Monday, October 4, 2010


I just don't get salesman. Never have, never will. I just don't like, nor do I understand, that "always on" personality. It's all about hyperbole and bluster mixed with an undertone of false cheer and "glad ta meetcha" bullshit that never fails to turn my stomach. The late, great Phil Hartman was the comedic master of this smarmy persona.

Case in point, I have a salesman as a patient in the sleep lab tonight and in the 12 or so years I've been doing this job, I've seen and heard just about everything (good and bad...mostly bad) that you can imagine. But never, ever have I had someone try to sell me something...until tonight, that is.

Mr. SalesDouche oozed into the lab (almost an hour late without any explanation), loudly yammering away to someone on his cell phone. After I manage to pry the cell phone away from him, he proceeds to regale me in the fact that he has "the worst case of sleep apnea his doctor has ever seen" and that his CPAP machine at home is "set to the maximum pressure allowed." My Vulcan-like mind finds this all highly illogical for various reasons; the two most prevalent being that he's only in his early 40's and, while he's chubby, he's nowhere near morbidly obese. Typically, being very fat and very old will greatly enhance the probability of a person having severe sleep apnea, as this chucklehead claims to have. And that's another thing that bothers me about those statements: what kind of self-important idiot would be bragging about those facts if, indeed, they were true? I mean, no one really wants to get in a pissing match about whose sleep apnea is worse, or whose CPAP machine is set they?!?

So as I am setting him up before bed (and to get him to this point I almost literally have to pry his laptop and cell phone away from him once again), he hits me with his lame-as-fuck-all sales pitch for his wannabe "green" Amway-knockoff-products that I have less than zero interest in. I politely decline of course with a simple, "No, I'm good."

Well, you would think that I set fire to a family of fluffy, little kittens by the look that he shoots me over his shoulder. His sales pitch wasn't that good, so I'm sure he's heard a few "no's" before mine. Or has he? I've noticed over the past few years that people really have a problem saying "no" anymore. As an example, there was an editor I worked with at a rather prestigious gaming site and I would regularly pitch this person ideas for articles and the like. If s/he didn't like it, s/he just wouldn't get back to me. This was rather confusing for me until I figured out that no response meant "no, I don't like that" in this little fiefdom. Wouldn't it have been easier for all parties involved if this person just had the stones to say no? It's easy. It's simple. It's fun. Try it sometime... you'll like it. It's very empowering, that simple, little syllable. NO!

Back to our salesman friend, he's full of shit, as predicted. His sleep apnea is moderate at best and I have have his CPAP set at 10 (half of the maximum) and he's holding steady. Even if he was telling the truth, I still wouldn't have bought anything from him. I thoroughly enjoy slamming people with the "NO HAMMER" from time to time...especially some blow-hard salesjerk.

Oh, it doesn't get much better than that!