Carlos was the new VP of Sales, an elegant Puerto Rican guy who didn’t get the whole software thing. He didn’t understand why I didn’t wear suits, at least not until the end, when he wondered why I brought a suit to a consulting gig. That was when he understood that it was content that mattered.
When he came, though, his salesman training taught him that he had to get a handle on the staff. He got them, but I baffled him.
“I can’t figure out what motivates you,” he told me. “I’m glad you aren’t one of my salesmen. I need them to want a better watch, and when they have that, to want a better car, and when they have that to want a better house, and then want a better boat. ”
Carlos was frustrated because he couldn’t find an unfiltered tap into my brain. You talk with someone, and you talk about their desires, get into their dreams, and once you figure out where they lust, you can find their ear hole, the tap into their brain you can use for your own purposes.
It’s a classic sales technique. Until you figure out what the customer wants, there is no way you can convince them that your product will give it to them.
Me, though, well, I was a challenge to Carlos. I had learned to keep filters up on all the ports to my body, heart, brain and spirit. My family wasn’t safe, my school wasn’t safe, others weren’t safe, it was just unsafe to not keep the filters up.
My innocence was long gone. Innocence, and the faith that it engenders, well, it’s not something that can be recaptured. I seem to have always been out of synch with those who should have been my peers, living my life backwards, trying to learn how to open up as they learn how to turn inwards.
I live a filtered life, filtered on the inputs and filtered on the outputs. That serves me, like the way I can obscure facts for privacy while still telling truth, but it also defines me.