As I sat in Panera enjoying some quiet time away from home and office I spotted three business men huddling. They obviously were from out-of-town. One was the leader, the other was a salesman, and the youngest was a new recruit.
I sat working on my laptop half-way listening to the leader. First, he was very attractive. He had that look. Good suit, great shoes, good watch, polished, and definitely from either Philadelphia or New Jersey. I listened as he sat on a conference call and determined they were sales director and business development manager for a Medical/Surgical Supply Company. Having been in procurement for many years, I can always spot a salesman. I can always spot where a person is from if I listen long enough. The biz dev guy was softer spoken, and dressed more…southern. Don’t ask me to explain it. I cannot. I have to show you. I detected a trace of Southern accent, albeit faint.
I listened to Director’s side of the conference call because he was animated, and abrupt, and demanding. Then he said the phrase the convinced me. “Don’t keep jerking me off.” I smiled. Biz Dev Southern Guy’s head immediately looked at me with a bit of apology in his eyes. Oh yep, he’s from the south.
As they stood to leave, I asked Biz Dev Southern Guy, “Excuse me, sir, where are you from?” He smiled and said, “Baton Rouge, Ma’am.”
I pointed at Director and said, “and him?”
“He’s from Philadelphia.”
Me: “I KNEW it.”
Director (now standing at my table): “Because of my big mouth?” of course, said forcefully.
“No, sir, because I have been a Purchasing Director and know a salesman from Philly when I hear one.” I smiled and he softened his demeanor a bit.
Director: “Oh, shit, not Purchasing. I can always spot a buyer.”
Me: “You have a nice stay in Tulsa.” Southern guy thanked me using “ma’am” again. Philly guy smiled like he wanted to sell me something or hook up.
I do miss the East Coast.