• Shannon Duskie

The No Asshole Contract

Today I want to talk about not being an asshole. Can we ever talk about this enough? The secret to success? Not being as asshole. The secret to getting your way with customer service? Not being an asshole. The secret to LIFE? Not being as asshole. So here we are friends. Let's chat.


I’m sitting here sippin' on my hot tea with this contract in front of me dated Thursday, October 27th, 2016. Reading through it today, I’m still laughing my ass off about it and saying TRUE DAT in my head!!


Working in sales can teach you a whole lot of things, and if you choose to show up for class, one of the most important lessons is NOT BEING AN ASSHOLE.


When making outbound phone calls to potential customers - meaning you’ve NEVER talked to them before - most of the time the people on the other end of the line are nice or at least civil with you. Sometimes they crazy. This has been my experience anyways.


Occasionally though, the phone would ring and let’s just say the person on the other end of the line was less than thrilled that I were calling them to “interrupt” their day. Chances are this was probably a dance customer.


Disclaimer: I have a whole lot of dance customers that I loved and who were awesome and that market was probably my favorite because it was all about branding… but there’s not a show called “Dance Moms” for no reason and some studio owners are r-u-d-e.


On October 27th, this woman was particularly r-u-d-e. So much so that I was inspired to write a contract to myself, Emily, Carmen and Justin pledging to not be an asshole. The contract reads as follows:

If I, Shannon Duskie, am ever a business owner or a decision maker for an organization, promise to always be nice to the people on the other end of the phone trying to sell me things. I will listen to the spiel, maybe ask a question or two, and then tell them to have a nice day before hanging up. Unless they are mumbling - because mumbling is annoying. But even if they mumble, I shall let them down gently. Why? Because some people suck. That’s why.

Emily, in return, made her own pledge.


I, Emily McIntosh, being of (mostly) sound mind and body, join Shannon Duskie in her ledge to always be nice to people on the other end of the phone trying to sell me things. Even if their band sounds like a dying herd of water buffalo stampeding through a Pier 1 after-hours. Even if they call me on my personal cell phone at 6PM to ramble about how much they love the band Oasis. Unless, see said clause - A) they are mumbling or B) they make any overtly creepy comments, I WILL HANG UP ON YOUR ASS.

So let’s discuss this, shall we?


What would have happened if this woman on the other end of the line was, in contrast, not an asshole to me? Most likely, I probably would have sent her a bunch of free samples including a super cute black jacket with a custom rhinestone logo on the back and her name on the front. In the following couple of days, we would have gone back and forth a bit perfecting the logo and gotten to know each other in the process, soaking up each others’ awesomeness. She would’ve received her jacket about two weeks later and everyone at the studio would have ooooo’ed and ahhhh’d over it as she strutted her blinged out jacket all around the studio. I would have offered to set up a store for her because I knew she didn’t want to actually collect orders for all of the dance moms who were chomping at the bit to have one. Mom’s would have ordered and her studio would have made some money.


Back to our options.

Option 1 - Be a rude asshole on the other end of the line and act as if this phone call completely wrecked your entire day.

Option 2 - Don’t be an asshole. Be nice. Get free stuff. Make a friend. Have people oooo and ahhhh over you and then make money.

Which one sounds more pleasant? I know it’s a rough call. It’s ok - you can think about it.

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