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Dating : The Hustle Never Sleeps

h2>Dating : The Hustle Never Sleeps

G. deLonghi Poleman Carter

I’m in the drafty upper room of Bentman’s IGA in Absarokee, Montana, in my metal folding chair pulled up to the long folding table they keep up here between Hot Dog Days. The resolution on my ThinkPad is maxed out, so I have to squint a little bit to see my Forex console. I need a second monitor, and I need my coffee. Kandace has both, but is coming up the rear stairs with just one.

“Could mix it up with some hazelnut or something sometime, I’m saying,” I say as I take the cup and take a sip. Truth be told, I never bothered with any of the flavored Coffee-Mates — no time. But it isn’t about the flavors. It’s about getting Kandace to thrill and delight (Tip #12). If she can’t do it for me — the guy about to get her out from that baggers’ station and into the lifestyle she deserves — then she can’t do it for anybody.

The funny thing is, I have monitors. It’s just that they’re all back in Missouri. But after what I went through to score them, they still feel like mine.

Back when I was a little more space-rich, I scored a massive deal off the back of the H.H. Gregg closeout. Blu-Ray players, digital cameras, and yes , monitors — all “rescued” out of perpetual back-stock on the back of three box trucks, one for each location. I followed the store closings like the Grateful Dead on tour, absolving these precious electronics from their crime of being a little too old for some people. The managers were thrilled to be rid of the stock, and slowly but surely, I filled our Mercer, Missouri warehouse.

I’ve always been a multi-channel guy. Up until recently, Filter Queen had been my biggest channel — the one all your favorite movies came on. To even get your foot in the door at Filter Queen, you have to sell your family and friends and everyone around you. I took the cash haul from the “easy yeses” and spent it on an online forex trading course.

Forex doesn’t bring in huge bank, but it has sort of become my idle process since then. I feel a lot better falling asleep at my forex console than in front of some dumb movie. I haven’t watched one of those since the year started with a different number. Because I’m all-in.

Kandace isn’t all-in, but out of everyone who works the store, she’s the closest, so that’s why she’s mine. She wants that financial independence hard. So we’re starting with forex, my downtime game. If she can play like me, she can work like me. And with a second set of eyes on the console, I might finally recoup the costs of the forex course. But it’s going to take her a while.

“No, no, no. COP is Colombian Peso, that’s South America. That’s our side of the world. They’re closed, Kandace. You order after hours, you’re at the market’s whim. Know your price, remember your price, lock it in. It’s lock in or be locked in.”

Filter Queen wanted to lock me in. They paved the way to buy me a warehouse. I told them the building I was looking at, and they helped funnel some of the commissions from my downline back up to me — the sales to friends and family, the easy yeses they get before petering out in the face of the market at large, the way a lot of the punters do.

Filter Queen may have gotten the idea that I was getting the company more space. The name on the deed was Red Polo Sales, which they had assumed was only in the business of vacuums. But I’m a multi-channel guy, so the warehouse got filled with different things than what they expected. When they couldn’t come after me legally, so they started to question my loyalty. And as a gold level distributor, let me tell you, that hurt. I was going to get them a sale that very night.

With one local Craigslist exhausted, I went to the next. And so on, moving up the prairie after the next hint of an inkling of a Filter Queen lead. Usually when I fall short of closing, I persist in a verbal way. But now that Filter Queen was at stake — my life, my everything for twelve years — I let the objections physically move me toward my prospects. Sharks don’t hope for the nice fish to come back at a better time. They get off their duppy and get in the zone. Could you show any more commitment?

I couldn’t. But I didn’t get that sale. I got to Montana, I did everything right, and I still didn’t get the sale. After lots of contemplation at a bar, the place where I was supposed to have met this lead, I made the decision to embrace the independence I always had, and to open my skills up to the next industry whose needs I could fulfill.

Bentman’s IGA. Beneath (or in this case above) the neighborhood food store was underutilized space, and even worse, underutilized staff. People to whom it never occurred that financial independence was in their own hands. With a little leveraging of spaces and services, I became their on-site marketing consultant, at no payroll cost to them.

Behind my eyes I feel a headache start to spread. It’s all this squinting. Once, when talking about this exact problem, Kandace revealed that she could help me. I see it as a failing that she didn’t, but that’s what people do. In any case, I know she has a second monitor, and I know it needs to get here tonight.

Objections are the bane of my existence. Kandace’s objection to getting me my monitor was that it was currently situated on the porch of her stepdad Lance. Apparently Lance is not the best guy. Kandace talked about how he made a nest in the back of his house with his TV, and that if she hangs around too much, she’s liable to get things thrown at her. Nothing has ever hit her hard; that was going to be my counter-objection. But with some information from the IGA employee roster, I’ve found a better one.

She sees me frustrated and squinting, and she knows what I’m about to ask. It’s my time to take her out of her comfort zone.

“I was going down Logan Street the other day. Neat little part of town. That’s where Lance lives, isn’t it? 355?

“Yeah, I looked it over, and the only porch on that puppy is the screened-in porch on front. Now, with his nest being in back, you’re well away from the beast. Ithink you’re going to be fine tonight,” I say, as I hand her her keys.

“This is an investment, Kandace. You’ve got to throw in a little effort.”

Kandace leaves. I keep on trading, trying to recoup some of her blunders. But I watch that clock. And after about 42 minutes of trading, my hackles raise. Something has gone wrong in the operation, so I commence Call Saturation.

Call Saturation starts with persistent redial of at least ten minutes. When it starts going to voicemail, still keep it up, as fast as you can physically make the calls, in quick succession, for at least the full ten. Then, you go right to any other phone and repeat. After failing to place the call from three internal lines at Bentman’s, I go to a man waiting outside the store for his ride at closing. I give him a cupcake from the break room.

Emotions are for selling. The emotional draws that lead you to placing the order — the feeling of satisfaction after the buy — these are the only emotions I acknowledge. Once a customer objects, the emotions are no longer valid. There is only objection, and it must be dissected and lucidly analyzed.

I give the man back his phone. His ride arrives, and he rides away. I wait in his spot for ten minutes, and kind of zone out. My headache has gone away. It’s getting near the time I would have wrapped up our session. Tip #16 could have been squarely in Kandace’s wheelhouse by now. And just for the hell of it, even though she’s a fat girl, I would have given her that cupcake. Instead I see her plodding back, face all pouty, twisted up with… whatever. She speaks enough of my language to know my next question.

“What is your objection?”

I hold eye contact. She is weeping, looking expectantly back. This is not an answer.

“What is your objection?” I state again.

She leans her head into me, chest still rocked with sobs.

“Kandace, what is your objection?”

A good three minutes pass until she gets her voice back. “It was just… so dark.”

“Come in. Wait here.”

We go back into the store. I move to the hardware section, and take a flashlight from the shelf. I tear the plastic clamshell apart and throw it onto the floor. About then, Deanna, the IGA general manager, who is in the process of locking up for the night, wants to tell me something. It can wait, and I tell her as much.

I figure Kandace will cry about not having batteries either. So I double back to the battery display, rip up the packaging, and hand Kandace what she needs. “Go. And hey… what did I say about comfort zones? You would have never done this before. Eyes on the prize, Kandace. Eyes on your future.”

Back upstairs, I nod off at the ThinkPad. Luckily, her footsteps wake me up as she climbs the rear stairs again — slower, labored, with some fumbling at the door. “Mr. Carter,” she calls from the bottom. “I have the monitor. Can you help me?”

I smile. I think I will go and help her. But only because she can now help herself.

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