Good day and Happy April Fools Day!
My first law firm boss was born on April Fool’s Day, so one of the paralegals pooled money together and named a hissing cockroach after him at the San Francisco Zoo. In turn, my boss fired four people that day. It is obvious that my boss was unaware that today is also International Fun at Work Day.
I spent most of my youth and teen years as a soda jerk and babysitter. I moved on from those jobs after seeing a newspaper ad for a sales position at an office that was located at the Powell/California cable car stop, an old 40s/50s era building on top of Woolworths. While much of the structure was reinforced to withstand quakes, the owners left the beautiful carved golden fixtures on elevators and in the lobby. Each office in the building had an old fashioned textured glass door with the painted business names. I loved the retro feel of the building. I just did not like the job.
I had to do phone sales of Time/Life cook books that came in a set of twelve. It was my job to dial numbers from a sheet and convince someone to buy into these books, which would arrive in the mail every month at the cost of $12.99 per book. I shared my table with one other person, an older gentleman who tried to explain quick check cashing services that were around the corner near the hotels. He was an expert seller, and managed to convince at least ten callers per day to buy into these cookbooks. On the other hand, I was the flunkie, and could never get anyone to remain interested past the first few lines of the script we were to follow, even when using my best radio voice. I would listen to old boy next to me for some tips and discovered nothing. He finally told me that women were easy sales calls for him.
There were those times when you got some older person on the phone who simply wanted to hear a friendly voice, and they were ready to say YES to anything. It was easy to sell books to this demographic, but there was plenty of guilt involved as it was more than likely that the person saying YES to everything had no idea what was being sold to them. However, someone had to follow-up dial on each sale, just to make sure that the buyer really understood the conditions of the book sale. In one week, I made two sales. This would guarantee a $25 check. I just stopped showing up after my first check, and began perusing the want ads. This time, I landed a job at the above-mentioned law firm. I spent five tempestuous years with that attorney, and was fired approximately 20 seconds after I told him that I was quitting to move to another law firm.
I did have plenty of fun at that law firm. There were lots of Lotto parties thrown by people who had non-million winning numbers, the Goodby Marcos party thrown by at least three Filipinos, and the screaming lady who we built a file box fort around so no one could hear her anymore. There was also a really handsome law clerk in the office who had a very unfortunate gas problem. The lawyer sent him downstairs to work in the same area as the paralegals, and we would take turns running out of the office. The best part was on New Year’s eve, when I would send tons of saved up shredded paper out the window.
Today is also Sourdough Bread Day. This is my favorite bread in the world because it reminds me of home...
Have a great day!