Tuesday, September 30, 2008
The truth shall set you free
Sometimes you can’t tell the truth and expect to get away with it.
That I found out one day when wifey dragged me off to one of those crammed, free-gift-given-away sales talks in a room filled to the brim with housewives and some uncles (dragged there kicking by their wives, I presume) eager to get some RM3 free gifts, only to end up paying RM1000 for some health-promotion goods which probably cost 1/3 that price in the country of origin. Of course they tell you, you can’t get it for that price outside because nobody can confirm it and also because they’re not sold in local retail stores.
Yes, luring eager beavers into a trap. It seems like a great way to go into a sales pitch without having to go door to door like they did years ago. Then, you could only talk to one person at a time, and then only if someone’s willing to open the door for you to go in (and maybe, rob them). This way you speak only once, 3 or 4 times a day, to a very willing and attentive audience.
There was I listening to this guy telling us that wine can taste sweeter after he poured some into some glasses and placed them on a plastic mat (with a Japanese sounding name) which looks like it’s made of polyethylene material and cut off from a side-wall of a fruit container. I can’t remember how much each mat cost.
They then dragged a few drinkers from among the audience out on to the stage. I happened to be sitting too close to the aisle. Getting away was not an option, not that I wanted to. I was eager to find out the result of that little ‘experiment’ they were doing. They lined us up and got us to taste a shot of the wine each poured straight from the bottle. It tasted like cheap normal red wine.
Then they handed each guy a glass of the wine they’d earlier left on the ‘magic’ mat. I took a sip. I wasn’t convinced. I took another sip. They guy asked me if there’s any difference. I said, ‘No.’ He moved on to the next guy. He liked what the guy told him. The bloke got a free gift and went back to his seat. All the others followed suit saying the same sweet thing.
Then he came back to me. I gulped the rest of the wine down.
‘Well’, he said. ‘What do you think?’
‘OK, maybe it’s a little sweeter…but…’ I lied half-heartedly. He interrupted me and gave me an equally unconvincing smile and a free gift and I left the stage.
Wifey gave me something like a ‘what-were-you-trying-to-prove?’ look. I returned her a ‘you asked for it’ grin. She must have made a decision there and then.
Needless to say, I never had to attend such sales talk after that.