I often complain about the way some customers treat us. Many have such a lack of respect for people in general. But not all are that bad, in fact some are genuinely the nicest people you ever meet. And doing this job, I am lucky enough to have met some of these people. This profession allows you to spend time in their homes, get to know them, strike up a relationship and start to know them on a personal basis rather than just a business related one. You even get to know their life story if you spend that much time with them. It’s what makes this job so rewarding sometimes.
But then there is a side to the job that most people don’t even realise is there. At some point, these people that you have spent days collectively with, pass away. And when you learn of this, it is genuinely saddening. I have learned over the past couple of weeks that two of my most memorable and nicest customers have passed away. And it properly tugged a heart string.
One was an 89 year old lady, I won’t mention her name. She was from Poland and moved here after the second world war after suffering in the POW camps. She was an incredible lady and strong both mentally and physically and was brought to tears whenever she recalled her time during the war. When she moved to England, she brought her ailing husband and his friend with her. But unfortunately, about 10 years or so ago her husband died. This left just her and the friend. The blow was double however as her friend suffered badly from dementia and other problems. This lady was old and tired. But rather than see her husband’s friend go into a home, she offered to look after him in her home. Everyday she would do the work that three people would normally have to do, as well as take care of herself and her home. Her will was strong, she never complained and was proud that she was independent enough to be able to look after him. While I was there selling, I saw this all happening and was witness to what such a strong person and character she was.
Sadly, the friend she was caring died, and a few months after that she also died. It seemed like she lived to look after her friend. It was genuinely saddening to hear of the news as we got on so well every time I went to see her.
At the weekend I learned of another customer of mine who had passed away. He was an elderly gentleman from Germany. He used to be an industrial printer service engineer, traveling all over the country and parts of Europe working for the massive printing companies. He had many stories and much wisdom to give, which made it easy to to just sit there and listen. It’s these people you don’t really sell to, you just get to know them as they buy from you and you form a personal connection rather than a business one.
You do meet many nice people doing this job, and if you are a genuine people person, you will appreciate the time spent with these people, knowing that everyday you meet someone new and could possibly know them for years to come if they buy from you repeatedly. It just is a bit down heartening to hear that those you have known for years have gone to a better place. But I suppose this is just a fact of life.