Tupperware and Social Media

My friend Jigar sent over this New York Times story about Tupperware’s new campaign to better use social media.

I’m sure we’re all familiar with the Tupperware scheme, but let’s review. Tupperware does not spend money on traditional marketing campaigns. Instead they build a workforce of women who sell Tupperware by convincing friends and strangers to host Tupperware parties.

I love Tupperware, and I use it every day. I started selling it because I recognized how great of a product it was. I never sold that much of it because it comes with a very high price tag.

For whatever reason (and I have my theories) Tupperware is an investment. You invest in quality, and the fact that it’s going to be around forever and you can get replacement lids and yadda yadda. But you have to have that cash upfront to commit, and a lot of people just don’t have that. Especially a lot of my friends who are primarily still barely post college. (What’s that? I’m 7 years out?? It feels like yesterday.)

So I didn’t sell much, but I have continued trying to convince my friends and loved ones to make the investment because it’s worth it. I’ve had daydreams for years about making fun Tupperware commercials on Youtube and selling products that way. My sister and I embarked on this scheme back in 2006 before I read Tupperware’s Internet Terms and Conditions. Continue Reading

$500 Mistakes

I’ve made a number of $500 mistakes in my life.  One time, I let a guy convince me that he would pay for my airfare to come see him.

The most recent one involved trusting a company to be honest and upstanding when it came to paying the commissions I was due.  It became a long-standing argument which I have mentioned before.  I am bewildered why they would think that someone would want to continue working for them when they hadn’t gotten paid in six or so months, and why they were so offended when I would bring it up again and again.  Of all the labors of love in the world, did they really think that slinging high-end barbecues was one of mine? Continue Reading

Surprise Pack

I’ve been a Tupperware sales consultant for years, and I am continually mystified by this product they offer from time to time: the Surprise Pack.

This is how they bill it:

“Save 60% on Surprise Packs!
Requires a $25 Order
Save now on an assortment of Tupperware®
product solutions that can help make your life
easier. Product assortments may include any of
the following Tupperware favorites: One Touch®
Bowl Set, Heat ’N Serve® container, Kid’s
Lunch Solution Set, Spring Apron, Hamburger
Press Freezer Set and/or a Refrigerator Bowl
Set. Limit one with each $25 order. $100 value.
889195  $40.00”

So with a $25 Tupperware order, customers earn the ability to spend $40.00 on $100 of mystery Tupperware.  I, as a Tupperware aficionado, understand the varied uses of Tupperware products.  I use Tupperware to hold my paper clips, rubber bands, and sewing kit to name a few of the oddest uses.  I have a few shallow ones that help me organize loose tea bags.  Whenever I find something that needs to be organized I look through my stockpile of Tupperware for something that will work.

But even I have never thought it a good idea to invest in one of these Surprise Packs, no matter how much the discount is.  It’s just such a gamble!  I will perhaps acquire some of a fairly long list of products.  If I wanted those products badly enough, wouldn’t I rather just pay for it?

I’m sure that what’s actually going on is that they have a bunch of extras of everything on the Surprise Pack list.  If you take this gamble, you may very well may wind up with three Tupperware aprons (which I can’t even find a picture of anywhere so it’s obviously a product that no one liked!).

But if this Tupperware Surprise Pack sounds good to you, you can only buy it by contacting me at [email protected]. Leave me a phone number and we’ll get your order placed!  Deadline October 8th.

There’s also a really good special you can only get by ordering through me (i.e., can’t get it online). The Clear Mates 12pc set ($101) is on sale for $49!  These are great for organizing your fridge and the Modular shape means you can fit TONS of leftovers in limited space.  Deadline October 8th for this particular deal.

Top 5 Reasons to Choose Tupperware

Top 4 Tupperware Products that Will Save YOU Money IMMEDIATELY

And don’t forget, you can shop for Tupperware online all day every day at www.tupperwaresisters.com!

The Right Question

I’ve been involved in an unfortunate dispute with a company I work for as a sales representative. As a sales rep, I make only commission on what I sell. I put in tons of time last year researching and contacting leads. It went pretty well, though I bet if I had tracked my hours last year as I do this year, the average hourly wage wouldn’t be very impressive. But it was a gig, and I was glad to have it. I was glad to have it again this year, and I was pleased to receive repeat orders from a few customers. I was excited to continue seeking out orders, if not to the extent I had the year before, but at least a few hours a week.

Last year I was paid pretty regularly. Once in awhile a check would be late, but I’d contact the people over there at this organization I’m not going to name, and they would get back to me right away. A check was mailed pretty much right after that.

I made my first sale this year in the Spring. No check came, so I emailed and called. Ooooh they were working on it. I waited. I was patient at this point. Very patient. I continued being patient as I emailed over forty times, receiving around six total emails in response, and none ever from the accountant who was supposed to be looking into it. I was told at various times that “checks were being processed” and would be mailed the “next week.” At a certain point, I was told that “checks should have already been received.” I emailed back informing them that I had not received my check, and asking them to update me as to why. I received no response.

I grew madder and madder. An okay-paying side job turned into a thorn in my side that I couldn’t ignore. Here I am, working on the promise of commission for the sales I make, and this company doesn’t have the decency to even respond to my emails, let alone pay me! I like everyone there who I have worked with, but as an organization, I grew to hate them. My acupuncturist told me that the best way to deal with difficult people was to send love and light their way. I practiced that daily, as frustrated and insulted as I was. And still no response.

