Heart of a Salesman

This was back in the day where families used their refrigerator as a bulletin board. In our kitchen, magnetized clothespins did the trick. Not much went up there. Five young children running through the apartment took care of most “breaking news”. But the fridge did get some action. Once a month, like clockwork.

I never once saw my dad actually post it on the fridge. He would have only had to push the large, colorful letters we used to learn the alphabet to one side in order to secure it at eye-level – eye-level for children, not eye-level for adults. Therein lies the importance.

Dad was a salesman. This was before the days of “account executives”. Pure salesman. And the currency of salesmen then, as it is now, was not so much paycheck as it was scoreboard. Where did you rank among your colleagues? Did you beat the other salesmen? Were you nearer to the top, or closer to the bottom?

Did your children have to bend over to find your name, Douglas F. Harrington Sr, or did they have to stand on their tiptoes?

And as you watched from the kitchen table, tumbler in hand, newspaper spread wide, did you smile as your eldest son moved his finger down the list to find your name? Did you imagine the impact it would have on him when he didn’t need to move his finger down even one spot?

Business is a sport. They keep score. Top of the list is hard work. It’s admirable work. It’s worth tipping a glass and teaching your son. Maybe someday he’d be on a list, maybe even writing one.



An image of a desk phone

"I was going to come to the office and play on the internet today but then I remembered that I wasn’t. If this leaves your email message lonely or anxious in any way, please let it know it’s not alone.

Remember, all good things to those that wait (just as long as they escape the delete button.)

Rock it out today." 

Orignally posted September 15, 2020


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