Saturday, January 12, 2008

Salesman of the Year

It is such a struggle some days, isn't it? Sometimes you just don't want to wake up. Sometimes you walk around like Katherine Hepburn, just lightly shaking your head from side to side, which isn't the palsy of old age. It is unadulterated disbelief.

Yesterday, a very cold Friday in January, after dark, someone knocks at the door. It is the source of most of Johnny Carson's comedy material, the siding salesman. I walk down the stairs, past the hysterically barking dog and the two granddaughters, both talking to me at once, about different subjects, with the phone in my hand, finishing a call to my dad, and answer the door. I turn off the phone, quiet the dogs and the girls, and engage in some trivial conversation with the salesman. I mention that (can't you see?) we just got the house sided but we are slowly replacing all the windows, although this is not a good time, financially. He explains that it is a free estimate, good for one year and the guy will call us on the phone before he shows up. Sure, I shouldn't talk to these guys, but our beautiful siding job did result from a "cold call", and I am interested in what this guy is peddling.

Next day, 10a.m., doorbell rings. The estimate guy is here, no phone call, and he will need egress to the house, can't just look outside. Louie answers and says well, then, lets not bother cuz it is not convenient for you to troop through the house right now, and they engage in further small talk about which windows and why it is not a good time financially, etc. Salesmen are salesmen cuz they like to talk I guess, and the guy tends to go on and on. Gives Louie his card, etc., then as he rattles on, Louie says, " I just cooked my Oatmeal and it is getting cold, so..." The guy says, "I just drove all the way out here from Oak Park, so I REALLY care about your bowl of Oatmeal."

Really clinched it, huh? Sure, we won't be calling Galway Construction when we need new windows, and , by the way, my cousin works for Feldco.