Insert Chassis Albuquerque: Chapter 4 - The Short Skirt: "New Job"

Chapter 4 - The Short Skirt: "New Job"“Where you heading?” the taxi driver said when I jumped in the cab.
“The Big Piano Warehouse Discount Store - you know it?”
“Sure do - you in the market for a piano?” he said as we pulled off.
He sounded skeptical.
I shook my head.
“Say, you in some kind trouble…?” he asked suspiciously, looking in the rear-view mirror at me.
“Just quit my job back there at Beaumont’s,” I said, hoiking my thumb over my shoulder back that way and into the past.
“You’re unemployed…?” the cab driver practically screamed. He was alarmed and immediately swung the car over to the curb and hit the brakes. “Get the fuck out - move it…!” he yelled, reaching back and opening my door; we hadn’t even skidded to a complete stop.
“Hey, man…” I said but he wouldn’t hear it.
I got out and he sped away into the traffic.
He must’ve put an All Points Bulletin out on me because none of the other taxis stopped for my fare, either, and I had to walk on up to The Big Piano Warehouse Discount Store. By the time I got there I was struggling to breath. Trying to get fit and lose a little weight I’d encountered a technical problem: Genetically, I was fucking lazy.
The sign outside the showroom said: The Big Piano Warehouse Discount Store - We Take Every Customer Seriously - Seriously.
Soon as I walked in, a slightly stocky man in his late fifties said: “You Broadway…?”
“Been waiting for you. Beaumont phoned up here saying what a lousy punk you were.”
Beaumont! That fucker…! He’d put out an All Points Bulletin out on me, too! Why, I was gonna find a way to get back down there, possibly on the bus, and  beat his ass…! 
“You know who I am? I’m the boss,” the man said.
I launched into my spiel: “Now look, mister, I don’t know what Beaumont told you but: I’m a motivated, self-starting and goal-oriented person with proven abilities. I’m very good in a team-”
“Stop talking shit - you can sell. I know that for a fact. That’s why that idiot turd, Beaumont, phoned up. He wouldn’t have bothered me if you couldn’t. He would’ve wished you on me if you were shit. When you want to start…?”
“I can start right now,” I said.
The Boss never told me his name.
That’s how everyone referred to him: The Boss.
One of the first things I noticed was The Big Piano Warehouse Discount Store stocked a lot of the same German pianos as BEAUMONT’S did, plus a variety of others: Chinese, Italian, Indonesian, American, Austrian, Polish. You name it. And they must’ve had about twice as much stock as BEAUMONT’S, maybe 250 pianos on the floor.
The Boss took a small steel ashtray out his pocket.
Then he lit a cigarette.
Very illegal, of course.
While the Boss was grilling me some more, and smoking, a customer came in.
He was wearing a heavy coat, buttoned up, a ladies pink tea hat and a matching ladies handbag over his shoulder.
Jesus Christ! How was anyone supposed to take customers seriously…?
“Hold on a second, Broadway - you okay there, Madam?” the Boss said to the man.
The man said his name was Catherine.
“You looking to buy a piano, Catherine?” the Boss said without missing a beat.
“A what…?” Catherine said.
“I see - listen, Catherine, we can’t be of any help to you, so move you’re ass on,” the Boss said. Then he turned back to me and said: “Gotta cut through the time-wasters, Broadway, and sell, sell, sell - now, where was I…?”
Catherine said: “That’s not very good customer service - how dare you turn your back to me! What if I was here to buy a piano? How very rude…!”
The Boss looked surprised the guy was still hanging around.
“Customer service, eh? Tell you what, you know, we can help after all. Let me just check something with my new colleague a second here – yup, Broadway’s just confirmed what I thought: Go outside that door there, Catherine, turn left and fuck off…!”
Catherine didn’t look like he was leaving any time soon.
“Now…!” the Boss yelled and Catherine jumped and quickly flew outta the store.
“I hope I’ve made myself clear, Broadway?”
“You sure have, Boss, cut through time-wasters and sell, sell, sell,” I said. “I have a question, about the staff incentive renumeration package?”
The Boss looked confused.
“Say what…?”
“Sales commission, Boss,” I said.
Commission? Last time I checked, in fact, it was just a few minutes ago, you didn’t have a job. You sure you in the right interview?” he said.
The Boss was watching me very carefully.
“Look, Broadway, we a big company in a very small trade and this piano business is only going to get more difficult as the years pass. You already know how goddamn complicated the customers are. Piano stores are closing because of lack of customer demand. The customers are stupid. But the truth is stores are also closing ‘cause they can’t get staff with the right type of mentality. You not happy with the salary, find something else, while you still can. You want the job or not…?"
I nodded.
“Another thing, no smoking anywhere on the premises," he said, stubbing his cigarette out.
"So it’s like that," I said
"Yeah, that's exactly what it's like,” the Boss said. “Oh yeah, one other thing, Broadway, never come up to my office without being told to. Never! Any problems, you use the phone. You got that…?”
“Sure. I got it, Boss.
“And another thing, we take all customers seriously - seriously!
Catherine was wandering around the far end of the store again, pretending to be looking at pianos.
The Boss went after her.
Catherine screamed.
The Boss chased Catherine out one of the side entrances and she ran out into the traffic and was almost run over by a bus…

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