Some of you might remember that I work for my dad who owns a small accounting firm that he started about 25 years ago. I’ve been with him for about seven years and it appears as though I am the heir apparent.
But bookkeeping is just one thing our small business does and this year we’re adding yet another aspect and it all hinges on me.
I’ll get to that after this quick little sidebar.
When I was in school I was a music major. I dated a dance major for a short while, then an art major. Hung out with all the weirdos who were theater majors. Finger snapped support to my English major wannabe poets during slam-poetry open mics. I hung out and danced at the bar that played 80s new wave, college alternative music. So basically I was an 80s beatnick.
I swore, to everything that was holy, deep in my soul I was going to make my living as a musician/artist and would never…. never, ever!!!…. sell insurance like my dad, who at the time i hated and considered dead for having left my mother with me and my four siblings, the youngest who wasn’t quite two years old when he did that.
Yeah, asshole right.
Ok, so fast forward 25 years and I’m now working for my dad doing everything from purchasing office supplies to running interference in attempt to keep clients he’s pissed off from leaving. I track alcohol licenses and file the applications for our clients who need it. I keep the books for a handful and pay their taxes. I even change out the water bottles for the cooler and haul trash to the dumpster.
I am a catch all. And last month I finished a class that will help me get my…
wait for it…
Can you guess kids?…
MY INSURANCE LICENSE!!
a middle aged failure.
So to help me along in this endeavor the boss has not so subtly let me know he thinks I need clothes that will help me look the part of an insurance salesman. God I want to jam a hot poker in my ear!
So he insists that I go with him to a clothing store he likes to go to. Any shred of evidence of that kid who had aspirations of being a musician and artist is being severed as I get in the car and go.
I’ve never been one to spend lavishly on clothing for myself. For the most part, I usually buy my clothes at Goodwill or a thrift store. I figure I’m getting a deal and the money I spend is helping someone in need. And as for clothing, I think of it as a necessary evil and if I didn’t think I’d burn people’s eyeballs out I’d probably just go dance nehked in the woods and not worry about clothing.
So when we get to this place and he’s telling me they’re having a buy one get three more free sale, I’m thinking, “ok at least there is a deal to be had.”
Did you know the sport coats, blazers and jackets cost about 600 dollars?!?!?
So after I picked my jaw off the ground, excused myself to go wipe my butt and clean my drawers I obliged and tried on a jacket or two.
There was a young guy who was tending to me. Looking me up and down, asking me questions then said, “this one. Let’s try this. I think you’re going to like it.”
“How much is it?” I asked sort of sheepishly and accusingly.
My dad chimed in quickly and rather authoritatively, “don’t worry about that. Clothes cost what they cost.”
So the sales guy slipped it on me. Tugged at the shoulders, pulled on the tail, swept off the sleeves a little and says (kinda like Deb from Napoleon Dynamite after taking Uncle Rico’s picture) “This is looking really good.”
I had to agree. As I looked at myself in the mirror I thought, “hey I clean up pretty good.” I almost shot myself a finger pistol but was able to grab hold of my faculties and not have everyone’s dork-meter go full tilt.
We tried on several more and I landed on the four I would take home with me. I’ve never, ever in my life (well except for my Marine Corps dress blues) owned a suit or sport jacket that was brand new and fit just right for me.
At least with my blues I felt like I’d earned them after going through 13 weeks of hell. This… I don’t know. Guess I’ll have to sell a few policies before I feel like I’ve earned these things.
Pops says, it’s a cost of doing business and we need them. I don’t know about that but I have to be honest. I feel pretty good when I’m wearing one of them.