Fifty five

December 12, 2010 § Leave a comment

This man, the one in the checked sports jacket, has seen the best of his fifties; despite the neat-cropped hair hiding neither greyness nor that bald patch, he’d still prefer you to say forties. He is walking across a near-empty car park, towards a dark blue sports car. It’s not new, and it’s not top-of-the-range, but they’re just details. He knows that the first glance is what matters and that the message conveyed is everything.

He’s just delivered a presentation on marketing skills to a room full of people, fifty five of them this time, and he’d the lot of them. Transfixed. Rapt. He knows all the tricks, now. You’d hope so, after five years of this circuit and twenty five in the industry before. He knows when to pause and when to push on through, when to go fo the laugh and when the crowd’s against him. This lot were easy today. The odd stray, wandering off to take a phonecall or eyes elsewhere, off work for the afternoon and treating it as a holiday. Cannon fodder, that’s all they are. Bums on seats.

There’s rumours that the funding’s running out for courses like these, that there’ll be no money to pay people like him any more. He doesn’t know what truth lies beneath.

He opens the car door, slides down onto the cold leather of the driver’s seat. Catches his eye in the rear view mirror and for a rare moment he considers that perhaps it’s time to brush up on his own marketing skills. Find a new niche and some new punters. Runs his hands through his hair, bares five grand’s worth of dentistry at himself, and shrugs the afternoon off as he turns the key in the ignition.

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