Thursday, October 4 – Friday, October 5

I can’t believe I ever stooped that low 😦

Thursday represented yet another installment of the Panera Bread Strategy.  The day got off to a not-good start, as some uncharacteristically heavy traffic on I-95 through Stamford and Darien stretched the morning trip a good 15 minutes over its usual 2-hour duration.  Fortunately my work assignment is not the sort of thing where an occasional late arrival is any big issue.

It was just about three when I left work, and fairly light traffic on I-95 and over the Throgs Neck got me thinking that maybe I’d be able to make it home quickly enough without having to resort to the Panera Bread Strategy.  Alas, these hopes were dashed as soon as I got on the Long Island Expressway from the Cross Island and saw that the electronic sign was reporting a 41-minute travel time to Route 110.  This route is just across the Nassau-Suffolk line, maybe 12 to 15 miles from where I saw the sign.  As it was about 4:40, I wouldn’t make it to 110 until about 5:20, and at that hour traffic in Suffolk would be a horror show.  Discretion being the better part of valor, I got off at Exit 32, just about a half-mile beyond the sign, and stopped in at Panera.  It’s the same one that I went to last week, where I saw all the, ahem, ethnic stereotypes.  There were no stereotypes this time, however.  I stayed about an hour and then had a stress-free 45-minute drive home.  I probably ended up getting home about the same time I would have arrived had I driven straight through, but I’d much rather spend an hour at Panera than stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic.

I had some worries about what Friday’s traffic would be like.  Monday is a semi-holiday, with schools and government offices closed, and my concern was that Friday afternoon traffic would be especially heavy with people taking a long weekend.  The morning was fine, with no repeat of Thursday’s heavy traffic, and whatever fears I might have had about the afternoon were for naught because I was able to finish up work and leave at 1:30.  Even with this early departure I still had an almost-three-hour trip home, with the worst of the traffic having been on the bridge and then on the Cross Island, but had I stayed until three as usual, it would have been horrible beyond words.  I was so lucky.

As it was fairly early when I got home I spent some time sorting through some old accumulated papers to see what could be thrown out.  Among much else I came across my training manual from ABC Insurance, which I used during my training in Albany in the summer of 2010.  I looked inside, and the first section I saw consisted of techniques for overcoming resistance while “business canvassing” (better known as cold-call soliciting).  While ostensibly there was a separate technique for each type of resistance – too busy, no extra money, we already have insurance, etc. – they all involved basically the same thing, namely giving a meaningless non-response to the prospective customer’s resistance and returning to your sales pitch.

I was most dismayed, to say the least, that I ever got myself involved with a business (I use that term lightly) that would use these ridiculous sales tactics.  It’s not like they even work, as most businesspeople have heard enough sales pitches to know what to say to get rid of the salesman once and for all … “I’m not interested, this is private property, please leave at once” is a very effective response.  Those who are more polite will tell the salesman that only the company owner (or whomever) is authorized to handle insurance matters, and of course he or she is not in.  Funny, the training manual didn’t offer any tips for dealing with that type of resistance.  Anyway, seeing this garbage made it abundantly clear that getting out of the life insurance scam business was a very smart decision.

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Published in: on October 7, 2012 at 8:41 pm  Leave a Comment  

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