Monday, March 15, 2010

Did You Know Gullible Isn't in the Dictionary?

I know you have been waiting with baited breath to find out what kind of mess I’ve gotten myself into. Ok, maybe not. But I’ll share anyway.

Did I get myself knocked up? No, that was 1998 and 2000. Did I tell my neighbor I used to date her husband? No, that was 2003.

The mess I’ve gotten myself into shall from this time forward be referred to as “The Great Meat Debacle of 2010” or TGMD for short. I’m hoping I’m safe leaving off the ’10 because I certainly hope this won’t be a yearly thing.

On Thursday, after a very full week at work, I was tossing a tennis ball to Shadow in the driveway when 2 men pulled up in a flashy van. Normally, when door to door salesmen approach, I do what anyone else would do— pull the shades and pretend I’m not home. On Thursday, however, I was cornered in the driveway, and before I knew it, I was engaged in their spiel.

They started opening boxes of frozen meat in my driveway, trying to convince me to buy CASES of the stuff, at GREATLY reduced prices. “We’re almost GIVING this stuff away!”

Now, I’ve been known to have a soft heart, even when it is undeserved, but I’m not really known for being gullible.

Did I used to take flowers to the creepy shirtless guy and his great dane who lurked around our elementary school because I thought they looked sad? Sure.

Did I buy overpriced candies and unwanted candles from my students who were trying to save up for class trips to New York? Sure.

Have I occasionally bought an unwanted magazine subscription here or there? Fine.

But I don’t easily fall for a scam.

Thursday was different. First of all, I had skipped lunch. They say not to grocery shop on an empty stomach, but what if the grocery store, a la meat truck, comes to you? My hunger made me vulnerable.

I’ve also been going through a big “I’m so darn tired of cooking phase,” so to see those hundreds of little steaks, chicken breasts, and salmon steaks all vacuum sealed and waiting for me, I started imagining not having to make dinner decisions for the next 6 months or so, and that appealed to me.

Looking back, here are some of the tactics the guys used on me:

Told me my neighbors bought from them (LIE)
Told me they needed to sell me the meat because a neighbor’s freezer was broken (LIE)
Started opening packages even when I said I was not interested.
Blocked my driveway with their truck.
Took up so much of my time that when I tried to decline and slip away, it felt as if I’d already passed the point of no return.
Appealed to me as a mother, wife, and cheapskate.
Made me feel sorry for them, “We’re taking a loss on this…”
Showed me pictures of their children
and more...

I guess you know how this is going to end.

By the time Tom pulled up, providing a perfect opportunity for a Good Cop/Bad Cop getaway, I was too far gone.

Tom firmly said we didn’t want the meat, but at that moment he was no longer my husband; he was just some shmuck trying to stand between me my own little Meat-Lover’s Paradise.

Bottom Line:

I bought $700 of meat I didn’t need and didn’t really want.

Tom was pissed.

I felt stupid.

He immediately googled the company and found reams of complaints about their sales tactics, but it was too late. Our freezer was stuffed. I knew that every time I pulled a steak out of the freezer to eat, I'd really be eating crow.

Tune in tomorrow for the rest of the story…


Deidra said...

I have a boatload of knives that were bought in very much the same manner.

Expressions by Heather said...

Oh, no... I actually did the same thing once, in a smaller "package" size. The guy told me it was a $250 set of steaks. I was hoping my low-ball offer would insult him enough for him to leave (I had already done the "no, thanks!" thing). I offered $150, and he accepted.

I felt horrible when I told my husband.

For me, the plus side was- the guy never ran my debit card. I was never charged for the meat, so we ate steaks for free for a few months.

I still felt horrible, though. :(

Kristina P. said...

I'm sure that meat is totally safe and not full of e coli, at all.

Christy said...

Oh no - you poor thing - I totally feel for you. And can't wait to hear what you have to tell us tomorrow!

Heidi said...

Oh no! I hate that sort of thing - where you feel all pressured and you just can't say no. Does the story get worse?

Anonymous said...

