Thursday, May 25, 2006

Death of a Salesman

I don't know if I'm cut out for a job in sales. When I was a kid, my parent's would usually participate in our neighborhood's annual garage sale. One year I was minding the store on a particularly slow afternoon when I decided that the best way to drum up business was to offer all shoppers free cups of water. I proclaimed this sweet deal with a homemade sign and went inside to fetch a pitcher of water and some cups, but it didn't manage to drum up any new business. Did I mention that it was raining at the time?

I was reminded of this today when I went to my local Stop & Shop and noticed a table near the checkout with a bunch of used books on it. Since I'm a sucker for used books, I took a closer look and saw that it was part of a promotion. Anyone who bought two raffle tickets to benefit a local children's cancer charity got a free book. Now I didn't look at every book on the table, but the stuff that I saw was pretty bottom-shelf material. I didn't see any microwave oven user's manuals or Garfield books, but it really looked like they asked all of the employees to bring in any books they had at home that they didn't want anymore. Free water, anyone?

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