Monday, July 07, 2014

Comcast advertises for home sales reps, raising questions about "sales culture" and the job market


Comcast Xfinity has been advertising for sales positions recently, showing employees in red uniforms saying, “Come show us what you’ve got”.  My own reaction is, I can’t show what I’ve got by hocking somebody else’s stuff. 

I don’t know if any of this is door-to-door (link ).   The actual Comcast page looks pretty upscale (link ).  There are jobs designing ads for home security and more expanded business services as well as home sales.  
   
But back in 2002, when I was living in Minneapolis and was repositioning after my layoff from ING (at the end of 2001), Time-Warner Cable had advertised for jobs up to $75000 a year.  But these were door-to-door jobs mostly in new real estate developments, sometimes city towhomes, more often in the distant suburbs. 

Comcast has a video, and, yes, it is door-to-door.  Average is to sell one out of eleven homes. 

I don’t like for unexpected persons to ring the doorbell.  One reason is security.  Home invasions are very rare, but it one ever happens, it’s catastrophic and perhaps life-ending.   So I typically don’t work with door-door salesmen, or with telemarketers.  That’s a problem, was we retreat into our own worlds, partly out of genuine security concerns, we become more insular, and others find it harder to make a living, and maybe social tensions only grow.

After my layoff, I had interviews for several “sales” jobs, and in general, some companies were surprised and disturbed at my total disinterest in manipulating others to do things, and my tendency to question things.  Some probably found interviewing me a necessary awakening experience. 

I think there is a profound cultural disconnect in our society over unsolicited sales calls, and on the legitimacy of making a living this way.  I have a feeling that Mark Zuckerberg doesn't like to buy anything from door or telephone salespersons.

 May own father worked in a different culture, as a manufacturer's agent for a glass manufacturer, selling to department stores.  He came of age in a different world than his son did. 

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