Published April 12th, 2017 by

For starters, I feel like I should qualify myself as an expert on this topic based on the following experience:

Example 1: I worked in this pilot program at Best Buy for a couple of years where customers thought they were calling into these random stores in Michigan and Ohio, but their calls were actually being routed to a call center in Minnesota and it was my job to convince the people calling in that they should buy whatever it was they were asking about over the phone with me. Most people hated it. I couldn’t really blame them. I was, however, always the top one or two in getting people to buy that shit.I once had a lady call in around Christmas time to see if we had Josh Groban’s Christmas album in stock. Of course we did. And because some manager or director or someone was listening to one of my calls, I asked the lady if she knew Josh Groban and Barbra Streisand sang some duet together on some other random ass album and she wanted to buy that one, too. And that’s when I became a legend (at least in my own mind.) She loved Josh Groban. I just wanted to make sure she didn’t miss out on other things Josh Groban related.

Example 2: I worked for an educational software company for about 4.5 years, most of which was spent in trying to sell this software to schools during a time where so much of their funding was being taken away. Nothing really makes you feel much worse than calling the principal of a school and trying to talk them into buying software that cost tens of thousands of dollars when their teachers were spending their own money on pencils for the kids in their class. I sucked and I sucked hard at that job because it just wasn’t cool. So, I got fired. One of the best things that ever happened in my life and it was all because I wouldn’t put my morals aside to sell a bunch of… crap.

See? I’m a total sales pro.

Worst Example of a Sales Person I’ve Seen in the Last MANY Years: I have season tickets to a major sports team in the Twin Cities. This will be the third year that we’ve had them and, in that amount of time, also our third season ticket rep. Based on this guy’s ridiculous antics, I’m almost expecting a fourth one to come anytime soon.

I reached out via email to my sales rep because I wanted to find out what tickets would be available for my office to purchase for the season. He called me. I didn’t answer because I was at work, so he emailed me back. We were able to exchange a few emails, but I obviously need some levels of approval for spending that kind of money, so I hadn’t gotten back to him by the next day.

Within the span of 11 days, he called me five times. Okay, okay. I get it. Commission based. But then he took it a step too far. He very resourcefully dug up my work phone number and called me there. I didn’t answer it because I recognized the number since he’d been calling me every other day for the past nearly two weeks. Plus, hi, WORKING.

And then he took it a giant leap too far. Immediately after he hung up from my work phone, he called my cell phone from his PERSONAL CELL PHONE to get me to answer. At least that’s what I assumed before I answered it, but deep down, I didn’t really want that to be true. But it was.

I said, “Hello?” and he definitely didn’t expect me to answer based on his reply of, “Uhhhhh…” and then his introduction. He asked me his sales questions. I told him I didn’t know yet. We exchanged departing pleasantries, but I couldn’t let it go, you guys. I said, “Hey, Name That Rhymes with Snake, is this your personal cell phone?” He totally gave me this noise that I always use when I’m mocking someone who sounds like they’re talking out of their ass and it sounds something like, “Wuuullllllll…” If I would have been on an actual telephone, I would have slammed that receiver down so fast. Man, I miss those days.

I emailed him telling me never to call me at work again. He apologized via email and asked when he could call me again. And that’s when I realized it was like a REALLY OBSESSIVE BOYFRIEND/GIRLFRIEND. I wanted to write him back and tell him the only time I wanted him to call is if someone was in physical harm, but my wife told me that was too much.

But, c’mon, sales people. I get you have a job to make and some mouths to feed and I appreciate. What I don’t appreciate are these kind of shady antics. If you think this is the best way to go about business, I’ve got news for you, man.

 

Published March 25th, 2017 by

I’m 39. It feels the same as 26 (the year after my car insurance got cheaper) through 38. Wait. That whole 39 thing might explain why I had to refer back to Twitter to piece this whole post together.

On the 17th, the day prior to my non-monumental birthday, I had the day off from work thanks to an awesome new benefit we rolled out at my work last month. Everyone gets their birthday off and still gets paid. I felt so much like Oprah when I got to announce that to 500+ people, even if I about two seconds from peeing my pants out of straight up nervousness while on stage.

