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Blogity-blah-blah-blog: Story Time Tuesday ~ WWWE: Playing with Knives

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Story Time Tuesday ~ WWWE: Playing with Knives

Job #3 was a job I took on while I still worked at Weis Markets. While looking in the paper for a new job, I saw one that looked good. Little did I know I was getting roped into a door-to-door sales job. Well, it wasn't really door-to-door, but I did have to set up my own appointments by calling people. What I was selling was cutlery, it was very good cutlery and they had a good guarantee, but they were expensive. I think the main set was $1200 and that was about 13 years ago, I don't know how much they cost now. It came with about 8 different knives and then 8 steak knives in a big wooden block. You may have seen this set of knives given away as a door prize on the gameshow, The Price is Right for the three contestants at the end of the show that don't make it on stage.

The deal was that we were paid $10 dollars per appointment and we made 10% commission on whatever we sold. Once I sold a certain amount, it would move up to 15% and so on. So when I received my first check I thought I was going to be making some big bucks. But I was wrong. My first check only had my commission on it. So I went to our weekly meeting and I brought it up. My supervisor told me that I had to do at least 40 appointments in a month to get the $10 dollars per appointment. He had neglected to tell me that earlier. So basically I would have had to quit my other job and devote my life to selling knives to make any money. It was such a scam. I didn't do it for too long after that. I found out a few years later that they dropped that rule and they paid people for every appointment, no matter how many they had and it's close to $20 per appointment now. Jerks!

We had to do some weird stuff to show how strong the knives were during our demonstrations. We used one knife to cut through a rope, and another to slice through a stack of hard leather. Seriously though, it went through it like butter. Another thing we had to do was make what was called a corkscrew penny. We had a pair of shears and we would actually cut around the edge of a penny so that the edge we cut off would corkscrew. Here, watch this video if you don't understand what I'm talking about:

No, that's not me in the video. That video was posted by a YouTube user called Larlarz. Thanks Larlarz!

Now I'm pretty sure that defacing money is a federal offense. In fact now that I remember it, one of the other sales people brought that up at one of our meetings and our supervisor told us that since we are cutting around the edge of the penny and not into Abe Lincoln's face we weren't "technically" defacing it. Hardy har-har. I think the corkscrew penny is stupid anyway, you'd have to be the Incredible Hulk to get a cork out of a bottle with that thing.

I decided to make my first appointment with my dad for practice. When I tried making the corkscrew penny, I was about halfway through and it flew out of my hand and whizzed past my dad's head. Needless to say I didn't make the corkscrew penny at any of my other demonstrations, so I just made one and showed it to people after that little incident. Also at my first demonstration I wondered just how sharp the knives were so I picked up the chef's knife and just barely touched the blade with my thumb and it cut me. It wasn't a big cut, but it was like a paper cut. So yes, they are sharp.

So I set up appointments with family members, friends, and some other people I knew, but after that I thought it would be a little strange to go into someone's house I didn't really know and show them a bunch of knives. Plus I'm not really much of a salesman. I couldn't sell a bucket of water to a man who's on fire. So that job just kind of fizzled out. I stopped making appointments, I stopped going to the weekly meetings, and I made just enough money to pay for the kit that I used to do my demonstrations.

Within the span of time that I was selling knives I quit my job at Weis Markets and got another job which I will talk about next week.

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