Tuesday, August 7, 2007
Traveling east across the southwest, Softy had few places to either sell pillows or buy gasoline. So when he did get to a town of any size he would go to work and stay “on the job” until he had enough for a cheap motel, a few meals, and gas to the next town. He had lived this way for some time now and couldn’t imagine any other mode of subsistence.
He had 5 pillows in his trunk, and knew that he could net about $100 for each. It was the same work to sell one of these pillows as one that costs 14.95, so he chose to focus on the more expensive pillows.
Most people suffer in one way or another. They are lamenting about what they might have done in the past, or worrying about what might occur in the future. They wish their lives were different. That is was either warmer or cooler, that their house was either bigger or smaller, that their town was either . . . and so it goes. Everyone wishes that things would be different.
Softy knew this from when he studied Buddhism in college in his comparative religion class. Capitalizing on this suffering was his secret for success.
Ten o’clock in the morning was the best time to sell a pillow. The husband was at work, and the wife had her coffee and a talk on the phone with her girlfriend. She was starting to suffer. She was thinking about some man in her dreams, or 20 pounds that she’d like to remove from her body, or the fact that she’d have to drive her kids around in her rickety car all afternoon.
Softy started a sale before he even left his car. He would sit still in his car for about a minute and clear his mind of everything but the job at hand. Then he’d go to the trunk and get a pillow. He’d walk up the sidewalk to the house. This would not be a normal work, with one’s feet slamming down on the concrete as if the sidewalk had no feeling. He would guide himself along the sidewalk, barely making any contact with his feet to the ground. Most of the time he was being watched by the inhabitants of the house, and if he could demonstrate peace of mind with his behavior he could sell a pillow.
Anyone would give anything to alleviate his or her suffering. It was imperative that Augusta showed that he had something that they needed.
He’d knock on the door. Not with an obnoxious kind of knocking, but rather as a monk might ring a bell. He knew this was another opportunity to put the housewife in the right frame of mind. He used to say that the sale was almost done before he took a step into the house.