I don’t know why it’s tough to find good sales people these days, but it sure feels like it. Whether it’s here at the world-wide HQ of the media empire that houses the little newspaper that could or at some of the many fine businesses around us, hiring managers tell me it’s a lot harder than it used to be.
Of course we are currently looking for really good sales staff (Know of someone? Call me!) and I was deeply lost in thought on where to look when the phone suddenly rang and startled me out of a mound of resumes.
“The Paper. Timmons,” I answered. (Yes, we professional news types are men of few words.)
“This here’s Mr. Trump’s executive administrative supervisory director of media,” the voice on the other end said.
“This here’s”?
I knew that voice from somewhere. It had a distinctive twang that managed to fall directly on the nerve that irritates the brain.
“Had you going there, didn’t I Timmons?”
Oh good gosh! The voice belonged to one Bubba Castiron, a man who I ran into a few weeks ago. I had met Bubba at our paper in Noblesville and often told people that if they called him a village idiot it would be an insult to village idiots everywhere.
“Bubba, how have you been,” I managed as my mind started racing with ways to end this call quickly.
“You probably was excited when you thought the White House was calling, huh Timmons?” Bubba cackled. “I could hear it in your voice.”
“OK, Bubba,” I sighed. “You got me. And hey, thanks for calling but-”
“Whatcha up to, Timmons?” Bubba asked, completely not taking the hint.
“Just working on how to find sales help, Bubba. And I really appreciate you calling but-”
“Sales help! You need sales help? Shoot-fire Timmons, I’m the best durn salesman around. You ought to hire me!”
Somehow, I couldn’t imagine Bubba selling anything to anyone. It was typical of him to make things up just to keep the conversation going.
“Bubba, I can’t believe you’ve ever been in sales and-”
“Oh Timmons, you just ain’t ever seen ol’ Bubba in action. I used to work at a major national retailer who shall remain nameless,” he said.
Nameless?
“Of course, Timmons. Don’t you know nothing ‘bout business law? You can’t just run around telling names. Them things is protected information. Anyways, I was their top salesman!”
“Oh Bubba, I have trouble believing that.”
“Heck, I can prove it. Let me tell you about one particular day. The bosses expected us to sell about $2,500 a day and I racked up $108,000 in sales!”
Even through the phone you could hear him beaming. Despite myself, I had to ask.
“Well, this guy comes in and I start out selling him some fish hooks. Then, because I am a top-botch salesman-”
“Top-notch,” I corrected.
“What?”
“Never mind.”
“Anyways, I tell the guy he’s probably going to catch bigger fish than them little hooks can hold so I sell him a bigger pack of hooks. Well then I told him if he was going to go big then he’d probably need a good-size rod’n’reel and I sold him our best model. Well then we got to talking about what kind of fish and started talking about maybe really going after the big boys so I got him to buy a jon boat. And that led from one thing to ‘tother and I got him in our top ‘o the line boat with inboard / outboard engine and all the fancy fixings. And that led to me selling him a new 4x4 to haul his new boat in and-”
“Hang on a minute, Bubba. A guy comes in to buy some hooks to go fishing and you sold him a boat and a truck?”
“Nah, he came in to pick up some burgers and dogs because his in-laws showed up for a surprise visit. I told him that his weekend was shot so he might as well go fishing.”
“Bubba, how soon can you start?”

Two cents, which is about how much Timmons said his columns are worth, appears periodically on Tuesdays in The Paper. Timmons is the publisher of The Paper and can be contacted at ttimmons@thepaper24-7.com.