Shutting One’s Trap, Opening One’s Ears

They say you should never reveal a lady’s age.

Today is my first wife’s birthday and she 67 years old.

We’ve been divorced 40 years, so how come I remember her birthday? Well, you tend to remember the important events in history, don’t you? The Battle of Hastings, the Black Death, the Great Fire of London.

And this year, her birthday coincides with another major event.

There are exactly three weeks to the release of Peril in Palmanova.

All right, so it was all leading up to a plug, but give me some credit for creativity. At least I managed to get a link in so it made a bit of sense, which is more than some of our TV adverts do. There’s one running right now with Arnie’s head running round the shop on a little tractor telling everybody to make their minds up about buying underarm deodorants and other stuff. And what’s it all about? It’s a reminder that there are only two years left for these cold-calling pains in the arse to nag you into claiming that you were mis-sold PPI which you either a) never had in the first place, or which b) covered your payments when you fell ill or were made redundant.

A few years ago it was accidents, and I remember getting collared by some silly tart in town who noticed I had a plaster cast on my right wrist. I’d slipped and fallen at work. My own fault. I wasn’t watching where I was going.

This young woman went into full sales mode. “If you’ve had an accident at work, it can’t possibly be your fault.”

I told her she was talking out of her backside, she insisted, but like a Jack Russell worrying a dead rat, she wouldn’t let go. In the end I said to her, “Put the claim in if you want. As long as it doesn’t cost me anything, I don’t care.”

So she did.

Fast forward two years, by which time I’d forgotten all about her and the broken wrist, when I received a letter from them, which told me in no uncertain terms that I couldn’t claim for the injury because it was my own fault. I wasn’t watching where I was going.

There’s a lesson for salespeople in all this. Selling is not just about the gift of the gab. Try shutting your mouth and opening your ears now and then. You’ll save yourself a lot of wasted energy and potential abuse.

Peril in Palmanova, Sanford 3rd Age Club Mystery #15, published by Crooked Cat Books, on October 26th, is now available for pre-order at:

Amazon UK

Amazon Worldwide


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One Response to Shutting One’s Trap, Opening One’s Ears

  1. Ailsa Abraham says:

    Good one! I’ve got a new tack with cold callers – I reverse the situation and ask them if they can spare me a few moments to answer some questions – what’s their name, are they married, do they live in a house or flat, rented or bought?
    They are pretty well gobsmacked by it especially when I tell them I work for Shit R Us surveys.

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