Monday, May 16, 2005

The leads are weak.

My favorite moments used to be when the "NOW HIRING CLOSERS" sign would appear at the local Burger King. It was my big moment to have one of those elitist private laughs at the business world, when it had inadvertently stepped into a literary critique of itself. I would wonder, at those moments, whether the handy instruction manual for Burger King closers might read, "Always be closing." I really, really hope it does.

Now I am also happy that the Patient Partner has taken to referring to our fancy schmancy coffee maker as The Machine. That way, when we have forgotten to set it up the night before, or I have to clean out its many parts, I can simply say, "Fuck the Machine!" To which the PP, except when he is really sleepy, obligingly replies, "Did you say, fuck The Machine? She said, fuck The Machine!"

At which point Jacques Monod is rarely amused, and says, "Put that coffee down. Coffee is for closers."

But friends, these moments just don't stack up anymore.

Not long ago, the PP and I took a sojourn in New York, in part to see the new revival performance of Glengarry, Glen Ross.

I don't know if you are a David Mamet fan, but the production rocks, and not just because of the cast. I will confess that prior to this I had only seen the movie version, of which I am immensely fond. I have made the mistake of suggesting to people who work in sales that they should see it, no really they should, because it is so, so good. They usually come back and give me the look with which I am now familiar. It is a look that says, Why did you make me do that? and also wonders whether I am truly a friend.

I am, but really, it is so, so good.

So imagine my surprise, when the PP, upon returning from NYC, had lunch with some colleagues of his in the sales department at his company. They asked him how his trip was. He said how much he liked the subway and the great Vietnamese restaurants, and how good the play was.

"Oh yeah," one of them replied, setting down his third beer. "Our sales manager used to show clips from that movie during our motivational sessions."


Now, granted: I could see how that Alec Baldwin scene, out of context, might--I say MIGHT--have some useful pointers in it. (Nota bene: that scene is not in the original play.) But surely, if the aforementioned sales manager were going to track down that scene, surely he would have HAD to have watched the whole thing?

But without sounding too much like Alanis Morissette, I suppose I could acknowledge that the world is full of such ironies. That it can be the people who claim to be defenders of freedom who smack you down when you stop goosestepping. Or I could note that sometimes people watch things, and they just don't get it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Fella

I am just putting together a sales seminar and always use Glen Garry Geln Ross. You see for real sales people we like the fact that people (who haven't got the guts to sell) see what we have to do. and in our 'brand you' service world soon selling will be all that matters.

As Mary Kay Ash said " Nothing happens until someone sells something"

Now heres the irony a brit defending sales people to an american, strange world we live in!

Enjoy your day