Friday, September 25, 2015
The Karmic Salesman
At our custom car dealership, a hungry customer arrives to see his much anticipated jewel. I'm usually stuck in the back office coordinating the build, never interacting with the end customer. That's how I want it. No one wants to buy a car from me. But this one was already sold and I was just presenting it to the customer since everyone else was busy. Maybe I couldn't sell him on me but I know I could sell in an impersonal way the work done on the car that speaks for itself. For once, my attitude wouldn't come into play.
"Just look at the seats. Finest possible example of Italian leather complete with a letter from the tannery's owner vouching this to be his very best. Just rub your hand along the trim and tell me what you think."
"Amazing! Flawless! Never felt or seen anything like that before."
"20 coats of paint, hand rubbed just as you specified. Check out the depth of that shine."
"Staggering. Simply staggering. Looks like I could stick my hand in it it's so deep."
"Leading edge liquid titanium shocks, one of only three sets in the world. Specially mixed Formula One compound tires made just for you and can only be re-ordered by you. Literally, no one else in the world will have tires as grippy as yours. Had a hell of a time negotiating that!"
"Outstanding! This should be a beast on the track."
"Variable horsepower setting for either road or track for maximum drivability, custom coded chip just for this car."
"Can't wait to get behind the wheel!"
"Only the best materials have been used. Some of the best engineering is in places you can't see. The rustproofing and internal construction will provide an integrity beyond that of even a Rolls Royce. A car that will literally last a life time, maybe two."
"I have to admit this may be the finest example in the world. Couldn't ask for anything more. I am stunned."
I was in agony the entire time, on my best most false behavior, but it seemed I'd made it through. Whew! Just get the fucker out the door and he'll never know what a miserable human being I am, mission accomplished. "Great! Want to go into the office to make the final payment?"
"Tell me, who was it who put this all together to make it happen?"
Shit, last question I wanted to hear. "That was me. I coordinated the build on this."
"Really? Hmm. Well..."
"Well? Well what? Don't you think it's perfect in every way?"
"Then let's go finalize the transaction!!"
"I don't know..."
"What do you mean you don't know? You just said it was perfect! What's your problem?"
"You don't really make me feel good about this."
"It's not my freaking job to make you feel good! What does that have to do with anything? Don't you have a brain in your head? Just accept this car for what it is. It's everything they say it is!"
"What about you? Are you everything they say you are?"
"What does it matter who I am? Just look at the work I did and nothing else. That's all you should do."
"I know. Whatever. I just don't really want to."
"I'm not asking you to marry me or be friends with me or even eat a frickin' meal with me. Just maintain an objective attitude is what you're supposed to do!"
"Nah. Think I'll pass on that."
Motherfucker! This can't be happening to me! Wherever I go I can't escape myself. How am I supposed to get my whole life straight in the next 60 seconds so this guy won't back out on the deal? I thought I found a job where I could hide and not have to worry about my ultra-negativity. No one knows who's behind the keystrokes when ordering. No one even knows what kind of act I'm putting on when talking on the phone, holding my breath. This was supposed to be the perfect con. Fucked again, naturally.
The client starts edging to the exit door, my life evaporating before my eyes. Is this really all there is to life? Shit, get fucked, and die? I didn't know what to do but cry for help.
"Hey, wait!" I plead without a plan in my head, blind faith fear striking deep in my heart. Amazingly, he stopped, hearing something in my voice.
"Yes, what is it?"
I then glimpsed our top salesman at the other end of the showroom in keen conversation with a customer. I always feel good when around him, even I wanting to buy a car just to return the favor. Then inspiration hit me in the nick of time.
"Well, what if I told you that guy over there did it?'
"Julio? You mean Julio built it? Julio's cool!"
"Yeah, what if I told you Julio did it?"
OK, so life can be good on very rare occasions by the skin of your teeth with improbable providence stepping in at the last minute. But surely it can't be this good all of the time?