Do you remember your school summer holidays? Did you spend them in a sweaty Double glazing showroom? Where you were indoctrinated into the world of double speak and learning that the word 'FREE' actually means giving nothing for something.
You did? then you have have my admiration, as I too worked in a double glazing showroom when I was 17. I actually started as a door to door canvasser. On the first door I knocked I got what is known as a 'sit'.My boss who was with me said 'That was very special' and he and all the rest of my new found family regarded me with a certain sense of awe, for a little whilst.
A 'sit' is where an appointment is made for a product 'dem' or demonstration to be given to the home owner. I got paid 3% of the deal if the salesmen closed the deal on the night and 1% if he didn’t. The sales men in the office were literally, shadowy figures. You didn't see them before 4pm. You could tell the successful ones, they oozed, to a young man an intoxicating aura of Shiny suits, silk ties and Paco Rabane, too disguise a beery breath.
I aspired to be one of these 'Grand a week' men and I despised their poorly performing counterparts, with their; Ill fitting suits, stained nylon ties and stale body odours. In fact the branch manager created a separate office for these poor wretches. It was in fact a broom cupboard, retitled 'losers corner'.In 1985 double glazing apartheid thrived in our stuffy showroom in the heart of Northamptonshire.
You know as a young person your all mixed up and you can fall for what you would consider now to be ,an absurd role model. Well I did, Sid, he was called, sadly, I can't remember his second name, perhaps it was something like 'Sizzling' .More likely Smith. But,he was in fact known as 'Sid the Kid' because he said selling double glazing was easy and his catchphrase was 'Like taking candy from a baby'
To be honest, looking back now, Sid was a mess, there were multiple marriages, kids and girlfriends all on the scene at the same time. But Sid was more often than not the top performing salesman and got to drive the coveted black BMW 3 series for the month. Sid, saw I was eager and had me pass him directly all the 'sits' I made in return for the odd £20 note, that was unfolded from a wallet that bulged. Sid always like to have 'a grand on the hip' in case he saw something he liked.
Very often I'd have to drive the BMW to the dem with Sid barely conscious from having boozed for hours. Sid would sleep on the back seat, sucking mints whilst 'Blondie' blasted out the tape deck. Christ only knows what people thought, as A spotty 17 year old boy pulled up outside their house in a brand new BMW and helped carry all Sid’s, 'pitch Gear' to the front door.
Some 3 or 4 hours later 'Sid the Kid' would come swaggering back 'Like taking candy from a baby' and we'd go down town to for a drink.