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Tough Work


(Selling is tough – Picture source:

I do not know how to categorize this feeling – pity or admiration

We had to do some last minute night shopping for vegetables last night – so we hopped to our usual place for the “night marketing”. The price of vegetables & fish has gone up and some the vegetables looked very weak. The tomato was covered with fine dust – apparently the fine dust is pesticides or “medicine” as mentioned by the seller when I confirmed with the vegetable seller later. No wonder, no one dared to buy it although it looked very fresh. Anyway, my wife had a tough time picking up healthy vegetables for home. She is very particular these days – as she getting my son to eat more vegetables and fruits.

Checking for vegetables at one stall will not do– we actually have to run through a few stalls before we can get the good (but not necessarily cheap) vegetables. I carried back the vegetables from the first stall back to the car whilst my wife was off to the next stall. I opened the boot and placed the vegetables. I decided to stand by the car to wait for my wife instead of sitting down and listening to songs. At least, I could save some fuel if I can switch off the engine whilst waiting for my wife.

Then a couple of meters away, I noticed a tent with a brand new truck and small pickup truck. There was one lonely, tired salesman standing beside it.

I kept watching him for sometime and trust me, I felt pity for him. Here he is, late at night doing his job and trying to get people to buy the vehicles but there is no one at that moment interested. A couple of people walked by but did not bother to stop to look. Obviously the salesman has been here for sometime now as he sat down, looking very tired. Once in a while, he will look at the vehicle with a sad face and then look around for potential customer.

I don’t know why but at that time, I imagined that this salesman had a big family to take care – his wife and kids were waiting for him at home. Perhaps I thought of my dad when same thing happened when we were small. My dad was not a salesman but it was tough to make a living as a lorry driver with asthma in the early 80s when the country was going through a recession. Being a salesman is one tough job especially when you are trying to sell something that people don’t usually buy that often or in bulk. I know because I have seen how difficult it is for my marketing guys to clinch an international deal.

Remember of the time, when you are approached by salesman with a big bag, trying to sell you toys, children books or simple gadgets for RM10 and somehow they usually approach you when you are having your lunch or dinner? From their expression, you know that they been walking around far with big bag (this is evident from their worn out shoes), they are tired & hungry and certainly their sales has not been that good. You want to help them but having a tight cash flow yourself; RM10 is a big money these days and the last thing you want to do is to waste it away on a stuff toy that you don’t need.

When we about to leave the market, I noticed that 2 people had stopped by the tent where the salesman was standing. He looked happy and somehow walked with a renewed energy. He opened the engine bay and started to explain something to his potential customer. I sure hope that he managed to grab the deal. Tag:Inspiration

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