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Monday, October 15, 2012

ODD AL (A True Story)

As we travel through life we meet people who are definitely differently from us. We quickly characterize them as odd balls. This was the impression I got when I met Al the salesman.

Al Barkley showed up at my business one day and announced he was going to work for me. I quickly told him that he wasn't for I didn't need any sales help, because I handled all of the leads that came to my office.

It was as if I had not said anything for he kept talking about what kind of deal we should make.  He went on to ask me to tell him how much I wanted to roof each house and he would add his commission on top of that.  I still wasn't interested and told him so.

The next day we were working on 15 year old tract homes whose roofs were wearing out, and he shows up at the job, and said he was going to canvass the entire neighborhood and leave his cards. Shortly after this he comes back and wanted some contracts for he had sold some roofs and needed to write them up and get them signed.  He had got my price plus his commission and wanted to know when we could install their roofs.

There were thousands of these tract homes and I didn't have the time or energy to canvass them and work too so I relented and he began to sell roofs for me.

Al would go over the same territory again and again until the people would get to know him just from all his visits. When they were ready for a roof they would call him most of the time. He got to know those people so well he would just walk into their house without knocking, sit down and talk to them like they were friends.  Using this tactic he sold hundreds of roof jobs.

He "was" a little strange or so it seemed to me. He would sell the jobs and as soon as we were finished he would collect a check and saved the office the trouble of billing and waiting until they got around to mailing us the check for payment.

He would drink a little in the evenings and as the years wore on he began to drink more. At the same time he and his wife began to have trouble which compounded his problem and he began to slip and you could smell alcohol on his breath.  The time came when he didn't trust his wife with his money so he began to keep his money in the trunk of his car.

After drinking one day he decided to ride his son’s motorcycle, and he came in too fast, lost control and crashed it. He stove up his back and spine and even after surgery he couldn't walk without a great deal of pain.

His days as a salesman was over, and I only saw him occasionally after that. He went back for more surgery on his back a couple more times and for whatever reason he died from it.

While I still considered Al to be a little strange, but no one could doubt that he was a salesman.

This post is shared at:  “Tell Me a True Story”
And at Sharing His Beauty Monday

Return for my continued Fictional stories that will be posted later.


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