Monday, April 10, 2017

Happy 30th Avon Anniversary to Me!

Today, April 10th, I am celebrating the completion of 30 years as an Avon Representative. It has been a time of many blessings, both monetarily and the blessing of many friends and relationships I have developed through those 30 years. Some of those customers who became friends, including two so far this year, have already passed on from this life, as is to be expected when you have been in the business for 30 years. When I began my Avon business, one of the main purposes I had for becoming an Avon Lady was to be able to reach out and make a difference for good in the lives of my neighbors. I hope that I have been able to do that, and that I will be able to continue to do that for many more years.

As I think back over the years, I lot of memories come to me. I remember that in the early years I would only leave home for up to 2 hours at a time to work with my business because I had a baby at home who needed me to only be gone for that long. I also recall pushing that baby, Bonny, in her umbrella stroller from door to door as I met my neighbors and introduced myself. Avon Representatives were assigned territories then, so I knew what area was mine to work and I worked it pretty well. Now, with many more women working and with the advent of the internet, no representative is limited in the area where she or he can work their business. Most of us do, of course, try to be respectful of each other and not "steal" customers. Of course, we also say that "If you are serving your customers well, they will be loyal to you and no other representative can steal them, so you don't have to worry if someone new leaves a book with your customer." That is very true, and I do try to serve my customers well.

Another memory that comes to me is of the time my family and I were vacationing in Gatlinburg and I was attempting to turn in my regularly scheduled Avon order. I had never missed a campaign order (I still haven't!), and I had no intention of not turning one in while on that trip. At that time I was one of several representatives using a small hand held unit called a POET (Personal Order Entry Terminal) to enter and place our orders. This was prior to when we began to order by internet. I did not expect to have any problem placing my order, because all I needed to do was connect the POET to a phone line (detach line from handset and attach to POET), and then push a button on the POET that would dial Avon and place the order automatically. Low and behold, I could not find a place anywhere in Gatlinburg where you could attach a phone line to the terminal and do a direct dial. Every single place I tried required that you "Dial 9" to get an outside line. (Do you remember those days before cell phones when you did that with landlines in the hospital, a hotel, in some offices, etc?) I was beginning to think I was going to have to knock on the door of a random house and try to explain to someone that I needed to use their phone line but it would only take a minute and cost them nothing. I was finally able to drive to a city nearby and find a church building or funeral home or some such place to get my order placed, and I never got myself into that situation again! 

There are a lot of other stories I could tell, but I'll stop with that one, because I have another order due tomorrow and I need to get back to work. To celebrate my anniversary, I have offered my local delivery customers a free gift with their purchase of any size during this campaign. That's right, I'm celebrating my 30th anniversary by giving gifts to others!  That's just one more way to make a difference for good in the lives of my customers, and I know it will put smiles on their faces and on mine. Onward to the next 30 years! ;) 

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