When I was 16/17 I struck upon what I felt was a genius idea ; combining my desire to bolster my pitiful make up stocks and my pitiful financial stocks. I would become an Avon lady. I don’t quite know how the idea came to me, but in my head it was the perfect plan. I could fit it around school, I would have lots of free make up, and I’d make money too.
Turns out being an Avon lady is really hard. First off there is a limited supply of nice parents of friends who will buy things from you, and of amenable people on the same street as you. That means venturing out into the real world, leafleting, sticking up posters, shoving booklets through doors, and holding parties.
As a grown up I can fairly well hide my chronically anti-social nature well enough to pass as normal, as a teenager I could not. Speaking to people I knew took every single bit of effort in my body, speaking to people I didn’t know was nigh on impossible.
My pitiful sales were not helped by the fact that the only products I genuinely enjoyed were the lipsticks, and the gift sets. And while the best kind of sales people can make you believe they love everything, those of us in the more mediocre branch cannot.
“What are the benefits of this foundation?”
“Well it’s a sort of brown shade”
Yeah. Not going to sell a lot. And indeed I did not sell a lot. I can’t remember what my end total was, but I owed Avon money at the end, which is not the greatest sign. I did however, bolster my collection with a multitude of tiny lipsticks though, so from that point of view it was a win.