I KNEW You Were From Philly!


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.

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