« The Da Vinci Sock Mystery- 3 | Main | Fair Stood The Wind – Part Five »

Clement's Corner: Josh And The Greens

Owen Clement tells the tale of young Josh, a lad who turns out to be a super salesman with a heart of gold.

Knowing he had to outwit Mr Green, the benevolent looking man behind the desk, Josh straightened his lanky body, smiled a welcome and stood patiently with his hands clasped behind his back.

“Sit down - Josh Mayland is it?”

“Yes Mr Green”, he said and sat.

“I believe you that are experienced in sales?”

Josh nodded, “I did two years with a clothing manufacturer back home,''

“What made you leave?”

This was one question he had not expected. He still wonders how he came up with “The boss’s wife put the hard word on me and when I wouldn’t come across, she said to her husband that I had groped her.''

“Tell me honestly Josh, believe me I will know if you are lying, did you grope the woman?”

Josh shook his head “I swear Mr Green, I never laid a finger on her. Her husband didn’t believe her either I am pretty sure, but wouldn’t say so. I tried other sales jobs after that but quit them, as I did not believe in the products.”

“I see, I take it your boss wouldn’t give you a good reference?”

“I didn’t even try”.

Seeing he had never had a sales job in the first place he felt safe.

Mr Green could tell that Josh had had no sales experience but the boy was personable and he liked his quick thinking. Josh was hired on a four week trial period and sent out with his senior salesman, Earl Jones as his merchandiser for a month. Josh then served another month in the storeroom learning about the company’s products and the inner workings of the business. He relished each job and had proved popular with his workmates with his sense of humour and his keenness in whatever task he was assigned. Not once did he complain when they asked him to do the odd jobs or carry out the duties of a junior employee. However, it was as a salesman that he shone. He soon had his customers on side, even those who had been difficult and hard to approach. The testiest, a Mr Clark, asked for him particularly and would deal with no other.

Within two years Martin Green had given Josh his own territory and was pleased to see that the lad’s sales figures had jumped in no time. A couple of the other salesmen who had joined the firm earlier were sent out with Josh to learn how to deal with major customers.

During this period Josh had been a frequent visitor to his boss’s household and was a great favourite with Martin’s wife Elizabeth. Their two daughters Alison and Katherine were married and had moved away.

When Josh’s flatmate kicked him out, when his girlfriend came to stay, the Greens took him in. The family atmosphere was nothing like his childhood where there were a succession of ‘step-dads’, as his mother referred to them; none legitimate. The Greens always ate their meals at the table where interesting discussions often took place. Their leisure hours also were spent together with Josh. This was where he was educated to the joys of classical music concerts, literature and plays. After a while Josh referred the Greens as Mom and Pop. They in turn called him Son.

It was at this time that he met Sarah, the daughter of close friend’s of the Green family. It was not long before Josh asked Sarah to marry him. Josh’s, natural mother showed no interest in her son’s wedding plans. Consequently the Greens were delighted to act as his surrogate parents. Despite being called the boss’s pet by the other company representatives, he continued to do well and built up a large clientele.

Martin came home one day looking very down. He did not mention his concerns to Josh but Josh knew that Martin had enlightened his wife. Josh found out later from her that the company was considering supplanting him over Martin.

Josh asked Martin that night at dinner if this was true. Martin said that even if it was, he would not stand in Josh’s way. Josh rose and squatted between them. “Do you think I would let them do that?”

Elizabeth took his hand, “Listen Dear, you are about to be married, your first priority is to Sarah. You must not let this damage your career prospects.”

“You have been kinder to me than my own parents; you have given me a home life and trusted me. Especially when I first started with the firm pretending that I knew all about sales. I know that you saw through my lies Pop and yet you still gave me the opportunity.”

“That doesn’t matter, you have a good chance of becoming someone high-up in the company, don’t spoil it by being loyal to me. I’ll be fine.”

“Listen to me please, I bluffed my way into the company and with your help I did well. I would not forgive myself, nor would Sarah forgive me if I took over your job. I will hand in my notice tomorrow and nothing you can say will make me change my mind. I simply could not live with myself if I didn’t. I have the skills and no doubt I’ll get a good reference.” He grinned at Martin.

Elizabeth put her hand under his chin and turned it towards her. “You never cease to amaze me, here you are, from a broken home with parents who don’t seem to care and yet you are so principled and thoughtful, I wonder where it came from.”

“Oh, I know, it came directly from the both of you.”

“These self-congratulations have gone on long enough. Sit down and eat your meal before it gets cold.” Martin’s reproach was said with a grin on his face.

Josh embraced and kissed both of them. Martin seemed somewhat embarrassed. Josh returned to his seat and for the rest of the meal they discussed the merits of the play they had all seen the previous evening.

© Clement 2008


Creative Commons License
This website is licensed under a Creative Commons License.