Attack of the Wandering Salesman

So it was about 4:30 or so, and I was sitting at my computer at my new job doing whatever work I happened to be doing at the time. The door opens to the right of me, and a preppily-dressed guy walks in. This is abnormal. Firstly, because no one at this job dresses close to preppy – thus far, it’s jeans-casual unless there’s a client coming in. Also, the sign outside of this door informs whoever is at the door that the entrance to the office is down the hall. In fact, this sign is probably there to keep people like this out.

Anyhow, he starts talking to me, and at first I’m waiting for him to mention being lost, so I can give him directions. Soon enough, however, it becomes quite clear that he’s quite intent on selling me coupons for some car wash down the street. He’s on a roll, and I’m just sitting there being confused that I’m sitting at my desk at work being harassed by a car wash salesman.

He ends his shpiel, and I inform him that I usually just wash my own car. He then informs me that I’m a “strong independent woman” and asks if there’s anyone else in the office who might be interested. I explain to him that there isn’t, and he looks about ready to disagree with me when my project manager comes out and boots the guy away with a firm “No Solicitors.”

What I don’t get is the “strong independent woman” comment. I mean, I’m too cheap to take the car through a carwash, and I know how to operate a hose. I don’t get the gender stereotyping of washing cars – if anything, when I think of “people washing cars”, I just think of all those random groups of kids at the side of the road selling car washes to raise money for their school or church or whatever. And for that matter, to continue down that fuzzy gender path, wouldn’t washing a car be pretty similar to me washing some gigantic pan or tupperware dish or something?

Then again, maybe I’m missing the point altogether. Obviously I was meant to be super complimented by his comment and immediately start flinging dollars at him to get those precious car wash coupons. D’oh!

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