Tuesday, November 11, 2014


So back when I was in University, I stopped working at UPS during my third year and found a direct sales job that I did between my third and fourth year (Engineering required four years of university).

I had found an ad that led me to work at Vector Marketing where I learned to sell Cutco knives. The way this product was (and presumably still is) sold is for reps like me to contact people, make presentations in people's homes just to the homeowners, ie, not a party style, and get references from that person to make other presentations.

This was totally outside of my comfort zone, but at the time I wanted to give it a try to see if I could do it. I did reasonably well with some consistent sales throughout that summer and into the fall.

With Vector Marketing we had weekly meetings for things like training, motivation and team building. So, some of it was fun, especially since we are all young, and the other part is to learn about the business. In one training session we learned that if there are any age appropriate kids around during the presentation, you can ask the parent to let the kid try to cut something with the Cutco knife to show how it is even easy for a kid to do as they work so well.

So a few weeks later I am doing a presentation with a mom who has her 4yo with her. I did something rather ill advised and suggested she let her little boy try using the knife to cut a piece of rope that we bring with us specifically for this purpose. I guess the mom figured I knew what I was doing, so she let her boy try cutting, and not a moment later he cuts himself. Of course, these knives work really well, so there was quite a lot of blood.

It wasn't a severe cut, however, fortunately, but I was really ill equipped to manage this situation. I tried to reassure her and keep going with the presentation but this really didn't work. Later on I totally understood why. She soon told me that I had better leave.

I didn't try that strategy again.


Pat Hatt said...

lol yeah 4 year olds and knives don't really mix, but at least you showed it works easily

Zhoen said...

Amazing, given how smart we are at that age, how dumb we can be. I had moments of similar appalling lacks in experience.

Phil Plasma said...

Pat, yes, I showed it worked easily, but the mom involved wasn't too impressed.

Zhoen, even as smart as we are at our current ages we can have moments of profound imbecility.

Zhoen said...


Debstar said...

Oh, that is so funny. I can just imagine the look on your face.

Debstar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.