Friday, August 8, 2014

This morning, shortly after getting to work:

Me- "Mr.S, I've found where you can buy the book you've been looking for about this German artist.  It looks like you can only get the book in German."

Mr.S- "Well naturally!  They're German; they aren't going to write it in Spanish!"

On the bus ride to work I've had a bit on my mind.  While I'm learning a lot about the art that we have in this gallery, I'm worried that I'm not making enough progress as a salesman and I'm not sure if I can get all the knowledge that I need on that subject from Mr.S.

From what I have gathered, in the past he had an excellent salesman who passed away.  I'm not sure how long ago that was, as it seems like sometimes Mr.S can get more recent times and dates confused.  To give an example, the other day he asked if I remembered something that happened here at the gallery last May, and I had to remind him that I was just starting my 3rd week of employment here.  Anyway, regardless of whether it was 10 months ago or 10 years, this salesman did an excellent job, and Mr.S hasn't had a salesperson that he's been happy with since then.

The woman who was doing the job before me was here for only 6 weeks before he let her go, and as I get closer and closer to that length of employment myself I worry that I can expect to be dismissed in the same way.  Mr.S wields the power to hire and fire around here, and though he may consult Kiddo and T, I'm sure that if he sets his mind to it I'll only be a footnote in the history of the gallery.  If I don't hurry up and start making sales, though, I might deserve it.

On the one hand, I know that I need to learn more about selling.  On the other, Mr.S doesn't make it easy.  Despite Mr.S's flaws, the man can spot someone with money from a block away.  I'll still be welcoming a guest to the gallery when he notices Gucci shoes or Armani handbags, and automatically tries to take over the situation.  He is probably right, of course, about their being wealthy, but what he doesn't seem to notice are their reactions to him.

Rich people are often afraid of whatever doesn't fit into their pretty world, and age scares them.  Here at the gallery you have an old man who, if he sees any sign of wealth, won't leave you alone.  Some will humor him, smile as he describes his gallery (only understanding half his words), but the discomfort is palpable.  On one hand their fear disgusts me, but on the other, this gallery needs to make sales to function and I'm afraid that in that area Mr.S is a liability to himself without realizing it.

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