Using Things and Loving People

  Perhaps some of you are familiar with the song sung by B.J. Thomas during the late 70's, early 80's.  I was a new Christian at this point and had one of his records.  Today, I started singing it:
   Using things and loving people,
   That's the way it's got to be.
   Using things and loving people look around and you will see,
   That loving things and using people ,
   Only leads to misery.
   Using things and loving people,
   That's the way it's got to be,
    For you and me,
    For you and me.
  Recently, I responded to an add in the paper.  It was for either a part  or full time job "demonstrating health products".  The pay was $12 to $16 an hour plus bonuses.  I almost didn't call for two reasons.  The first was that the job was in Lewisburg.  That's a pretty good drive for a part time job, but then, where else am I going to make $12 to $16 for a part time job?  The other, was that it said "flexible schedule".  Did that mean they were doing the flexing or me?  I could just picture one of these every other Sunday schedules. 
  I finally decided it couldn't hurt to call.  Right away, the guy wanted to know what I did.  I told him I had been home educating (sounds more intelligent than homeschooling) for over twenty years and had been out of the job market for the last 25.  He was "fascinated".  He said he used to be a teacher and he wouldn't be able to do it. 
  We talked on and on about homeschooling.  Since I was paying for the call, I was almost ready to tell him we needed to talk about the job.  Finally, we did.  The health products were, in fact, pots and pans.  I could hardly see how that qualified.  He told me they had a strong clientele among the Amish and I could work right it my own neighborhood.  Things were sounding better.  He talked about bridal shows.  I wouldn't mind that.  He assured me that I would make the hourly rate whether they bought or not.  How could I lose?
  Still, there was this nagging sense that I'm no salesman.  So, I said, "And tell me why this is not a sales job".  He said because people really want the products and I wasn't pushing them on anyone.  If I did, they wouldn't want me as their representative.
  We set up a time to meet.  A few days later, however, I thought that perhaps there was a start-up cost.  If there was, there was no sense I wasted his time or mine.  I called.  No start-up cost.  This seemed too good to be true.  There was no doubt in my mind I had the job if I wanted it.  I just knew he was completely sold on me.  And why wouldn't I want it?  It would be doing two of my favorite things, talking and cooking.
   The appointed day came.  As we started up the stairs to reach the office where I was to fill out the application, he said, "You've homeschooled for over 20 yrs., you can do anything."  Immediately, I started to get a little uncomfortable.  He was laying it on pretty thick.  Then he just had me fill out the basic questions at the top, turn the paper over and sign my name.  Most of the information was skipped.  He said he "knew" me.  Really?
  He talked about their products.  As I expected, they were high priced.  Then, he told me $2,000 a year could be saved by using them.  I asked how.  First, he said, because people who buy cheap Walmart pots and pans end up buying a new set every year.  Well, I don't have Walmart brand, but I definitely don't have good pots and pans, and in spite of the fact that I put a home cooked meal on the table six days a week, and enjoy doing it, I've suffered with the same set for a long, long, time.  Forget reason number one.  He also explained that when you start out with a 2 pound roast, you end up with a 2 pound roast.  Ok, I'm not always logical in my thinking, but I do know something about cooking.  Meat doesn't just evaporate, water does.  How is that saving me?  Thirdly, he said that when you cook vegetables it retains all the nutrients.  He concluded by saying he doesn't use any supplements.  Excuse me, but I've done my health homework.  Anyone who knows anything about health knows that the soils are now depleted of nutrients.  If it isn't there from the start, it isn't there.
  After trying to sell me on the product, he said that 65% of their business is repeat.  I asked about the other part.  He started telling me I could have people into my home.  This is where my heart sank.  I saw the picture now.  They weren't going to give me leads, I would have to generate my own business.  This is exactly what I didn't want to do!  If there is one thing I abhor it is looking at all of my friends, neighbors, and family as business prospects, rather than as friends, neighbors, and relatives.
  I should have told him right then and there I wasn't interested.  But, he sent me home with some pamplets and a DVD.  He says when you're really sold on something, it comes naturally to just talk about it to people that you know and meet and it just sells itself.  He had a point.  The DVD would have to do a much better job of selling me than he did.  It didn't.
  I've known a couple for over 30 yrs.  The husband is one of those people that never keeps a job very long.  For a good long time now, they 've been selling one thing or another.  Every contact they make with us has been to try to sell something.  Normally, he is the one calling.  Whenever I hear his voice, I sigh inwardly.  I know what's coming.
   A few months ago, now, she sent me a friend request on Facebook.   I immediately accepted.  The first thing she did was post something about their latest business endeavor.  It was the last straw!  I sent her a message telling her that the only reason they are ever in touch is to try and sell us something.  She got defensive and said that apparently we never were friends.  I couldn't agree more!


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