POETRY

In Defense of Desire:
Business Arguments

Two Days
Snowbound

 

poetry

In Defense of Desire: Business Arguments

1.Sales Chief Demonstrates the Presumptive Close

Beginning to end, it's not over
till it's over. when the guy
starts thinking about wanting one
to when you have his wallet in your hand
and the shipping guys are waving goodbye
to the truck: then it's over.
A sales pro gets a question, he turns it around:
'Do you want 4 doors or 2, black or red,
AM or FM,' always with a 2-headed question so there's
no yes or no. "'Hey, you want red?
We'll write it up that way.'
It's like playing sports, all of the skills
are reflex. You know the fundamentals;
no matter what happens,
you do the next thing right. The client
says "yes!" that's a buy sign.
That's when you stop.

2. Woman Sells Man on Marriage

He was always restless, on the verge of breaking with me,
and though I thought of him as mine to love, I knew I
couldn't keep him. I asked him away for the weekend. It was
windy, whitecaps and salt spray on the air, a low sun silvered
through clouds that would bring rain. "Will you marry me
In May or August," I would ask him. We made our pact for
marriage walking by the sea. The vision of a baby stood
before me as we walked. I was eloquent for what I wanted.
Then I told him I was pregnant.

3. Physician-Entrepreneur Cost-Justifies A Billing Service

Most services make money on percentages;
We steered away from that; we thought
it was reasonable to try to increase the payment
we collect. The physician is notoriously
a bad businessman. I never trust the physician
to document what he needs for reimbursement.
I had to maximize returns within the bounds
of being ethical. Our knowledge base does this,
short of doctors' lying. If the physician is a hot dog
and charging level 5's for his earaches,
his chart kicks out as an error. But if
it's a young doc, typically undervaluing his service,
we'll correct it. And if there's a give back
after an audit, the hospital pays;
our company pays nothing.

4. Wife Says don't Go

From the time he started wanting out, to when I have
him in my arms, it's not over till it's over. The day is like a
heavy drift piled up before the door. Who knew, when
we married, every month would add more bills? Or the
electric company's warning, "Let us know ten days before
you move," would probably refer to us this year again? I
only know that love pulls a curtain over shame, like an
eyelid pulls down darkness.

5. CEO Rallies the Troops

These are dark days, but we mustn't be discouraged. Let
me tell you a story. On a street in Vienna, there were four
bakers making a precarious existence. There wasn't
enough demand for four bakers on that street. The first
baker pondered this as the sun went down. When the sun
came up, he had a sign in his window: the best baked
goods in Vienna. Soon he was doing a bit more business
than the others. The second baker thought and thought.
The next morning there was a bigger sign in his
window: the best baked goods in Austria. The third guy
said: these two guys are eating my lunch. His was a bigger
sign. It said: best baked goods in Europe. His business
picked up. The fourth guy made a really big sign: "best
baked goods on this street. "Well, we have the best engine
in our industry. I think that will be sufficient to prevail."

6. Wife Gives Husband His Mission Statement

The day he took me walking, his eyes were on another
woman, strolling in a summer dress across the street.
Between us, there was icy weather. It seemed he would
cross over. I called him by his given name, and suddenly
he knew this for the object of his quest and left off
going. We never noticed when the other woman
disappeared, but summer came to our side too. It was
a moment in a dream.

 

"In Defense of Desire: Business Arguments" is from Commercial Traveler by Miriam Goodman (Garden Street Press).
© Garden Street Press 1996. Used by permission of the author and Garden Street Press.