“Hi, is this [company which makes recycled poo-scooping bags]?”
“yes, how can I help you?”
“I would like to buy some of your recycled bags, so I’m wondering how much are they?”
“you would like to buy what?”
“er.. recycled bags. Which you make.”
“We don’t sell them.”
“Wait, aren’t you [company name]? I saw your phone number on the bin in the park, the one with the bags for scooping dog poo.”
“Oh, those bags. Right, yes, we have them (I dread to ask what other bags or strange artifacts they could possibly have so that she is this confused), but we only sell them in large quantities”
“Well, I’d really like to buy them. How much would I have to buy?”
(smiles nervously) “well… er… around… a thousand”
“Ok, great! So how much is that?”
“er, I don’t know…”
“I’m going to have to check. Can I get your phone number, and I’ll call you with the info, ok?”
“… Sure… no problem…”
(3 days and 0 phone calls later I call them)
“Ah, sorry for not calling you. I still wasn’t able to find out the price for the bags. Our boss is out of town, so we’ll know the price from Monday when he’s back.”
Right. This is exactly the moment to revert to that meme and simply give up. I, possibly the first person to have called the company, am offering them money for the things which they sell. I want to buy their stuff. However, I can’t, because they don’t know the prices of the products which they sell.
However, I’m very glad that I don’t have even the slightest drop in my motivation for doing this thing. I’ve made a firm, rational decision and the rest is simply going to happen. If they can’t sell me their bags, I will find some other recycled paper bags. Or ordinary paper bags. Or whatever. My dog’s poo will be scooped.
But it still boggles me. She was confused when I called. I mean, why put your number on all the bins then? Who are you expecting to call you, your mom?
I have almost too many examples like this one, but as I said, there’s no point in letting them get to me. However, I am thinking about what can be further done to make the other person understand the absurdity of the situation. Another example:
I went to a certain clothes shop because someone told me that there’s a fire sale going on there. As shopping for clothes so far has been a very rare and mysterious, nay, mystical occurrence for me, and I’ve lost some weight recently, I’ve more or less ended up without almost anything to wear for the winter. So, possibly for the first time in my life I’m eager to go and buy clothes (I will not say “shopping”. Shopping is for metrosexuals).
I enter the shop and, since I’m not sure that I’m in the right place, I ask the guy who works there: “Sorry, is there a fire sale going on here?” He simply says: “no.”
I go out, confused. Yes, I know I’m lost when it comes to knowing the locations of stores with clothing, but this is the only clothes shop in the street, and it fits the very specific description. I call my friend, and she confirms that this is the place.
I go back in, go up to the third floor and I find that most of men’s clothing is on a big discount, sometimes up to 50%. So, I was misinformed, it wasn’t a fire sale, it was just a big sale.
Is that guy who works there demented? Again, I, the eager customer who really wants to give them money i.e. his prime target, am asking him if there’s a fire sale. Instead of saying something like “Well, we do a really great sale with huge discounts, so it’s the same thing really.”, he simply says “no”. Lying to me would have been better. He should have said yes, and I would have gone up there and I wouldn’t know the difference between a fire sale and a “regular” sale.
So I want to tell him all of this, but, of course, a part of me is screaming: “Is there any semblance of a point in telling him?!?”.
How can you influence such people? How do you show them why it’s important to always strive being better in what you’re doing, whether it’s sports, science or selling clothes?
I guess I’m coming back to my new meme, which more or less is: “Shut up and behave the way you sincerely believe people should behave, and some day they’ll behave like you.”
But I’m afraid it’s a hell of a lot more complicated than that.