team, but because I deliver on what I said I would, on time, for the quoted price, and I take care of any issues by fighting for my clients when they need service after the sale. To whatever degree I do this, I credit God, because anything good I do in this life originates with Him.

So, the problem. Right now, this career of choice, that I've had at A Tech / Easy Living for 8 years doesn't seem to be enough to live on, in the manner my wife and I have chosen to live. We don't live extravagantly, but we don't have to have two cars, go on an annual vacation, or own two computers. Kelli does work catering some, and recently became a representative for Premier Designs. I'm really not sure what to do.

The easy answer is, "sell more." But since I can't sell ice to Eskimos, it can be difficult for me. I need people who are interested in buying. Unlike some salespeople, I can't use the force of my personality to talk an uninterested person in to buying something from me, nor would I want to, because I don't think I could sleep at night.

I know their are habits I could change. Small things I could do. Our management is pretty loose. They only babysit you when you prove you can't go it alone. No one is looking over my shoulder making sure I do the little things that might help me be a better salesperson.

I guess I'm just sharing what's going on. Nothing really profound, just sharing.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Normal Names with Unique Spellings

Parents, before you decide to make your child's name unique by giving a common name a unique spelling, please be aware that your child's educators and business ties may spell their name wrong indefinitely. There's nothing like finding out that I spelled a common first name wrong all along because I mistakenly thought I knew how to spell it. And yes, I know to ask about Ann(e), K(c)athy, Jo(h)n, and Bri(y)an. I also generally don't like names with like 18 different spellings, like Alycia. It's like if I spelled my name Tod. I'd either need to spell it for everyone or just accept that everyone spelled it Todd.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Free Lunch

So, there is a little secret a lot of us don't realize.

The city of Des Moines offers free lunch in several of the major city parks on weekdays. The program is there to feed needy kids.

My wife has gotten a free lunch for Elena on a couple of occasions. Sounds fine. Nice. Free lunch. They are strict about the food distribution, and make you dispose of any uneaten food. No one can take anything home...it's better to throw in the trash than to let you take it home.

So, I gave it a little thought, and then threw this out to her. Government programs are funded and perpetuated to whatever degree they are utilized. If they give out 100 free lunches at Union Park, then that means 100 needy kids needed lunch. Right? The only problem is, how many of these kids need a lunch? It's convenient. And it's free. But is it needed? Does Mom not have any food at home, or no ability to pack a lunch? In my neighborhood, at Union Park, it looks like there are people this needy. But what about the kids whose parents could pack a lunch, and just don't do it?

I know most of you reading this blog are conservatives. Do you take the lunch? Do you realize you're really being just a tad bit hypocritical by accepting a government hand out that isn't even needed. And for the handful of liberals who look at this...doesn't it seem wrong that kids in need and kids who have plenty are both getting free lunches. One out of poverty, the other out of convenience?

Monday, June 8, 2009

Non-crazy environmental rant

Usually I would not rant about environmental stuff, but this really bugs me.


What's with the people in my office who print all their e-mails? Every single e-mail they receive! I could reply to an e-mail with "yes" or "no" and they would print the e-mail. You're spending our company's money on paper, toner, and you're throwing the paper in the trash can when you're done with it. They are doing their part to contribute to ridiculous fact that our paper consumption has increased since the advent of the computer.


I don't need a bag for the single, tiny item I purchased at your store. For instance, I buy a little Wyler's drink mix pack from Walgreens. You know, the little packets you can put in a 20 oz. bottle of water and shake up? If I don't tell them I don't want one, they put it in a plastic sack 100 times the size of the product. The same thing is true of nearly every retail store.

Please ask me if I want a sack.

When I sell stuff from our retail store, and it's a single small item, I usally ask if people want a sack. I sometimes get a shocked, condescending look. As if to say "What!? Of course I want a sack for this tiny item I purchased which I can easily carry in one hand, along with the receipt, to my car."

I am now trying to tell cashiers not to give me a sack for small purchases. We do recycle these plastic sacks as trash bags in our home, but we have a crazy over abundance of them. Once in awhile I remember to bring a bag full of them back to one of those recycle boxes inside the grocery store.

I could probably think of more rants, but feel free to add your own.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Is it a sin to laugh at other Christians?

I'm not sure if it's the picture or the job title. It must be the combination of the two.