He had crazy eyes and horned hair. It wasn’t really horned hair, but it was hair that separated, parted, and seemingly gelled down into a strange combination of a face frame that tried to do a swoosh. The look in his eyes was that feeling of constant fear of needing to pee and not knowing where the restrooms were or anyone to ask. He was off putting to say the least.
His business partner looked more like his adult supervisor – an older, fuddy-duddy man playing dress up in a suit and tie in a strange attempt to exceed professionalism against the horn-haired child in dark jeans and a dark blue, plaid button up shirt.
They were selling something. Something that would make all the difference for the business. It was something internet based – a new website, a social package, something that would be able to attract someone who had to have sold insurance or something similar at one point and a young, trending hip person. Naturally it had to be something on the internet. Where else would a middle-aged father with a young son be paired with an overly happening thirty year old fighting to be perpetually cool but totally not impressed by his own coolness.
They were selling tracking software. Tracking software based on – finger snaps and drum rolls please – wireless internet. It was scary that no one really noticed how with every wirefree, handsfree, chord free device, people were becoming more and more plugged in, wrapped tightly in a wirefree existence. And now? Now field employees could be tracked by the same software that gave them directions and tracked their hours. Wonder what would happen if they pulled over to piss on the highway. Maybe there was a separate app for that, or maybe George didn’t care about when his men pissed only that they were working when they were scheduled to be working.
George was sitting in the middle, the two salesmen on his left, his brother, Emmanuel, the catchall of the office was on his right. Sitting like children in a movie, they all looked up, tilting their heads toward the big TV display screen in George’s office as the software was demoed. Emmanuel sipped his coffee, a dark Colombian roast, black while the fatherly fuddy-duddy nervously clicked around a program he probably didn’t use himself. The age-confused man-child sat, eyes blazing a trail back and forth dying to say something, but not knowing how to talk to people kept his mouth shut. The meeting, despite how awkward it should have been, seemed to be going pleasantly. The miss-matched duo might make the sale.
Emmanuel continued to sip his coffee as his brother asked a slew of questions: costs, features, fees, support, on and on. Sweat began to loosen the hold of the horned-haired age-confused man-child, his adult-supervisor’s suit began to hang in the armpits from sweat. They knew the answers, Emmanuel noted, but they had no connection to this product, or this company, least of all to each other. They lacked business skills and even more detrimental, social skills.
It was okay to be nervous if the product could sell itself, George believed. This product was something they needed, and George was sure he could talk them down on price. Emmanuel looked at his brother – whatever you want George, Emmanuel’s eyes sang. George nodded, as his brother stood and excused himself.
Emmanuel walked down the long hallway to the warehouse. This was where he belonged. He had started this company long before the technology they were building caught up to the business side of things. He let George handle that part. Emmanuel rolled his cigarette and sat on the loading dock. The steam from his coffee wafting up warming his senses. The people, they forgot – they forgot what it’s like to just be.