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The text on this page was created with Google Docs, the free word processing program available at: Google/Drive/Docs.
The computer used was a Google Chromebook.

The text on this page was created with Google Docs, the free word processing program available at: Google/Drive/Docs.
The computer used was a Google Chromebook.

Back from Korea
Looking for a Job

Carnation Dairies was advertising for milkman trainees, Carnation Building Los Angelesso I applied. After all, didn't milkmen work in the early morning hours and wouldn't I have afternoons off to pursue my freelance sign painting business?

Well, the first thing I discovered was that you didn't get to be a milkman without first being a door-to-door salesman, where you would try to sign up customers for a milk route.

Door-to-door selling just what I liked least to do. But, they assured me, it was just temporary and I'd be getting a salary while in training.

Our main selling feature was Carnation's new "multi-vitamin" milk that came in brown bottles to "filter out harmful sun rays." We were taught how much of each vitamin a quart of milk contained, and what the average adult's minimum daily requirement was for each one. Since we were representing a major company and offering a service that would make the buyer's life a lot easier, making these sales calls would be fun and easy, we were told. Yeah, right.

Carnation Dairies Logo

Our instructor at this cold-call selling was a shifty-eyed guy named Cliff with a gravely voice, who'd obviously been doing selling of some kind all his life. And he would say anything to make a sale.

He struck me as somebody I wouldn't trust to give me the right time of day, but the Carnation milkman's cap he wore lent him a certain air of credibility. When one of the crew said he'd just had a doctor answer the door (and not sign up for milk delivery) Cliff said, "Oh, I forgot to tell you if a doctor ever answers the door you look him right in the eye and say, 'Good morning, doctor I'm with Carnation's Health Department.'" Yeah, right.

In any case, after about three weeks of sales training they sent me out on a delivery route. I would spend the next three weeks working as helper to a seasoned route driver. I was excited.

But I was also disappointed to learn that the most successful route drivers became so largely because of their ability to continually sign up new customers. Hmm, in order to make money at this job you had to be a salesman. Not too encouraging for a shy guy like myself.

The fellow I would be training under for the next three weeks was a likeable guy named Bob Prettyman. However, he was a little defensive about his name, and advised me right up front that it was pronounced, "Purtyman."

Anyway, he liked everything about being a milkman, and was genuinely convinced that one day he would become Carnation's CEO. "My first day on the job," he was fond of saying, "I took to delivering milk like a duck takes to water." Well, I soon discovered that I took to delivering milk like a brick takes to water.

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