Then another thing I do is I always draw a picture of the house, a simple floor plan. Take this away with you, I say, it’ll help you remember; and let me tell you, they’re grateful. And another thing I always do is I always… but Glick is not listening, he is looking away — the newer, the younger man, he has his sharp eyes stuck in something. Glick? I hope you don’t think Pearson’s taught me all I know about this business. Not by a long shot. I always try to think of a way they can save, trim, cut some corner — a fifth one — so they’ll believe they can safely spend their money on the four I’m selling; it gives them the right feeling; they’ve got to have the right feeling — it’s an art — it takes years. Well… Ah… Glick? I’ve picked up a few things myself, you know, yes sir. Pearson can’t tell you everything. But Glick was not listening to Pearson either, even when Pearson spoke directly to him and Glick looked serious and nodded and the muscle in his jaw jumped. He never listened; even when Pearson told his joke and Glick surfaced his troubled, obsequious face like a fish to receive it, his ears were full. Well you’ll want to know what things, I suppose, a fellow just starting out like you are, learning the ropes, getting the feel, you’ll want to cotton on to what you can, the accumulated wisdom, as they say, well that’s what civilization is, I guess, knowledge handed on, isn’t it? experience of the years; elders, betters, eh?… Glick? For instance, sizes. Damn, he was deaf as his flowers. Fender had wanted to take him under his wing. How foolish that was. He was a bramble, a burr. Awf — sharp, he never scratched himself except in pleasure. Sizes of rooms, Glick — think. You want to have them right here, see, on the tip of your tongue — living room: twenty-four by fifteen; master bedroom: thirteen and a half by eleven and a fourth; kitchen: nine by five; bath: six by four, and so on… sizes. The dining room is a spacious square, an elegant and useful twelve. Make it sound professional. Smooth. That siding, see? that’s one-by-four t-and-g resawn redwood, my good friend, there’s no better. Your clients are thin with the worms of worry, skinny from the scares inside them. Fatten them on certainty. They want to believe. This closet? It’s twenty-two deep — that’s standard. You say that — you say it’s standard — even if it isn’t. Next the missus’ll want to know whether she can get her what-not in that corner. Quick — the facts! the figures! you rattle off the sizes. Twelve hundred square feet of living space. You’re buying a house, here, Mr. Ramsay, you say, laughing, at only nine bucks a yard. Yes sir, sizes. Gives them confidence. They see your concern. I tell you they’re worn; they’re wires; worry is crawling through them, breeding; they want to believe. So: height of the ceilings. Width of the windows. Here’s a fellow who knows, they think, someone really familiar with his property, someone who has the facts at the tip of his tongue, someone who’s been around and understands the market, someone we can trust. It works, Glick. It has quite an effect. Try it out. One try’ll convince. You feed them facts as sharp as needles. You surprise them. See this piece of pipe, Mr. Ramsay, it’s six feet long. You know how important that sort of thing is — I mean how far your water travels. It flabbergasts them, Glick. Yes sir, it sets them on their ears.
But Glick was not listening… awash in his barrel, sunning himself in brine.