Thursday, March 16, 2006

Bookfield, Training with Chip

Chip took me out for training in my territory on Friday of my first week out on the ‘bookfield’. In the morning, he picked me up in his white Mustang convertible and we drove out into the country to a place that he didn’t think I would be able to reach without a car during that summer. We stopped at a small but well kept white ranch house situated in the middle of a grassy field. The black folks inside were receptive to Chip’s approach and let us in. Pictures of John F. Kennedy, Bobby Kennedy, and Martin Luther King hung on the paneled living room walls along side of posed family portraits. The furniture was of dark, heavy wood, and the coffee table had the family’s leather bound family bible front and center. The carpet was shag. The whole family gathered in the living room to listen to Chip. The children looked wide eyed and nodded enthusiastically as Chip asked them, “Don’t you wish that bible study could be as exciting as the fourth of July?” He sold a family bible library set in no time flat using no more than the Parchment script exactly as written. The whole visit took 10 to 15 minutes.

Down the road some we visited a pale yellow trailer that was up on cinder blocks. Our knock was answered by a young woman. She was of normal build with dyed blond hair, blue eyes and an ordinary face. Her red nail polish was chipped, as was one of her front teeth. She wore a tube top and shorts. Chip’s eyes flashed, and he winked at her as he rattled through his approach. She stepped out of the trailer to see us, and Chip made a remark about how cute girls in Georgia were. She came over to the car to see what books Chip had in the trunk. Using the line, “they make great Christmas gifts too!” Chip sold her two sets of family bible libraries. She asked if Chip could drop by later some time so that a sister of hers could meet him and see the books too. Chip smiled broadly, of course he could.

Back in the mustang, we drove off further out of the populated area. The paved part of the road ended, and it became a dusty dirt lane. It was getting pretty hot out and the sun was high. I was about to say that I didn’t think there would be any more houses this way when the car started to make a noise. It sounded like something was dragging underneath, but Chip kind of smiled as he pulled over onto a grassy area under a tree. He got out of the car and peered under it.

“The muffler is dragging. The clip must have broken when we got onto the dirt road. It needs to cool off a little before I fool with it.”, he said. He got back into the front seat beside me. “That last house was an interesting example of what can happen out here on the bookfield.” he said in a lecturing tone. “Like that girl. She was attractive, tempting. I must admit that I haven’t always resisted temptation. The women are home alone, and can be so desirable. But I regret that I have succumbed because it took away time from selling books. You need to focus on the job. Just imagine you may be selling a book to a guy who is so gorgeous that you’ll cream your pants just looking at him.” He leaned closer and made eye contact. “Do you think you could resist?” He leaned forward and kissed my mouth as his hands began to move towards me. I was still physically attracted to Chip, but that was all.

“Yes, I could resist.” I replied, backing away from the kiss. But his advance did not stop, so I picked up my sales case and got out of the car. Furious at this tactic of his, I began to walk back towards civilization and I didn’t look back. I walked a few hundred yards before he caught up to me on foot.

“I was just testing, really. It’s part of the training. You did well.” He smiled and held his hands out in a conciliatory manner as he urged me back to the car. I hadn’t been pissed off enough that I was fully prepared to hitchhike all the way back to town. But his hands out made me relax, even though I really never believed it was part of the training. We started walking back to the car.

“Oh”, I said after thinking for a bit, “is that how you are going to train Mary as well?”

“What would you say if I told you that I already had? Would you be jealous?” He winked at me.

I just shook my head and stood under the shade of the tree while Chip searched in the trunk for a wire coat hanger. Finding one, he crawled under the car and lay down on his back in the dust as he rigged the muffler so it wouldn’t drag. When he was finished he stood and I could see that his face and body glistened with sweat, and the back of his white short sleeve shirt was stained with the reddish dirt Georgia is known for.

“Well, that’s enough training for today. I’ll drop you off in your territory closer to town. I need to go home and change my shirt.” We hopped back in the Mustang and drove on in silence.


Anonymous said...

that chip makes me want to hurl.


Sue said...

Made me want to hurl something at him. But he was my boss... :(