There was a young guy who picked up a job as a salesman at a car dealership. The young guy had no intentions of making this his career. He was simply passing through to get by. His first day on the job, he heard many things about a senior salesman. He was a successful salesman, a million dollar 10th in the company. But there was a side to him the senior salesman the younger salesman colleagues warned him about. His sale tactics were questionable. He would steal his colleague’s sales by interrupting their conversations with potential buyers–making then appear inarticulate and clueless about the business. The senior salesman would also size up potential buyers when they walked in. The one’s he felt couldn’t afford a vehicle; he would pass them on to his other colleagues. Or, if a customer walked in to discuss an issue about a car he purchased or a warranty discrepancy, he would act clueless, as if he was incapable of helping them, unaware of the company policies so that he could concentrate on sales. The senior salesman would also tell potential buyers that the young salesman didn’t know what he was doing. As a result, the young salesman would lose sells. What was peculiar about the younger salesman response to the senior salesman was crafty ways but choose to become friends with him.
As time passed, the younger salesman learned more about the senior sales man sale tactics: not to mirror him, but to recognize when the snake was going to bite. The younger salesman befriending strategy proved a successful one. He sales increased but he never compromised his integrity, no matter how huge the sale was. He also gained somewhat of respect from the senior salesman that made him twice about backstabbing. However, the senior salesman learned something peculiar about the younger salesman too. The senior salesman found out the younger salesman pretended inapt to sell, clueless about life and people, and a little on puzzled about selling. The senior salesman laughed one day as the younger salesman was ending his shift. “Ha! You think you’re slick. You’re not fooling me. I know you know what you’re doing.” The younger salesman smiled slightly. “I’ll see you tomorrow,” the younger salesman left. They forged a friendship from that point on.
Exchanging family and life experiences, as well as hardships, conversations on race, religion, and philosophy, the two found some common ground to relate on, but not always in agreement with each other. However, there was some level of respect that allowed them to coexist to pass time on the sales floor through intriguing conversation. One day, the senior salesman opened up about his discontent about the company. “I hate this business,” the senior salesman complained one day. ” I need to do something else. Maybe go into the “IT” for the government. All of my friend’s are doing it and they’re happy: The wake up 7:30 and get home at 3:30. They make six figures sitting in front of a computer all day.”
“Well, why don’t you go for it? You seem unhappy here,” replied the senior salesman.
“Nah,” the senior salesman wagged this hand. “You know, you seemed like you’re in a different world at times. Like you’re always thinking about something or daydreaming. You’re body is here but your mind is somewhere else.”
“No, not really. Just waiting for the day to pass, that’s all,” the younger salesman fibbed–choosing not to disclose his true thoughts.
As the months passed, the senior salesman would echo the same distasteful sentiments about the job, although he was a 1 million dollar seller. The younger salesman wondered whether he knew he would was repeating himself or not, but he concluded he didn’t. “I hate this job,” he said as if had said it for the first time.
One day, the younger salesman finally opened up to the senior salesman about what was on his mind in the earlier months. He shared that he wanted to be the next Denzel Washington. The young salesman loved acting and watching the classics and contemporary films. “In a few months, I’m moving out to California to pursue my dreams. I’m just going to pack my bags and go. I’m going to be a successful actor. I can feel it.
The senior salesman laughed within the vein of a mock. The younger salesman laughed too, but his laugh had a different sound to it. “You’re not going anyway. You’re doing too much daydreaming. How do you know this?”
“I have faith. I can feel it. I’m not worried about where I’m going to lay my head or how I’m going to eat– those things will be provided. You see, when you’re walking in God’s will, He provides for you.”
“Ha! You’re crazy. You’re dreaming too much. You know, I wish I could do something else–take up some trade in computers or go into “IT,” the senior salesman said about a month later
“Well, why don’t you,” said the younger salesman. “By the way, you said not too long ago.
“I’m going to. I have a story to tell you. Come and listen.”
The younger salesman walked over, not really interested in what he had to say. He knew him all too well: a man with wisdom failing to take his own advice. “Okay,” the younger salesman shrugged over.
“There was a boy who traveled 5 miles to school on foot to learn from the wise philosophers. He saved up money for tuition to study with them. Each summer, he would attend their seminars, but couldn’t pass the last course he needed to receive his degree in Modern Philosophy. There was an old man he passed by everyday to school. The man wore rugged clothing, had missing teeth, but appeared to have some wisdom or formal education. “You taking the same course again. If anyone had sense, the would take another course or some elective.”
The boy didn’t respond much to his taunting and negative talk. “Have a good day,” was his response.
The following summer, the boy passed the course. On his way back home with his degree in hand, the old man said, “Ha! You finally passed. I would have given up.”
“A man who cannot use his wisdom to better himself ends up a poor man.”
The old man was confused, eyebrows folding inward.
“Each time I failed the course, I grew as a man. I’ve learned more about myself. I learned not to give up when you’re in close reach. I learned how to preserver. But more importantly, I developed a stronger relationship with God.
The senior salesman saw a smirk on the younger salesman face, a look of revelation. “What do you think about the story?” asked the senior salesman.
“The old man taunted the young boy for what he may have been afraid to do earlier in his life. He didn’t give up. Failure was not an option to him.”
“And I bet the old man had told himself for years that he would get up from that place, but he was content with being poor.”
“Hmm. I never looked at it that way.”
“You can become so content being uncomfortable that it eventually becomes the norm to you,” his rubbed his chin smiling at the senior salesman.
‘”What’s that look on your face?”
Three more months passed and the younger salesman left as he said he would.