I like to think of myself as a pretty shrewd business person. I predicted soap opera characters having blogs and myspace pages years before it ever happened. I read Inc Magazine from cover to cover. The idea of treating your work force with such complete and utter disregard makes me shudder. I wish I had the contact information for other sales representatives, because I honestly cannot believe that they treat us all like this. How can they expect to survive when the people who should be out there promoting their products aren’t getting paid and their inquiries are ignored? And how could they expect us (me!) to continue promoting their product and seeking out sales when I hadn’t been paid for the sales I’ve made?

Finally I listened to my attorney friends and sent a demand letter. And finally I started getting responses to my emails. I breathed a huge sigh of relief. But I noticed that they were only addressing part of the due commissions, ignoring the other part. I asked about the ignored portion, and once again, did not receive a response. I emailed again to ask for an update. But this time I tacked on, “If you are not the right person to update me, can you please provide someone who can?”

Boom. Twenty minutes later I had an email to someone I had never heard of asking them to update me. I don’t know yet if she’s going to, but I am struck by the absurdity of the situation. Perhaps if I had asked that question back in March this whole situation could have been avoided? Was it really my responsibility to ask the right question?

I definitely don’t think so. They’re in an industry with a few layers of customer service; they have people who buy their product who they should want to be happy. They also have a force of sales reps who are out there selling their products in exchange for their commission. They aren’t what you think of as typical customers, but they are buying money with their time. And they, like the customers who buy the products, are out there in the world sharing their experiences. I can’t tell you how hard it was for me not to buy www.[name of company I work for]sucks.com. Months ago I wanted to start a blog about their disregard for my work and time, but ultimately I knew it wouldn’t help me professionally or personally.

So here I am, as anonymously as possible, sharing my experiences. Hopefully the checks come in and I don’t need that looming court date. When the checks come in I will email them urging them to think of their sales reps more as customers. This time I won’t expect a response.

why oh why,… do I have to go…and take these gigs??

Today I found myself at the Peninsula Home and Garden show.

Where else, but in a sponge booth.

Now, last time I sold sponges I employed the Thin Air Approach to try and convince people to watch my demo. Today, I used a call I’d only hesitantly employed before: Feel the Super Sponge! Three minutes of free entertainment.

I especially targeted the baby boomers with beers. I have to say, it was pretty successful. I realized, though, that my default, Feel the Super Sponge! It sucks and I’ll show you how! is inappropriate with the elder generation. I need to work on that.

After all these years, I’m good at selling sponges. I enjoy it, even. When I have a good crowd of young and old, and I can wave the sponge above the little one’s head and show it doesn’t drip. The grins on those little ones faces!! And I’m better at tailoring the demo to the audience. I am, however, still working on instilling that sense of urgency that if you neglect to use the Super Sponge to suck spills out of the carpet, the mold and the mildew that will build up in the floor boards will endanger the lives of you and your family.

But it doesn’t matter how convincing I am, or how essential sponges actually are to our good health, because you can’t sell sponges when there’s nobody there.

Damn rain. And economy.

…never heard the melody, til I needed the song…

I’ve been home sick for five days straight.

This has given me plenty of time for mulling over my recent life decisions and resolutions, new plans and old promises.

I don’t know that I’ve gotten anywhere. If I am to believe my uplifting daily quotes, there is nowhere to go.

And I’d really like to believe that.

I’m making a mix tape of my favorite Tom Waits love songs. Tom, I believe, is a man unlike the typical man, with a thorough respect and understanding of that incomprehensible mental state called love. If only he were available for marriage, I dream.

These love songs, though! They used to be laced with wrenching memories of lost love. Now they echo within almost emptily, having lost a certain poignancy.

Maybe as a reaction to heartbreak, which I wrote about here, in the early years of this blog, I began a search for hilarity in the mundane. And I found it. You always find what you’re looking for, of course. And if you keep looking, you’ll find it again. I’ve found it again. And again and again.

I wonder, though, if I’d forgotten to keep an eye out, and a healthy respect for the heartbreak that is also so beautifully ubiquitous.

Or, rather, as a corollary, perhaps I’ve neglected the naively hopeful hope that is a necessary condition for true heartbreak.

Oooh, I’ve been heartbroken. In the two years of this blog, I was definitely heartbroken to learn that the domain name tupperwaresisters.com was against the rules. I was heartbroken to take my current job and not travel the world selling the EuroSteam. I was heartbroken late last year, but I won’t speak of that here.

When my sister got married this year, I couldn’t believe that she had shaken–or rejected–the healthy cynicism that is so becoming to a woman nowadays.

I wonder, sitting here today, gray as the skies are, if her skies might be blue.

It’s been a good year so far. It keeps getting better. It’s a year of finishing projects, and not beginning new ones. It’s a year for art museums and rekindling curiosities.

And, by god, it’s a year for falling in love.

the crush list

in order of increasing crushness

5. The Bartender. (He never called, but totally still makes the list. I’m going to call him Donny, even though his name is Danny, just like I do with Danny from NKOTB.)

4. My internet boyfriend.

3. My date from Friday night. He was hella funny. That counts for a lot. I have doubts about us working out in the long run, though, because he is–like me–rather forgetful. And that’s the kind of negative trait that gets exponentially annoying whenever you have more than one person possessing it in one room. It was, though, hella sexy when he was talking about the airline business. He scored big points for that strange obsession. I’ll go out with him again.

2. The ex. OMG.

1.5 Hot German grad student. He’s likely the winner of most attractive, though the votes aren’t in. He just left me the funniest message. He says he would like to have a drink with me this week, but he wants me to know that he’s probably not going to buy any Tupperware.

1. Oh the unavailable. This one is so perfectly clever, gorgeous and sensitive. That sparkle in his eyes. That way he sits closer when he’s talking about something that makes him excited. Like he’s telling me a secret. Just for me. Ooh I just want to eat his brain for lunch! Is that weird?