One of my first jobs was selling front doors to rabbits.
I know what you’re thinking :
Rabbits do not have doors. An easy sell.
The first day, I skipped the induction course and headed out to the countryside. I drove about just looking for holes that looked like an entrance to a rabbit burrow.
I couldn’t knock, as there wasn’t a door. So I shouted down the hole.
I accidentally flattened one or two rabbits while I drove about.
The second day was better. I got up super early and tried to surprise them at first light.
As soon as they saw me they froze. That was my chance. They listened well enough but not one of them spoke back.
This continued until the last day, I thought I caught a break – one rabbit spoke to me.
On the Friday I was called in to the office. The boss would like a word.
“Hey Tim. No-one has seen you all week.”
“How’s things going? Have you made any sales?”
I said “It’s pretty tough. Its hard to even catch up to the rabbits,never mind build a rapport.”
” I tried offering free carrots. Then a free trial for the door. I thought it was quite smart. If I fitted one door all the other rabbits would see it and want one.”
“I could only get one rabbit to speak to me in the end.”
The boss paused for a second .
“Wait. What did the rabbit say?”
“It said “Where will I keep my keys?””
“Do you actually want to keep this job?” The boss said.
“You know you were supposed to be selling to the owners of pet rabbits,right?”
“The doors are fitted on to a rabbit hutch.”
It was a big life lesson of the importance of an induction course.
Tim Willow’s Additional Thoughts
I often think back to those days.
I didn’t sell a single front door and the only rabbit that did speak to me made fun of me.
When someone says something to you and you can’t think of a response, the French call it an esprit d’escalier or staircase wit.
You are unable to think of a response at the time.
Yet you manage to find a perfect retort,once the moment has gone and you’re on the stairs on the way out.
in a life scattered with esprit d’escalier there is only one possible retort I can think of to say to the rabbit.
If someone had said to me yesterday
Write a piece of nonsense with the final line “It was a big life lesson of the importance of an induction course.”
I have to admit I would have struggled.