Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

August 17, 2012

College Jobs

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

I had several jobs while in college.  My first job was a paper route.  I delivered the Houston and Dallas papers to students who had subscribed.  I also covered several blocks around the campus where male students lived in apartments.  Not many residents of Waco had an interest in those papers, but students from those areas did.

It was an early morning delivery of the Dallas paper before classes, and then the Houston paper was delivered late in the afternoon.  It was not a long walk for my route because the deliveries were made mostly to the dorms.  The papers would be placed in their mail boxes.  The best time was Saturday when I would collect for the subscription.  That meant I got to see every girl in each dorm that was receiving the paper!  That was the bonus to the job!

I later had the opportunity to work evenings in the bowling alley.  I wrote of this experience several years ago.  I will repost that blog tomorrow.

Then University gave me the opportunity to manage the miniature golf course.  That was fun and it was a joy to get away from setting pins at the bowling alley.  This required afternoon and evening work, but I did not have to be there all the time because of others who were employed also.  It was a good social connection to so many on campus.  It was truly a fun job!

But the one job I remember most was as a vacuum cleaner salesman!  That’s right . . . vacuum cleaners!  I met a man in Waco that sold vacuum cleaners and did well financially.  He told me one day that he would like to hire me.  He felt I would be a good salesman!  His flattery captured me and I agreed to go to work for him.  He provided a sample machine . . . spent several days training me . . . and then sent me out to work on commission.

Now working on commission was different from my other jobs.  With the jobs at the bowling alley and golf course, I would get paid whether there were customers or not.  But my income selling vacs (as we called them), was based solely on whether I sold a vac!  The commission was good . . . and a good motivator!

I began door to door trying to sell vacs.  I must confess it was harder than I ever imagined.  Most people would see me coming up their walkway, and I believed refused to answer the door when I knocked.  After several weeks of canvassing and attempting to sell a vacuum, I decided I would work a more rural area.  I went down this road about 5 miles from Waco.  The homes were scattered and so it meant a lot of stops . . . but I persisted.

Finally, as I knocked on a door, a lady opened the door.  Before I could start my “pitch’ she said “No! No! No!”

I tried to start again as she began to close the door.  As any good “door-to-door” salesman would do, I planted my foot in the door so she could not close it.  I began to appeal to her to at least let me give a demonstration.  She continued to say no . . . I continued “to beg.”

“Alright, she said.”  And she opened the door to let me come in.  She had wood floors, but in the living room she had a large rug covering most of the floor space.  I began to tell her the merits of the machine . . . I shared how much easier it would be to clean this rug than taking it out to “beat” it or to struggle with a broom to sweep it.

She look interested . . . or was she simply placating me?

I then went into my “high pitch” mode and was ready to prove the power of the machine.  I reached into my pocket and pulled out some dirt I had scooped up from the road.  I threw the dirt down on that rug and it scattered over a large area.  The lady gasped in shock.  I spoke calmly to her . . . reassuring her that the machine would pick up every speck of the dirt.

As she look at me with skepticism, I exclaimed, “If this machine won’t pick up that dirt, I will personally get down and eat every bit of it!”

With a big smile on her face, she responded, “Well, young man, you best get to eatin’ . . . ’cause I don’t have any electricity!”

Smile and enjoy today!

“However many years a man may live, let him enjoy them all.”  (Ecclesiastes 11:8)



1 Comment »

  1. Oh Pastor Jolly how you make me smile! I think I would have bought a vac from you even if I didn’t have electricity! LOL

    Comment by doriswhite — August 17, 2012 @ 5:00 pm | Reply

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