Business Genius

I moved to Denmark from the UK, this is my blog.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Selling power tools

Sundays. They should be banned. Today, a drab, grey blanket has replaced the sky. Rain has been falling almost incessantly. A long time ago I worked on Sunday mornings for one of my friend's fathers. He sold power tools. He would pick me up at the crack of dawn and we'd drive to a car boot sale somewhere, set up the stall and then wait for the customers to arrive. It was a highly depressing experience. My most prominent memory of those mornings is of how I'd try and cheer myself up by counting down the minutes until we packed up and I could go round to my girlfriend's. For reasons which aren't completely clear to me, being at my girlfriend's house represented the polar opposite of the melancholy of those mornings. Perhaps I am just a work-shy idler - in fact I know I am - but there was more to it than that. I have always been guilty of idealising people and certain situations but there was genuine solace to be had at her house. Our relationship was turbulent to say the least but I loved her as much as a 15-year-old boy could and I was in thrall of the warmth and peace that I only seemed able to find at her house.
One car boot sale in particular would distress me. It was in a multi-story car park in a town called Hoddesdon and we would go there in the winter when the outdoor sales packed up. The brutalist architecture combined with the peculiar desperation only exhibited at British car boot sales was enough to drive me to the edge of despair. At times my boss would wander off to have a browse at some of the other stalls and I would be left to hold the fort. Grizzled workmen would approach and ask me how much this drill bit was or whether I had any angle grinder mats. My stock response was to stare back wide-eyed and open-mouthed until said workman walked away, realising they were clearly dealing with an imbecile. God knows how much I cost my employer. Added to that I was frequently too hungover to even wake up on time and he would be forced to wait as I dragged myself out of bed, a mounting sense of dread rising up in me like the times my maths teacher started handing back assignments. The sheer misery of those mornings is hard to convey. Maybe there was a lesson to be learned though. You have to take the good with the bad or something equally platitudinous. I heard later that my old boss set up a shop and began importing serious amounts of tools. Apparently he sold the company a few years ago for the best part of a million quid. As for my girlfriend, we are still friends and from time to time I go round to her house where we drink tea and reminisce about being 15. I spy a gap in the grey, I think it's time I ventured out of the house for a while.


Post a Comment

<< Home