Today in the Washington DC metro area is a rainy and cold one. Being that I am 4 years old and insist on wearing unseasonable clothing in the cold I was dreading getting gas. Typically @jaredwsmith is kind enough to get it for me but since he has been exceptionally cranky for the last 48 hours I elected not to ask.
I loaded up my 2010 red VW beetle with my mega bag and myself in running shorts, flip flops and a hoodie and off I went. In the spirit of being a pansy I neglected to stop at the first 3 gas stations I saw. The 4th one I saw I decided I would rather be cold for 5 minutes then cold and get yelled at when my car ran out of gas on the road and @jaredwsmith would have to come help me push.
I pulled in and saw a guy standing by a table with cans of something on it. Since I am not an atypical “car person” (read: really girly, afraid of things with 4 wheels and barely passed the drivers exam – the written one) I thought I wouldn’t be a target.
I roll out of the car and off the heated seats into the cold, wet air. I did my card, selected the grade and installed the pump in my car safely without being accosted. Then he hit me:
Kid: “I know you want to check this out”
Me: “Not really”
Kid: “oh, ok”
Never one to pass up a teachable moment I decided to momentarily take this kid under my “mama salesman” wing.
Then I got back in my car after giving him a flimsy “it’s cold and im getting back in my car”.
My gas pumped successfully (YES!) and I got back out. I saw him hustling some other guy in a Malibu and felt a tinge of nostalgia.
I started in sales (not commission based THANK GOD) at 22 and I was awful at it. I would come home from work and cry because of one reason or another. But my dad, a lifelong salesman, told me to “suck it up” and “get over it”. I did and I have gotten a little tougher and a little better since.
I waited for the kid to finish up being told no and he came back, head held in shame.
Me: “Hey, lemme get one of those”
Me: “yeah, how much are they?”
Kid: “$25 for two”
Me: “WTF $25? what is it?”
Kid: “Let me show you, it basically details your car for you”
Me: “I pay Jose for that”
Kid: “Well this works better”
Me: “fine, well give me two”
Kid: “I’ll tell ya what, $20 and I will give you this restaurant.com coupon”
Kid: “Are you doing this because you feel bad for me?”
Me: “Pretty much, have a good one”
And I got back in my car.
I did feel bad for him. It was cold and raining but he was wearing an Under Armor jacket so not that bad.
It also made me so thankful for every one of our clients. Without them I wouldnt have the opportunity to wear shorts and flip flops everyday, or even write this blog post.
November is a time to be thankful and I think that it is important to be thankful all year. Its like people who go to church on Easter and Christmas and think their conscience is clear. Unfortunately it doesn’t work that way.
So next time you see some kid trying to sell you some car wax, buy it. Its $20 and it will get him home to his mothers basement where he belongs until he graduates college and can write a blog about when he had to sell car wax at a gas station all day.