This seems like an appropriate time to warn everyone to NOT go to Gold's Gym. It is better to hang on to those few extra pounds along with your money.
I would love to say that they came to my door to swindle me. But, no, I went to them.

To make a long frustrating story short, what they say about them on the internet is true. They intentionally move employees to avoid having to field complaints. They intentionally mislead prospective customers. They intentionally use poor penmanship to allow for their preferred interpretation later -- if it ain't TYPED in 18pt font, don't sign it!!
It was cheaper to pay them off than hire a PI and a handwriting expert.

Lynn Kellan said...

Oh, Anna, I hate it when salespeople use those tactics. I commiserate how you feel.

Admittedly, I lie when I'm called or approached by salespeople. I suddenly become the "maid" or the "babysitter" or the "dog walker" with no authority to make purchases. It seems to work, but my salary still stinks.

Cathryn said...

I would be more worried about the quality of the meat I was about to eat and feed my family at this point. Surely e coli hurts more than chagrin. Ouch.

Nichole said...

Um, I think there's a movie about this starring Ray Romano and Kevin James.

VKT said...

Wow! That is a lot of money...ack!Did you sign a contract or anything? Can you take them to small claims court using whatever your husband found out about them on the internet.

Debbie said...

I've experienced the same thing. I held out until they offered me a $100.00 package. The bright was some of the best meat I had ever eaten.

Shay said...

Wow. we don't have mobile meat sellers here in Australia, but if they ever decide to set up camp here , I feel I've been pre-warned.

Can't wait to hear the end to this story. I feel bad for laughing but it's your fault for making this sound so funny!

Kristen said...

Exactly how much meat does $700 buy? I don't think it would fit in my freezer!

Beatnheart said...

Yikes! Sounds like it might have fallen off the back of a truck. I never, ever, ever buy anything from anyone save for the kids on the block that go door to door. Talk about "things that bug me" that would be one of them.. never know were it came from..For your sake I hope it was good.

Tracie said...

I was pressured into doing this one time and the meat turned out to be bad. Of course I never got my money back.

vawriter said...

Awwww---we all fall for something sometime. Especially if we're the type to "feel sorry" for the perv lurking around the school. Yes, that would also be MOI!

But the "eating crow" made me laugh until I snorted.

Kate Coveny Hood said...

"Did I used to take flowers to the creepy shirtless guy and his great dane who lurked around our elementary school because I thought they looked sad? Sure."

Okay - that is CA-RAY-ZEE! But soooo funny.

I'm sorry about your meat mania blunder. But at least you have the meat. I thought you were going to say that they were supposed to ship it to you and that you found out the company was fake.

Looking forward to part 2.

for a different kind of girl said...

Oh honey. Honey, honey, honey!

I know how hard they can press you. I get the shakes and lock this place up like a crypt when I see the meat truck in our neighborhood. The last time they were here, I was able to hold strong, but dear heaven, how those men almost yelled at me and rolled their eyes and came this short of calling me names because I didn't buy. They were worse than the so-called college student who showed up a few months later and got mad at me after I told her I wasn't going to buy her books, but proceeded to give me the spiel anyway.

Anxious to hear the moral of this story!

Ange said...

It's just not safe to play out in the front yard these days!

TheLab said...

I HATE making embarrassing mistakes. I made one recently that could have hurt the entire career of someone I care about. Try THAT one on for size. I can barely think about it without wanting to puke. At least your mistake yielded something tangible. I'm praying right now that the meat is DELICIOUS.

Anonymous said...

We had the "Fresh from Florida" shrimp truck rolling down our street the other day. Thankfully they didn't stop at my house.

I'm so sorry about your dilemma!

Gretchen said...

$700??? Ouch.

I hope, at least, that the steaks are pretty good.

dearheart said...

Ok - I've been soooooo remiss! This post was hilarious and I really meant to comment on it in a timely manner....

All I can say is, at least you got the meat and the line, "Tom firmly said we didn’t want the meat, but at that moment he was no longer my husband; he was just some shmuck trying to stand between me my own little Meat-Lover’s Paradise," killed me. I have so been in that place with my Hub....