I always asked,
even though the answer was known
always clenched teeth at the precisely predicted reply.
“ NO, we don’t give out samples ”
and always added the appendix –
“ we’re doing a function
and looking to spend several hundred dollars.
It’s company policy not to … ”
……. Yeah, I know ….. you tight wads.
AZZ distributors –
stranglehold on top end deli items
cost plus … and then some.
Five years on the job and the monopoly is broken
the rep comes with a new price list
a change in policy
AZZ would be happy to supply samples for any product.
“ Sorry mate, I’m now using ….. ”
It must be a core competency :
along with colour, style, hygiene
and small business accounting,
hairdressers are required to master small talk.
Chat literacy demonstrated in
populist politics –
but not too much so.
A thin and invisible line to be walked.
Interest and knowledge evident
but no offence,
or don’t come back opinions.
She was new
with snub nose
and tangerine hair.
She asked about me – and what I’d been doing
mechanical reply trials to reflexive reciprocal.
What has she been up to?
a bit of this,
a bit of that,
a bit of the other, not enough of the other.”
At least once a week the phone rang
lifting to terse introduction, no preamble
“… did I understand
… did I think
… had I not told my staff. ”
curt summons to the office
“ I want to show you,
I want you to see this for yourself ” –
often minimal and easily remediated
but contrition and apology expected.
At least once a month
one of the voices came to office
“ could I have moment
was it convenient
did I have few minutes.”
they needed my assistance
my interpretation – could I see it their way?
Acid became sugar – became phone call.