So, it's the late 70's. I didn't own a car. I'm driving a cab in Raytown and actually living at the taxi stand. Sleeping on a couch in the dispatchers office and taking most of my meals on the go in the taxi.
Every few nights, I would take some of my earnings and get a room at the sleazy Frontier Motel on 50 Hwy so I could sleep in a real bed and get a shower. The patchouli oil would carry me over to the next motel night.
It was right next door to Jerry's Steak House, so I had that working for me.
It kinda sucked, but that's what it took to be out on my own and not living with my mom, so I was willing to endure the indignation. I was a young man, in my early 20's and I had too much pride to still be depending on my mom to put a roof over my head. Plus, I was a horn dog looking to get laid and much to my surprise, reeking of ass and patchouli and being essentially homeless was more attractive to women than living with your mother.
One night I picked up a couple of well dressed drunks from a Raytown bar. They're amiable salesmen-type guys. We strike up a conversation. They ask me if I know my way around the city and if I might be interested in a job.
Sure, sez I.
The younger one gives me his card and tells me to give him a call. He's looking for a delivery guy. Pays $1000.00 a month.
Holy Fuck! $1000.00 a month?!? $12,000.00 a year?!? I'd never earned that much in my life! Best fucking job offer ever!
So I called him and took him up on his offer and became the newest rep for Remco TV Rental.
In those days, the office was in the strip mall between a Price Chopper and Sherwin Williams at 63rd and I-435. Ya know, next to Funky Town. That's the picture at the top.
But it wasn't long before we moved to brand new digs at 23rd & Noland.
It was one of the earliest "rent-to-own" outfits. The business model was this. Rent a TV or stereo to some poor destitute fuck who couldn't get credit anywhere. After they've rented it for 24 months, they own it!
But here's the catch. The rent payments were more than the comparable credit installment payments would be, so you were paying WAY MORE for the product than you would if you had credit. About twice as much, on average.
But here's the kicker. Rent it for 22 months and miss that 23rd months rent? I'm on your door step taking that TV back to the office where we rehabilitate it and rent it to another sucker for 24 months.
It's the sleaziest, most predatory job I've aver had.
At the time, it was also the best fucking job I'd ever had!
The Manager was Dan O'L. A former Naval Aviator and helicopter pilot of Irish descent.
He taught me many important life lessons.
The first was, "You aren't getting paid by the hour. You're on salary. Your first priority is to manage you're own time. If you can get your job done working 4 hours a day, 3 days a week, good for you! I could give a fuck. But if it takes you 14 hours a day 7 days a week, then that's what we expect of you. I could give a fuck. We pay you to get your job done. How hard or easy you make it is up to you."
The second lesson was The Management Test. Keep in mind, this was at least 30 fucking years ago.
Here is the test.
You are are promoted to CEO. You inherit three female Executive Assistants. You can only afford to keep one.
You give each EA $1000.00.
The first EA banks the money in a Certificate of Deposit for her kid's college fund.
The second EA Blows the $1000.00 on a night on the town with her girl friends.
The third EA spends the money on professional clothes hoping for a future promotion.
The test is, which EA do you keep?
The answer, of course is, you keep the one with the biggest tits.
The third lesson he taught me was the lesson of expediency.
We used to tear up the bar scene together, especially in Westport. He wasn't above just yelling out "Hey lady, ya wanna fuck?"
His theory was, if she said yes, you just saved a whole lot of time and money.
And if she said no, you also saved a whole lot of time and money.
A sort of "winnowing the wheat from the chaff" approach, if you will. Mind you, I never saw that approach actually work, but his logic was impeccable.
The TV and stereo rental business itself was very interesting. I was hired to replace Danny K. Here he is training me on how to lift a 25" console TV and carry it into a house by yourself.
You had to know how to get the rental property into and out of the property by yourself.
Because although the renter will rush out and eagerly help you carry the TV in, they won't lift a fucking finger to help you take it away from them when they miss a payment! It was important let the renter know that if you can get it into the house by yourself, you can damned well take it out by yourself.
They taught us other tricks too. Such as never conducting business on the porch. We had these imposing, metal bound receipt books. We were taught to walk into the house, set the receipt book on top of the TV or stereo, and conduct business from there. It sent the message that the equipment didn't belong to them, it belonged to you. Until that final, exhorbitant reant payment was made, it was your TV and you were in charge.
There were just two of us. Me and Eric. I was white, Eric was black
My territory was everything east of Jackson St. in Kansas City going all the way out to Blue Springs, as far north as Liberty and Kearney and as far south as Grandview.
He had everything west of Jackson, including KCK and all of The Dotte.
Here is Eric and Danny using Dan O'L to teach me how to get the rent payments out of the customers.
This was the first job I ever had where I actually operated out of an office.
Oh yeah! Just look at this fucker.
That face just oozes trustworthiness!
Jesus H. Christ in a Chicken Basket! What a fucking sleaze ball!
I'll try to post more Remco stories later.
In the meantime, I have to rest up for tomorrow's dental appointment.