Prattle on
Thursday, January 25, 2007
So, I have no dinner table at my apartment and I am totally sick of it. Last week I decided that this no table issue needed solving. I am happy to announce that I have recently picked up an antique table for $175.00. It is lovely and will look very nice in my apartment when I get it next week. Thank you, Craig’s list.

The man who sold me the table was short with a love for mismatched furniture, ugly oil paintings and floral printed carpets. He was short and older and had a personality made for sales. While his phone rang off the hook he gestured me to follow him through his packed small apartment while saying, “talk to me, talk to me, talk to me. You like these paintings? You need chairs to go with this table?” So, I did talk to him, well, I tried but it was too difficult. He wasn’t actually giving me room to say anything and his phone was screaming to be picked up.

As he shuffled past an old tile-top staging table and between two floral printed arm chairs, his phone screamed and I guess he was going to ignore it. But, he answered, finally and at my insistence. I assumed he would deal with the caller quickly. But I was wrong and in the ten minutes that followed I got a window into this short man’s life.

Yes, he is a real estate agent, and by his reckoning a good one. He is recruiting agents perhaps for a new office I guess, but that office is run by a young woman, who has never sold a property and who treats my older friend like a glorified office manager. Her attitude makes his task more difficult as she doesn’t understand the business and is not giving him the respect he deserves. He doesn’t have a title and this gives him more problems as his role is unclear to possible recruits.

He talked like I wasn’t there to some fellow named Dan who, based on what I was hearing, was charged with the task of begging him to stay with this project, or whatever it was. I must have heard the phrase “You know, Dan, if this continues, I’m gone. I’m gone, Dan.” about 5 times during their chat. He hung up the phone frustrated, it seemed, but not angry enough to effect the transaction at hand.

Once he got off the phone we struck the deal and I gave him part of the money. We agreed that I would return to pick up the table with the remainder of the cash a week later. Then, while he was making a note in a small book pulled from his shirt pocket, I made a joke. I said, “If I had all the cash with me now I’d talk you down.” He stopped writing immediately and looked at me dead in the eye. Five full seconds went by in silence before he said, “I don’t think so.”

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