by Jacques Werth
My first job after college was selling forklift trucks in an industrial section of New York City. I was prospecting on foot because telephones were too expensive.
I walked into the main office of a company that made valves. I told the receptionist I needed to speak with John.
An angry-faced man stuck his head out of one of offices behind her and yelled, “Get rid of that *** salesman!”
She shrugged her shoulders and mouthed “Sorry.”
So I left.
About three weeks later, when I was in that neighborhood, I again went into the same office, saw the same receptionist, and handed her my business card.
“Is John available?” I asked.
“What is this in reference to?” she asked.
“Forklift trucks”, I said.
Before she could do anything, the same guy came out of the same office and hollered, “Tell that *** salesman I’m not interested in whatever he is selling.”
She gave me a meek smile of embarrassment before I left.
A few weeks later and I was right back in the same office. I said to the receptionist, “Would you tell John that I want to talk to him about forklift trucks.”
She picked up her phone and dialed a two digit number and said, “Jacques Werth is here to talk to you about forklifts.” Then, she hung up and said, “He’s not interested.”
The next time I came into the office, the receptionist told me that her boss was in a particularly foul mood, much worse than usual, and that I should probably just go.
“I heard that! Who are you talking to?”, came the angry voice from the office behind her.
Before she could answer, John came out of the office, looked at me and said, “It’s you, the forklift guy. Get your *** in my office!”