Monday, May 13, 2013

Purrsonal Story: Knife Seller

 

 I used to sell knives.

And if you know me very well, you would know how ironic that statement is. You see, I'm more likely to accidentally cut or stab myself with a knife than use it properly. No, I'm quite serious about that. I'm a bit clumsy, especially when it comes to knives.

Yet, I needed a summer job before I was going away to college. I'd just finished my second year of community college at the time, and then I was off to Missouri for my bachelors. So a little extra money would be a good thing, right?

I found the ad in the newspaper. I could make over $15 per appointment. Sounded awesome, right? Eh, not so much. I went for the interview and got in. I think they took just about everyone, and the job had a high turn-over rate. But I got the job, and then I would have training.

Yeah, we had to purchase our own training kit. Ugh. My parents bought it for me, since I had no money (hence the need for the job). I think training lasted for two days. We had our scripts of what we were supposed to say to prospective buyers as well as tested the knives. The kitchen knives really are awesome! Top of the line, and we've still been using them since 2002 with no need to sharpen them or anything like that.

But I soon discovered selling knives really wasn't my calling.

In fact, I nearly had panic attacks over telephoning people to ask for an appointment.

The actual appointments went well. I had a nice time, but I couldn't force myself to be pushy either. I knew the knives were a bit pricey, and I wouldn't guilt people into purchasing them. So I gave my spiel, showed off my wares, and then if they weren't interested, I said, "Okay. Thanks anyway!" and left.

I don't believe you have to be pushy to sell an item. Still don't.

I think the job cost me more than I made in the end too. But I can say I had a brief occupation as a knife seller.

I think I'll stick with being a writer.

Have you ever had a strange summer job?

30 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That doesn't sound like fun. No wonder they had a high turnover rate.

Carole Anne Carr said...

Yes, I can imagine the whole process, horrible, but all experiences are valuable to a writer, aren't they. :0)

Summer Ross said...

My brother did vacuum cleaners once and I did telemarketing- which I wasn't very good at either. LOL

M.J. Fifield said...

I worked a telemarketing job doing a phone survey that would lead to someone attempt to sell you a vacuum cleaners. I didn't last very long, and I'm pretty sure that's the biggest reason why I now hate talking on the phone.

Mama J said...

I'm with you with the clumsiness!

I don't think I'd make a good salesperson. Nowhere near pushy enough to make a profit.

Natalie Aguirre said...

I never had a strange job. But I did waitress through college and made enough money to not work the first year of law school.

Patricia Lynne said...

I don't think I've ever had a strange job. The best job I had was during college. I worked the concession stand - which isn't the best part - and my second year, I was assigned to making the popcorn and cotton candy. The popcorn was bleh, but the cotton candy... OMG It was a dream come true. When I was little, I'd go to fairs and see them make cotton candy and I always wanted to do that. I wasn't disappointed. I loved it. ^^

Emilyann Girdner said...

That sounds like a character building experience :) I never had a job like that, but I did have a neat Bass Pro job where I was kind of "on call" to work in various departments both in the store and headquarters. It was fun and I learned a lot.

P.S. I'm glad your sticking to writing. It suites you well =D

Christine Rains said...

I couldn't imagine you selling knives, but what a great job that would be for a serial killer! :) (Yes, too much Gretchen in my head right now!) I worked for one semester in college selling shoes. I hated it. I'm no sales person. I also agree that you don't have to be pushy to sell something. If someone wants it, they'll buy it. I also worked two weeks once in a factory that made siding for houses. I fed the reject pieces into a shredding machine. 12 hour shifts. Blech. Really good pay, but mind numbing work. After I made enough for my tuition, I quit.

Laura Eno said...

Yes, great job for a serial killer. ;) I sold the old Olan Mills photo packages over the phone as a teenager for a while. (Are they even still around?) Trying to sell something to someone who doesn't need it really sucks.

Brandon Ax said...

Not really a summer job, but I sold vacuums, that was "fun".

I also have a scar where I tried to open something with knife and slit my finger open...not fun.

Scribbles From Jenn said...

How cool to be able to say I sold knives. Although I would be afraid of visiting a serial killer who would kill me with my own knives. No weird summer jobs here, although I might hold the record for shortest employment: three hours at McDonalds :/

M Pax said...

That does sound like a strange job.

I usually worked in an office in the summers. One year I had an unpaid internship, but it was a total blast. I think I always like the jobs I didn't get paid for best.

Cathy Keaton said...

I've had summer jobs that sucked, but nothing too incredibly strange. Yours sounded pretty strange, though.

Telling people you used to sell knives sure must be the conversation-starter, eh?

Rachna Chhabria said...

The knife selling job has a morbid feel to it, no wonder the high turn over rate.

Tara Tyler said...

i cant recall any strangeness, but i did have a lot of fun jobs... my fave, which turned into a permanent job after i graduated college was as a rocket engineering assistant! it was a blast! ha ha!

Julie Flanders said...

I think any selling job would be a nightmare. I'd have panic attacks for sure about making the calls. And I had to laugh about you being more likely to cut or stab yourself, I can definitely relate to that. I would probably end up cutting my own finger off before I made even one sale.

Rachel Morgan said...

I think I would have been terrible at that! I've never enjoyed speaking to random people on the phone...

Sherry Ellis said...

That is a strange job! I'd be afraid of letting any freaky people handle the knives I was selling!

michelle said...

Freaky stuff. What if, unbeknown to you, a potential buyer was also a killer? *shudders*
Would that have made you an "unwilling accomplice" to a crime "yet-to-be-committed"? LOL

Writer In Transit

Morgan said...

LOL! Yeah, I'd stick to writing too!

Hope you're doing well... it's been a while!!!!

:D

The Armchair Squid said...

Cutco knives? Yup, I had that gig for a summer, too. Hated it. My parents still have the knives from my sample case, though, and they love them. At least it's a decent product. My wife doesn't like them - not accommodating for lefties.

Kim Van Sickler said...

I think I bought that knife set after a demo at Costco. That's the way to sell them--book appointments at grocery stores. But even so, you're right, some people thrive on sales and others--not so much. I do think sales is something everyone should try, however. It improves your interpersonal communication skills and makes you glad as hell when you finally find something else to do!

Maggid said...

yeppers, i could not be trusted with a good knife - my digits would suffer terribly.

BUT, aren't you glad you sold knives for a while??? I mean, how cool is that?

-g-

Carol Kilgore said...

You really sharpened your skills with that job :)

Heather Holden said...

Wow, I'm so impressed that you ever did this! Knives frighten me as much as the thought of *gasp* talking to people, so yeah, I already know I'd fail abysmally as a knives salesman!

Cher Green said...

Totally understand with the knife situation. I used to cut myself just by looking at something sharp, lol.

Cindy Dwyer said...

I spent most of my summers waitressing because I enjoyed being busy and talking with people. Plus, I made more than any of my friends. In fact, when I graduated college I went back to waitressing to save extra money and some weeks in the summer I made more three nights a week (Sun, Mon and Thurs) than I did at my required-a-bachelor's-degree day job.

David Macaulay said...

That is a funny job - had a job as a mobile hotdog seller fo a couple of months as a student. It really sucked. I'd work all night for a pittance.

Aubrie said...

That is a hard job to have. A friend of mine had that same job a long time ago and I don't think he sold anything either. Very cool story!