I had dropped off my wife Peg for her allergy shots at the Baker Center, visited Johnson’s Candy a few blocks south for some energy and had gone back to park outside the Baker Center on MLK Jr Way, formerly K Street where the second place we lived after marriage was an apartment at 911 ½ So. Kay Street. I didn’t use the parking lot, but parked near the one lane driveway and under the overhang making the car a little dark. While I was waiting for Peg, I read the latest news on my cellphone. A tap on the driver’s window surprised me. It was someone with dark clothes and blocking more light. He had an umbrella . . . a yellow umbrella.
I rolled my window down and the man with the yellow umbrella began talking. His story had something to do with Sea-Tac, being out of gas and needing money. Before I got “I’m sorry; I don’t have any cash” halfway out of my mouth, the man had straightened up and moved on. I said to myself, if he really was short on cash and needed money for gas, he wouldn’t have stopped asking.
As I waited for Peg I watched the conman – I got a good look at him. He was a tall thin black man. He had a neatly trimmed mustache. The yellow umbrella reminded me of danger signs and sawhorse road blocks. He wore a brown hat with a wide brim on his head and a nice brown rain or storm coat. Underneath he had jeans and reddish-brown cowboy boots.
There wasn’t heavy foot traffic around but there was enough to keep him busy. He crossed MLK, dodging the roadblocks and construction warning signs. Outside the main hospital he kept asking every single person he met. I watched him for 20 minutes. I even pulled out a one-dollar bill to reward him for his efforts but he didn’t come back. Yes, I did have some cash on me . . . just in case.
Soon, Peg came out to our car. I mentioned the man and she remarked that he had approached her too, almost as soon as she had gotten out of our car as I drove away. We laughed and I said I liked his perseverance. He would make a great salesman. He didn’t give up, he simply moved on to the next possible target. He didn’t let the word no stop him. I told Peg, “I would consider hiring him. I doubt he went to Sea-Tac but I bet he ended the day with a profit and not just a jingle in his pocket!”
Good sales people are hard to find. A good sales person, man or woman, doesn’t let a “no” spoil their day. You can create a booming business with a great salesperson; although, you need to make it worth their effort! If I see him again, I may make him an offer.