Once upon a time we were Salesmen. Not Account Executives. Not Customer Enablers. Not Planners or Account Managers.
No. We were Salesmen. And we ran the road, with dedication and the supreme confidence that we were selling products that made people’s lives better. We sold touch dialing, three way calling, call forwarding, SSS7 Signaling, toll ticketing, fiber optic transport that carried more and more conversations and data at lower and lower costs. And if our first cell phones looked like book ends we dreamed and knew that someday they would fit in our pockets and cost less than a dinner for two at a trendy restaurant.
And it was fun and we knew the customers and our competitors. It was a small universe that had very few bad guys, and best of all we had our very own internet before there was an Internet.
It was called “Joe Martian” and the network was called “Roadrunners.”
Before email, there was snail mail and the telephone. Joe kept up with us. He knew where a new job could be found, who had been blessed with a new child, and who had a new wife. He knew who had moved, who had retired and best of all he did this with kindness, affection, good humor and a pleasant demeanor rarely seen in today’s world.
Joe retired a few years back with some health problems. They have now become worse. Gentlemen and ladies, say a prayer for a true Gentleman. The world is a better place because of Joe. Like all of us he will, sooner or later, check-in to that last roadside motel where there is a grumpy front desk clerk and a room with a broke air conditioner…. But I have no doubt he will be immediately upgraded to a 5 Star hotel and a suite on the Club Floor with a complimentary fruit basket and a king size bed for eternity.
Rest well, Joe. You will be remembered.
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