Friday, December 14, 2007

Friday 28th May 1937

After a period of apparently fruitless work for the Hospital contract, I suddenly felt resistance giving way this morning. First, an optimistic letter from head office. Secondly, a visit to Hayward the architect. A bloody junior clerk informed me there was “nothing today” but when Mr Hayward heard I was in the waiting room I was taken into his office at once. He said he’d recommended Paripan to Mr Constable, Secretary of the Hospital – by now the recommendation would have been passed on to the Committee, which met yesterday.

Before long I was at the hospital. The Assistant Secretary was out. I asked his typist if there was any news. She proved less obstructive than the architect’s clerk. After I’d explained the situation she went in to the great man himself. Mr Constable came out to me.“I’ve never known such a persistent firm as yours” he said whimsically. “You certainly deserve something for that alone. So I recommended Paripan at yesterday’s meeting and the Committee have decided to take it up” I was flabbergasted at such luck! Rather sudden – what? “Well, aren’t you pleased about it?” asked the girl in surprise.

About six weeks ago Mr Taylor, of Taylor and Moore, gave an order for 14lbs. U/coat Paste White – principally because I amused him. Since then I’ve called many times but the U/coat had not been tested. Mr Taylor kept on forgetting until at last, thoroughly ashamed of himself no doubt, he had the can sent to their building site, Somerset Garden Estate. Went to the Estate this afternoon. A workman pointed out the house where the foreman painter was at work. In the house was an architect named Cheasley. Explained I’d come from Mr Taylor to hear how they liked the U/coat Paste. “Oh, from Taylors are you?” said the architect without any enthusiasm. “We don’t like that U/coat. In fact, I phoned the office yesterday to say we would not have any more.” (“Hell,” I thought, “Not very encouraging!”) “Go and see Evans” added Mr C, “He’ll tell you more about it than I can.”

Over rough unmade roads to another building site, the sun was very warm… I found Evans the foreman painter; he knew nothing about Paripan and did not work for Taylor and Moore anyhow! A horrible thought struck me. That bloody architect was fooling me! Toiled back to the other house. Mr Cheasley had gone but I saw the general foreman and daylight. He did not work for Taylor and Moore either! By strange coincidence Taylor’s of Leigh had sent an U/coat to be tested and it had proved a failure. But it wasn’t ours!

In short, I was in the wrong house talking to the wrong firm altogether. I found the right house then, and the right foreman painter. He’d tried U/coat Paste against Dense White and found in favour of our product. After he told me his opinion of U/coat Paste and made me full of pep, I rang up Mr Taylor and closed an order for 8 by 14 lbs. West Road Westcliff! Then, seizing the golden opportunity, I called on Mr Cheasley at his office, explained the mistake, assumed he was interested in U/coat Paste and arranged for literature and a sample to be sent.

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