I have been with the company for eight years now, and I often find myself looking back at how my journey with Hunter’s Specialties began. My first position with Hunter’s Specialties was the Consumer Services Department. Yes, I said “Department,” because it was a one-man show. I was not a Consumer Services Specialist, I was the Consumer Services Department. I answered phone calls and responded to voicemails and emails from every consumer who called in with a question, comment or complaint. You might think that doesn’t sound appealing, but think about it…my job was simply to talk about hunting all day long. I loved it!
I was only in Consumer Services for about a year before I moved into the wonderful world of sales, but I’ve got a lot of fond memories about my time as the Consumer Services Department (yes, I did it again…Department.) I remember getting really pumped up and excited to hunt on the weekends because I had spent the week listening to people’s success stories while using our products. I couldn’t wait to get out in the woods and add to my own collection of success stories. And although I did get the occasional call from some grumpy old guy who didn’t know how to run a turkey mouth call (and thought it was our fault), the positive calls and emails greatly outnumbered the negative ones. But most of all, I’ll never forget the crazy and unusual calls and emails I would sometimes receive. I thought I’d share a few of those scenarios just for your enjoyment…
~ I once spoke on the phone with a guy who has a ‘good buddy’ who hunts gators in the swampy, backwoods areas of Louisiana. This ‘good ole boy' would allegedly take his pet Chihuahua with him, tether it to a tree about 10 feet from the bank, and shoot the hungry ‘gators that are lured in by the little dog’s frantic barking. I inquired, “Doesn’t he go through a lot of Chihuahuas that way?” “Nope,” he replied, “my buddy says you just gotta make sure to shoot ‘em before they make it to the dog.” (I can envision this fella sitting at the supper table with his wife and kids some night and saying, “Hey, y'all wouldn’t believe the size of this HUGE gator I shot at and missed today! Oh, by the way, little Coco won’t be with us anymore.”)
~ A bowhunter called in and told me how he used our products to help him with a huge dilemma he was having. Apparently he always seemed to start sweating after getting out of the shower. This was causing him fits. His solution was to take our Scent-A-Way Anti-Perspirant stick and “rub it all over his forehead and face, behind his ears, in his crotch, etc. Then when he got to the field, he would take an apple and rub that all over his face as well. (Now, I like a guy who takes his scent control that seriously. You can often have a lot of fun with them. I recommended that he hunt in an area where there are cows so that he can find a few fresh cowpies and wallow around in them. I told him that was a highly effective scent-disguising tactic. I also warned him that when he comes home from hunting with his new “bovine cologne” on, he should have a thick skin because chances are very good he’s going to get a big bowl of ‘grumble soup’ from his wife. I told him that’s just part of the business when you are a professional scent disguiser.)
~ As you may or may not know, our scent wafers come with safety pins so that you can attach them to your clothing. One consumer sent an email stating, “I have a question regarding your scent wafer product. What is the correct procedure for pinning them on? Is there some kind of an assembly process?” (Um yeah. It’s really quite difficult. I’d recommend going to your local bookstore and buying a copy of “Basic Fasteners for Dummies.” I believe Chapter 3 is entitled ‘The Safety Pin.’ It’s right between the chapters on ‘The Zipper’ and ‘the Button.’)
~ One consumer asked me during a phone call, “Yeah, I’ve got a Johnny Stewart cassette tape for calling coyotes. It’s a rabbit distress sound, and the date on the tape is 2001. Will that sound still work on today’s coyotes?” (No, Charles Darwin, the coyotes have evolved so much in the last several years that they now speak English. In fact, a large portion of the coyotes in the Southwest are bilingual.)
~ Following is a direct quote from an email that I had received…“We are slowly changing our eating habits … we're just eating more natural foods instead of processed food. Would you be so kind as to provide a list of the ingredients used to manufacture your Scent-A-Way Laundry Detergent?” (Hey, Chef Louie, do you plan on using our detergent as a salad dressing or something? Think really hard about your question, and then let me know if you still think you need an answer to that.)
~ From a phone conversation:
Consumer: “Yeah, this cassette caller should be covered under warranty. I just bought it new.”
Me: “Where did you buy it?”
Consumer: “I bought it from a buddy…he’s had it for years.”
(Hey, Daniel Webster, pick up a dictionary and look up the word ‘new.’)
~ During one call to a consumer, the lady who answered told me she was busy, and she wanted our phone number so she could call me right back. I said, “Sure. Our phone number is 800-728-0321.” Her response to that was: “That’s too many numbers.” (What, do you live in Mayberry? long sigh/breathe deeply ….”No it’s not, ma’am. Please trust me on this and give it a shot.”)
~ Some clown actually mailed in a letter asking for our address. No joke. (Hey, Einstein…here’s a hint…look at what you just wrote on the envelope.)
~ A practical jokester called in asking about one of our Johnny Stewart electronic predator callers. He lives right on a golf course and he wanted to conceal the base unit up in a tree and then play weird sounds while people were putting. He wanted to film their reactions and post it on YouTube. Not only that, but he then actually asked me if we had the sound of a Tyrannosaurus Rex charging. (Yeah, sure pal. Johnny Stewart recorded that sound himself. He was born during the Mesozoic era.)
Well, though I could go on and on, I better sign off for now. That little trip down memory lane makes me miss my beginnings with HS and being the Consumer Services Department. But don’t get any ideas boss…I like it where I’m at right now.