Today's the day: I've gotta make three sales or this job isn't worth it for me. Why bother? Because you never know what can happen if you just keep trying! I'll go check out those big apartment buildings down the street....
Figures, they don't pay their electric bills so I can't sell them Direct Energy. That bench here in the courtyard looks comfy; I think I'll take a break and figure out what to do next....
The tall, black woman jolts me out of my reverie. "Are you a Jehovah's Witness?" she asks. I guess I look like one from the way I'm dressed, all in black with a businesslike coat, skirt, and hat.
"No," I answer. "I'm Jewish."
We get into a very pleasant conversation, and I even take a look at some literature. See, I take to heart the words of Pirkei Avot (Chapters of the Fathers) that say: "Who is wise? The one who learns from every person." I obviously don't agree with their Jesus thing, but perhaps there is something I can learn from this encounter. She tells me that at Jehovah's Witnesses' conventions, everyone greets each other like they're family. She says that Jehovah's Witnesses can always count on each other when they need someone to do a kindness for them, such as a place to stay. I exclaim, "Wow, we Jews could really learn from you guys!"
Now we're sitting in the kitchen at her apartment discussing her electric bills. Turns out she has three separate accounts! Maybe I'll close three today miraculously! We have to wait for her daughter to come home, though, but in the meantime we chat some more and she offers me a banana. Just a simple banana, from a bunch sitting on the counter, but I very much appreciate it, because I of course can't eat any prepared food from her kitchen and I've been walking around all afternoon. So she practices what she preaches. Yes, it is polite to offer food to a guest, but in all my time doing residential sales, I was only offered to come in once (I didn't because I'm not really supposed to) and most of the time it was just the opposite. In other words, I'm much more likely to get the door slammed on my face, never mind a banana.
So I am wise this time and learn that there is, in fact, a group of people who are kind to each other because they believe that that is what G-d wants most of all from people. I do not get to sign up her and her daughter in the end, but I do get a banana and some good food for thought....
Over a week later, as I am making banana bread ( http://www.recipezaar.com/Best-Banana-Bread-2886 ) for Shabbat because I don't have a job to be at on Friday anymore, I smile fondly at the memory, hoping that I can learn to be a truly kind person ( http://atraditionofkindness.org/ ) and that I can really help people with my next job.
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