Dear guys who sell things inside tents in parking lots…

Your sales tactics are highly effective and I hate you.

I don’t really know why the gas station lets you set up shop on the edge of their lot, but it is absolutely unfair to have you there because everyone, eventually, needs to get gas. The smart people will come and go and not even hear your siren song, but idiots need gas too, and I am an idiot. I hear your friendly chirping voice, ‘Excuse me ma’am, do you have time for a demo?’ and all is lost right then and there.

I tell myself I’ll just listen to your pitch. After all, I wouldn’t want to be rude, and I know how grueling and unrewarding sales can be. You probably work on commission, poor dear, and plenty of people are happy to abuse sales people. Not this girl, no, I will sit right here, pump my gas, and listen to you tell me all about the product your boss makes you sit out here in the hot sun selling. Car wax you say?

Well now, it sure does take the pollen off my car, look at that. And the headlights look clear as day after you put that stuff on there. My husband will inform me later that our headlights were brand new and not fogged up to begin with, and that pollen can come off with a damp cloth, but that’s not important right now because I don’t know any of that and you know that I don’t know. I’m a 22-year-old girl wearing leggings as pants and sipping Starbucks and you knew I was a stoolpigeon as soon as I pulled up.

Now you’re saying that these bottles sell for $35 “on the racetrack”, but that you’ll cut me a deal, two bottles for $25. I know that that’s a lie, but that’s a decent price for that much wax, and by this point I’m too far into it to back out. My tiny birdbrain decides to try and get out of this with as little money spent as possible, instead of, y’know, getting in my car and just driving away. I obediently follow you back to your tent.

You offer me another package, another deal, throw in some extras, and every time I hesitate you take more money off the price. I realize by now that you’re just making numbers up, and that I’m being scammed, but my birdbrain is staying the course of paying you something for wasting my time and so I just politely insist on my two bottles and that’s it.

I mention that my husband won’t like me spending $85, even if I do get enough microfiber cloths thrown in to recarpet my apartment. You ask, “What, he doesn’t like detailing his car?” This stops me. I look at you. I look at my shitty silver Camry. It’s almost as old as I am, the overdrive is going out, there’s a crack across the windsheild from left to right that I do not care enough to fix, the footspace on the passenger side has been used as a dumping ground for McDonald’s cups and napkins and I know you know that because you did my windows during the demonstration. I’m sorry, but does it look like we spend a lot of time detailing our cars?

I resist the urge to wipe my finger along the trunk and then wipe it on your nice blue shirt to prove a point.

I hand you my credit card.

You swipe it, showing me the screen the entire time so that I can see you aren’t overcharging me. I appreciate the honesty and smile and thank you. I take my car wax and leave and pray that you didn’t just steal my credit card information. I call my husband immediately to tell him what happened, and he proceeds to make fun of me for it for the rest of the day. And I don’t even argue because you know what? I deserve it. Hopefully next time I’ll have the presence of mind to fake a stroke, because God knows I don’t have the ovaries to just say no to guys selling car wax in gas station parking lots.


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