I always thought I could sell.
When I learned that a brother owned the state distributorship for Wynn’s Automotive Additives and needed a salesman, I called.
G.T. met me on my lunch hour, driving the new 1970 Buick he had just won in a national sales contest and explained the program: 25% straight commission as a self-employed sales operative.
The following Monday, I met G.T. at the warehouse. He had a friction machine that tested the friction protection of various oils, lubricants and additives. Compared to Wynn’s Friction Proofing, STP Oil Treatment was made to look like polymer oil thickener, nothing more. He used test tubes to demonstrate water displacement, burned various chemicals in saucers, etc. He was, of course, “selling” me on the products.
For the next three years I called on service stations, garages and car dealerships. I gave sales presentations at car dealerships, including the sales and parts managers and all the mechanics, selling them on the products and repeating all the catch phrases I had learned, even confidently overcoming objections. I sold hundreds of dollars worth each day, eventually cutting back to a three day week so I could get back on the pioneer list.
Then G.T. and the Wynn’s Corp. got into a dispute. G.T. called them “hypocrites , even revealing what was actually in the products. Engine Tune-up was a solvent, Carburetor Cleaner was methanol, Radiator Stop Leak, cellulose, etc.
My next work day was slow getting started. I pulled into a coffee shop, bought a newspaper and ordered breakfast. I got to my first call about 10:00 am, instead of my usual 8:00. “Do you need any Wynn’s?” I mumbled at each stop. I sold zero that day and called my wife to tell her I was quitting.
G.T. waived off the usual post-employment inventory as I unloaded the product out of my truck. No acrimony. No hard feelings. We shook hands. His wife was upset. “I told him not to tell you what was in that stuff!”
I left the additive business in 1973 cuz I no longer believed, just as OldHippie, Frenchy and JT left the elder business.
To think that there are many elders who remain despite disbelief implies a basic sinister dishonesty that I have never seen and I’ve known hundreds of elders.
When the presiding overseer gets his new KM, he sees the 20 min. Q&A “Will You Pioneer in April?” and promptly assigns it to the young MS. The PO knows he’s not pioneering this April or next. The MS, in handling the part, announces his spring plans and asks the audience “Will you join me?” Neither man feels like a hypocrite.
My experience tells me that this tiny aspect of Amnesian’s well-articulated essay is simply not true.
I didn’t buy everything Bildad, the Shuhite, was selling, either. Amnesian’s arguments are taller than those of that infamous Biblical short man.