The Soul of Sales

Reading Time: 1.2 minutes

The 19-year-old guy wandered into the sales conference room. He’d joined the team after graduating high school. He smiled and his chubby face seemed to make everyone relax. He chatted and chuckled. He chose a chair then changed his mind. He laughed at his own dithering and people giggled along with him.

People liked him. They knew he was smart. He was great with math. Biology, too. Said he watched his customer’s faces, measuring the change in skin coloring as they spoke.

It was a typical monthly sales meeting. The boss did her usual thing and then picked him out near the end. She announced that he’d broken all records in his first six months. Then she pushed the point a bit too far. “You all could learn a thing or two from him.”

Ouch! Really? A teenager?

That was the last sales meeting he attended. A week later he disappeared. Over time, I forgot him and his name. I never saw him again. Except once.

As I was rushing to do a sales demo at a big hospital, he came into the elevator. Same smile. Same sunny disposition. Same effect on those around him. He chatted amiably with an intern and senior nurse.

But, two things about him had changed dramatically. He was thirty years older. (So, was I.) And, he was wearing scrubs. I scrambled through my brain for his name. But, I didn’t need to. It was on a badge he wore.


His eyes flickered. “Yes?”

I introduced myself. He remembered me.

I said something dumb. “So, you’re working here?”

“Yes. I’m head of Pediatric Surgery.”

The elevator’s doors opened, and he took a step forward then stopped. “You know that sales job? I’ve never forgotten it. Still use those skills every day.”

He smiled in that charming way as the doors closed. I felt my face flush a little.