A man has a job selling robots for a large corporation based in a Midwestern city. The location of the corporation is not important to the story, because it is character driven, but it lends specificity to the actions the man undertakes. For instance, a man selling robots in Madison would likely have a different manner of selling than someone in a fast-paced environment such as New York City.
The robots are able to be programmed to perform menial tasks. For instance, if a company sells motherboards for computers, they may purchase one of these robots to insert the screws that fasten the various components to the board. Of course, purchasing the equipment needed for these operations is costly, and the man may have a tough time convincing they are really needed. Besides, some companies may have trouble getting rid of human workers and installing machines instead.
The man has become good at what he does. The conflict is when he arrives home each day. He no longer knows his wife, no longer knows what his goals are, or were. Somewhere along the path he has taken, something has happened that caused pain, maybe? There has been some catalyst. So when he comes home, maybe he does crossword puzzles. It starts as a hobby, one his wife makes fun of him for. Soon it turns into an all consuming obsession. 15 cross word puzzles a night. Maybe he is striving to make something whole again. No – focus here. His program is no longer valid. He had lived a certain way, because in order to achieve his goals, he needed to do certain things. But after his goal was achieved, he didn’t stop living in that way. Rather, it became more intense. It became necessary for him to continue that pattern, or else everything he achieved would be jeopardized, or at least in his mind.
Third person limited point of view that changes from the man’s perspective to the wife’s perspectives. It only does this occasionally and for meaningful scenes. Let’s say two scenes.
Chad had long ago put cold calling behind him. But when his boss asked him to do some of the work that is usually assigned to others, Chad couldn’t resist. His boss asked him because of staffing cutbacks. And after all, Chad had made his reputation on doing anything that came his way.
“Yeah, I appreciate the call, but we’re suffering through some major budgetary problems right now.” Chad found the tone of his client’s voice to be rather abrasive. “You tech guys are all the same. You just gouged us on that phony Y2K mess, and now you’re coming around with the next latest and greatest thing.”
“But sir,” Chad said, digging in with his last-ditch, sure fire pitch, “our XL2500 model features a patented design which aims to maximize assembly line efficiency. Uh, it’s based on worker supplementation theory, which means…”
“Based on what?” Chad knew he had him.
“Uh, it’s known in the business as worker supplementation theory.” A smile crept across Chad’s face. It’s just like his first boss told him years ago, When you’re in a pinch, bring in a theory. “Sir, it works like this. Because the XL2500 does the work usually done by a percentage of your employees, those employees can now be reassigned to more value-added tasks. Instead of assembling your mother boards, your employees will be loading and unloading fixtures, checking program loops at specified intervals and helping in other departments. Meanwhile, the XL2500 continues to perform precision assembly tasks.”
Silence. Chad knew when he was close to striking gold. Silence meant the gears of a client were turning over and over with value judgements and rationalization techniques. If anything, silence after a sales pitch was more important than continued bantering. Silence let the devil do the talking, influencing decision makers to act according to the principles they hold dear. And Chad knew, at least in the business world, no two words spoke more to these principles than profit and efficiency. “Mr. Rosen, the XL2500 can offer your company greater profits through improved worker efficiency.”
”I’d like to arrange a demonstration, uh, sometime next week please Mr…”
“You can call me Chad, Mr. Rosen, and yes, that will definitely work. Let’s say Wednesday at 10 p.m. Write it done and leave time for lunch afterward.” If only all cold calls went this well. Maybe someday, they will.
|August 10, 2013