Sunday, May 3, 2009

The salesman

It was his first day on the job and he was a little nervous. He had been an overachiever throughout his life, and this was one more challenge that he knew he had to overcome. He understood how much was riding on this.

Like everything else he had undertaken, he tried to absorb as much information as possible. He didn't want to look foolish. One of his greatest strengths, he believed, was his preparation. There was an unmistakable drive about him. He had spent much of his life standing out from the crowd for all the right reasons. He had to do so once again, not only for his sake but for those who counted on him to succeed.

The enormity of the challenge failed to deter him. He knew that what he was able to do in this new job would have consequences. He was getting involved in an arena that many had already left for dead. How could anyone think there was enough breath left in it for something good to come out of something so bad? But he had no choice. The job had not come seeking him, he had been inevitably drawn to it.

At the breakfast table that morning, his wife had wished him luck. She had seen him perform his magic so many times through the years. Her confidence in him had certainly been a foundation for everything good that had happened. She was not one to dole out praise lightly and yet she had almost never wavered in her belief about him. Her quick squeeze of his hand and warm smile helped get him up out of his chair and ready for what lay ahead.

The children came over to get their morning hug and bounce out the door. They loved everything about their father and believed he could do no wrong. He held both of them tightly, told them to have a good day and watched as they hurried away. He knew it was time.

The economy was working against him. Everyone was fearful of what lay ahead. Pocketbooks had been shut. It was going to be his job to convince those who would listen that it was time to change their thinking. Yes, he understood all too well how they felt. But, what he was hawking was just too good to pass up. They would look back in future days and take pride that they stood up to their concerns. They would never regret their decision.

He went over the short prepared remarks that he had been working on. They would be captivated, they had to be.

He got out of the car and walked briskly into the building. He straightened his tie and jacket. He was ready.

He waved to a familiar face. He got a wave back, and a brief greeting. "Hello, Mr. President", the voice said. "Hello", he responded.

He began. "I want to thank all of you who are here today for my first day as a car salesman. As you know, I and all of you have became owners of one of the best automobile companies the world has ever known. I take pride in ownership, and I know you feel the same. I would not let you get in this brand new Chrylser/ Fiat unless I was convinced that you would be taken for the best ride of your life. Our journey is long and we all will be transported in safety and precision. We must all be drivers of this engine. We will all get to a brighter tomorrow only by taking this trip. I have kicked the tires, looked under the hood, driven around the block, and let me tell you, now is the time to buy. I will be here today and many tomorrows to make sure that little knocking sound is corrected, to smooth out the nicks and dents and to get you to your destination happier and in better shape than today. Let me open the floor for questions."

"Mr. President, thank you for your thoughtful words. I speak for everyone when I wish you only success in your new job. Can you please just tell us the miles per gallon we can expect to get as we begin our long trip back to prosperity"

He smiled briefly. He knew this was going to be a bumpy ride.

No comments: