Wednesday, February 06, 2013

another reason for me not to Facebook....

...getting "follow me!!!" requests from people you really don't want all that much contact with.

I've found that people who are in sales are often, how do I say it, different in attitude from people in other careers. I find a lot of people who do sales or PR type stuff come off as "needy" to me, or that they "pester" me.

An example: I took my car in last week for some work on it. If I had been dissatisfied with what they had done, I would have called up the dealership and told them to make it right, and explained just what I expected. However, I was perfectly satisfied with the work they did, so I just said to myself, "Next time you need work on your car, just take it back there."

But then. I get a phone call from the dealership asking me to fill out a survey. And I get an e-mail from them asking the same. And the implication is that (a) they will continue to hound me until I do so, and (b) if I put anything less than "excellent" for every category, they will continue to call or e-mail me until they can make me change my mind (or perhaps they will beat the mechanic until I do, it wasn't clear).

And I got an e-mail earlier this week from a textbook representative. The good textbook reps will e-mail me once a semester, essentially saying, "here is my contact information, if you need anything, like a CD-ROM of the chapter art, e-mail me" and that's that. No. This person sends weekly e-mails and now wants me to follow them on Facebook (or friend them, or whatever the terminology is). I don't want to follow them! I want them available if I really need something, but 95% of the time I don't, so I'd rather just be left alone. Just like I don't need my students coming in every day and telling me what a great teacher I am - actually, I think that might be BAD for me to hear that a lot; I might not work as hard as I do, or I might get arrogant.

This bugs me, because as I said, I perceive it as needy: why should I have to give "strokes" to someone for just doing their job? In my job, I only ever hear feedback when it's something negative - if no one is telling me I screwed up I am to assume I am doing well. And I'm mostly fine with that. So I don't see why there's that expectation for me to give all this Positive! Feedback! to people in sales positions. (And anyway, it's not always honest: you don't always have a perfect experience. And why would I rate everything as "Excellent" when it was merely good or acceptable? That's like insisting that students be given As unless they really screw up. I tend to think instead that students start from 0 - from the lowest, most effity F you can get - and work their way up from there. And the ones who really excel earn As. But I'm not going to "give" As just because someone is "nice" or because they always show up or because they sit and pout in my office if I don't.

And I kind of feel the same way about grading the mechanics I take my car to: I'll tell you if something's wrong. The fact that I keep coming back should be evidence that I am satisfied.

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