With daycare already covered for the day, Amelia and I had total freedom of the need to talk about farts and cookies, hearing about Mickey Mouse Roadsters Racers and not having to refrain from saying bad words. We opted for breakfast first, at a place that didn’t serve pancakes with a smile made out of Cool Whip. It was so quiet. I didn’t have to lie to anyone about my phone not being charged or prevent anyone from trying to shove their Crayon down their straw.

And then, because I effin’ love mini-golf, we went to Can Can Wonderland. IT. WAS. AMAZING. Go. Go now. We were there at 10:15am because we like to party and got in pretty quick without any waiting at all. It was 18 holes of amazing work by artists that cannot possibly be beat in any other mini golf course that I’ve ever seen in my life. They have a pretty awesome bar selection, but I couldn’t convince myself to drink a cocktail called “Happy Birthday!!!!!!!!” that included cream cheese frosting syrup, birthday cake vodka, milk, sprinklers, sparklers and poppers. But that’s just because it was before noon. (I have some great pictures and feel like I owe it a much better review.)

Our next stop was going to be IKEA, but that plan came to a halt when I happened to look at Instagram and noticed another credit union released their third clue to find a hidden hockey puck that’s worth $1000. We did what we could to figure out the third clue and spent about an hour hunting through A Place but we didn’t turn anything up. There was another clue that was released yesterday and I really want to go back, but I have a feeling Toddler McCrazyTown isn’t going to be very helpful in our search.

IKEA came next. We had no list of things to buy to fill up our large SUV. We wanted to walk around all three floors without being in any hurry at all. We could look at any MYSINGSÖ or CHOKLADKROKANT BREDBAR we wanted to. (Totally real product names by the way. The second one had an allergy recall due to undeclared hazelnuts, so watch out, you guys.)

We stopped by Sonic because we never go to Sonic.

And then we went to the St. Paul location of I Like You because I wanted really, really badly to buy an All Are Welcome Here sign for our front yard. Midway through browsing the whole store, we got a text from daycare that someone we’re responsible for had a 101 fever. Childless birthday celebration: over.

We went to pick the little guy up and he looked like he’d been hit by a Mack truck. His daycare provider thought he might be coming down with something when it was nap time and he didn’t try to roll his sleeping bag back up and put it on the closet. Pretty much confirmed it for her when he didn’t want to get up for snack the second she started making it. Apparently he’s the first to wake up and the first to get a seat at the snack table. (Not my kid. At all.)

Our daycare lady (WHO IS TRULY INCREDIBLE) said they just know when you’re out doing something fun without them. Totally believe her.

Still one of the best birthdays I have ever had and I’m pretty excited that I get the opportunity to do something like this every year with this benefit.

I’d write about my actual birthday (the 18th), but it would include details like a trip to the Urgency Room with the aforementioned toddler’s 103 degree fever, projectile vomiting after chugging a juice box the nurse gave him, and ramming as many vinyl gloves as I could fit in my pocket. Life goals at 39, you guys, and I’m totally cool with them.

Published March 12th, 2017 by

True story: We worked really, really, really hard not to shove sports in our two year old’s face. He didn’t have much of a choice about basketball, since he’s been using his season tickets to the Minnesota Lynx since he was six months old. Since then, we took him to a soccer class(?), which he loved, and he’s learned football by playing with his daycare provider’s youngest son a few times a week. He also knows hockey. I don’t know from where, because I’m not a native Minnesotan and haven’t been keeping tabs on hockey as much as I used to. It’s sports, sports, cars, sports, sports, Mickey Mouse at our house with this kid. It’s hilarious.

The Lynx don’t start again for a few months and I’m personally going through basketball withdrawl. I think Oz is too, because he’s started asking to watch NBA basketball when he sees their logos pop up on the cable menu on the TV. That’s when I found out the Globetrotters are coming to town!

I also found out any of you can save 25% for ALL Harlem Globetrotters Games with promo code FUNFAM at http://www.harlemglobetrotters.com/tickets. They’re here in Minnesota April 12 (St. Cloud), April 13 (Duluth), April 14 (Rochester) and twice on April 15 (Minneapolis). All of the old school players that were playing when I was a kid are long retired, but I’m pretty excited they have female players on the team nowadays.

I would totally insert the picture I have of my friend Angie and I posing with one of the Globetrotters from, like, 1992 except I can’t find it. That’s a shame, because I’m sure our outfits were on point with the early 90s.