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Tales from a small town

Short stories about life in a small town. Non-fiction. Great reading.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

the shrew

I've got alot riding on this car sales thing working out - not to mention I can be more competitive sometimes, than I'd like to be.

Well, I've been sending out mailers from my own contacts database. This is a list of businesses in my town that I've compiled over the years when I'd do contract work on the side (while I was working at the factory) for business owners, either involving computers or some type of phone work. None of the other salesmen are contacting businesses. In fact, I don't think they ever have.

Yesterday, I called a guy who owns a radiator shop. He told me he wasn't sure of his hours for the rest of the week, so I should just call him in the morning, "...sometime between 8-10," and he'd have a better idea what his schedule is, so we could come up with a time for him to come in and look at a truck.

I thought, "Hey, why not just show up at his business tommorow morning [today] with the truck?" My manager OK'ed it, and instead of driving my car home last night, I drove the truck he's interested in to my house, so I could just pop in at his business since we both live in the same city. Did it, he drove it, he loved it and wants to buy it.

So what's the problem? We were working out some things he wanted the dealership to throw in for free to seal the deal, and it involved a little phone tag. The guy calls me later today at the dealership. He identifies himself as the owner of XYZ Radiator Shop [not really the name.]

The freakin' secretary for the dealership - without putting this guy on hold, yells out: "Which one of you guys is having radiator work done?" in a real annoyed voice, like she thought she was taking a personal call for me. I said, "Did he ask for Boris?" [not really my name.] Again, without putting him on hold, she says, "Yeah - there's two Boris' here and you both work in sales, so could you start telling people to include your first and last name when they call for you?"

I said, "Could you just transfer him to my extension?!!" She did. After the call, I said, "Did you know that guy owns a radiator shop, and he's buying a service truck off me?" She said, "How was I supposed to know why he called? He just said he was from XYZ Radiator and asked for you."

Did the guy buy? So far, so good. His banker called and said he was good for the money, but the check won't be cut till sometime next week, and if there was any problem with him taking delivery tommorow, we should just call him for the check number and amount. Evidently, this is a common occurance. I talked to the finance manager, and he told me if the guy comes in tommorow to take delivery, just let him drive off - he's good for it.

But that's not the point. The point is, this secretary doesn't like me. Unfortunately, she's considered a local hero, because her boyfriend frauded alot of people out of alot money and she cooperated with the FBI and turned him in - and they got him.


I found out (much too late evidently) that she doesn't like people who talk about their kids, and she doens't like people who won't listen to country. She's also in love with a salesman who's not nuts about me, because I came from a factory, and he thinks that's a liability on the dealership, because it detracts from the professional image of an "automobile sales and leasing consultant."

I'm large and tall and I look like an NFL lineman - or a factory worker - even though I wear the collared, button-down shirts, slacks and leather shoes - I just look like an NFL lineman or factory worker who's wearing a collared, button-down shirt with slacks and leather shoes.

I can talk a smooth line of shit with the best of them, but at over six feet and near 300 pounds, I don't look like some preppy yupster who couldn't decide if I should finish med school or become a tennis coach at the country club and bang all the trophy wives while their husbands are overseas on business banging cheap hookers in Thailand. The rest of the salesmen have that air about them.

I'm still in a 3-way dog fight for 2nd place with 3 vehicles on the board so far - the leader has 4.

I don't mind recieving constructive criticism from people I consider to be brilliant, experienced, or both - even if they don't deliver it they way I'd like to recieve it, but that secretary is something else. I've got to kiss her ass a little because I know the owner likes her and she's also the one who transfers calls from people calling the dealership wanting to speak to a salesman - to whichever salesman she chooses, but damn!

Just another day in the life.

I do like selling cars. It beats working in a factory by about a million miles!