Friday, February 05, 2016

The Salesman

There is some sort of fundraising going on in my school. Everywhere they are selling sausages in cellophane. They are kind of like Slim Jims, the sort of thing that may have appealed to me when I was 12 years old but no longer makes me jump up and down. I see kids everywhere eating these things.

Only one kid has approached me about them, though. He comes in when I'm finished teaching my 8th period class. A few days ago, he asked, "Do you want to buy one of these things? They taste really bad, but I have to sell them." I asked him why anyone would want to buy anything that tasted really bad. He kind of shrugged his shoulders and moved on. In fact, he sold a few right in front of my face.

Yesterday he tried again. "Do you want to buy one of these things?" I asked him if they still tasted really bad, and he assured me they did. I asked him how he expected to sell them if he went around saying that. "Well, I have to be honest," he said. Wouldn't it be a better world if all salespeople were like him? No more lemon automobiles, no more used equipment going into new boxes, no more empty promises to get you to purchase some piece of junk...

Can you imagine a world where advertising had to be true? Please come to the Eva Moskowitz Academy so we can discredit public schools and eventually make Rupert Murdoch even richer than he is. Please vote for Scott Walker so the Koch Brothers can pay starvation wages and add on to their already overflowing buildings full of cash, gold, and whatever bodies they stomped across to acquire it... Please continue to vote against your interests and keep tinhorn politicians who don't represent you at all in office...The possibilities are endless.

Anyway, I asked him how much of it he'd sold. Two boxes, he said. I asked him if he was sure they really tasted that bad, and he assured me again that they did. I asked him if he'd tried them and he said he had not. How did he know, then? His friend told him. My thoughts flashed back to Arne Duncan and John King selling us educational programs that they would not use for their own children, and I decided something was not right here.

"I'll buy one of those things, but you have to eat it," I told the kid. He absolutely refused. I tried to appeal to his sense of salesmanship. "Maybe it doesn't taste as bad as you think it does. I see people all over the building eating those things." He wasn't having it. They tasted terrible, and he knew it, even though he had never even tried one.

He might have a future as an education reformer. If Eva Moskowitz or someone wants to hook him up, my email's just to the right.
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