So after almost three months it looks like I shall soon be gainfully employed. An earner. A workin’ man. A productive member of society.
Earlier in the week I answered an ad for a marketing group that sets up kiosks in stores and accosts shoppers to get them to subscribe to the local paper. Unlike most of my other job-seeking, which has been done online through CareerBuilder and Monster, this was done old skool. I saw an ad in the local paper (the same paper I’ll be hawking), left a message and got a call back from a guy with a smoker’s voice.
He started giving me his spiel about how the marketing works and was talking about a Florida newspaper. I interrupted him to tell him where I live, and he said that be thought my area code was from Florida (my cell phone number is still my beloved 626 area code from back home, where Boodles lives). He then went on with his spiel, switching only to the local paper.
What they do is contract with the newspaper to give out free copies and sell subscription plans. They usually set up inside a store and give out gift cards for that store with subscription plans. He arranged for me to meet the district manager at the newspaper office. That happened yesterday.
So here’s the scoop, as we say in the newspaper bidness: It’s straight commission, but if I was ever going to try something like commission sales now’s the time while I at least have something coming in from unemployment. I don’t have to buy anything, the company provides the papers and the gift cards, so it’s not a scam. The local paper isn’t a bad rag, it’s run by a large media group and for a small town paper it’s a pretty good one.
In spite of cable news and the internets, local newspapers are still in business (for now) because of coupons. That’s what gets our foot in the door (so to speak). Between now and New Years, especially with Black Friday coming up in November, savvy shoppers want the paper for the ads too.
So I went out to K-Mart today to observe one of the veterans in action. It’s doable I think, this guy wasn’t hard sales, he had his pitch and he stuck to it. It’s just being friendly to people. I can do that. It’s not my normal style, but I can do it.
Is it perfect? No, but it’s better than doing nothing and being depressed all day long. Mom worries because she thinks about when my Dad went door to door selling insurance. I try to tell her the difference, we even saw a guy set up in front of Bi-Lo when I took her shopping last week, sometimes she gets it, then she gets confused again. Iris is one of my reality barometers, she seems to be cautiously optimistic about it.
In the end, isn’t that really all you can be? About anything? Cautiously optimistic. All I know is that a human being met me, interviewed me, and actually wants me…believes that I can do something.
It may not be much, but I’ll take it.