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  • London. I’m fresh off the boat, as they say. Zimbabwe via Cape Town. Now I need a job. My skills are limited. I know how to use a camera but don’t know how to sell myself. I lack confidence. So naturally I respond to the advert looking for door-to-door charity fundraisers. The interview if you can call it that takes place in a sparse office block that looks like it’s up for demolition. While the suited slime-ball poor man’s Gordon Gecko reels off his spiel about drive, success and the will to want to win my eyes saccade from window to window looking for a swinging wrecking ball.

    I get paired with Greg. ‘He’s our best man.’ I’m informed with a calculated pat on the back. Greg is your classic salesman, you know the type, just back from the Arctic where he closed that big ice deal with the Inuit people. He’s going to take me under his wing, which is a relief. On the train over to our target area as it is known he says, ‘Last night, me in a hot tub, bottle of champagne, two birds. Stick with it, stick with it.’ He holds up his fingers with the universal symbol of two – to drive home the importance of that numeral to me. Wow, I think. That’s impressive. Must have something to do with your cheeky smile and designer nostril hair.

    We start hitting the doors and I am fortunate enough to witness a master in action. ‘You taking notes mate?’ He asks. Yes, yes I am Greg but not necessarily about your sales pitch. But don’t worry I’m getting all that needs to be written down about today.

    After forty doors or so when I’m about ready to repeatedly stab the complimentary ball-point pen into my eye sockets, we come across a door with a message, more specifically the longest appeal I’ve ever seen to the likes of my current vocation. It is a heartfelt, creative missive requesting in very kind words that under no circumstances should we place literature through the letterbox, or knock on the door. I don’t have a photographic memory and as such cannot do the message any justice suffice to say that Martin Luther himself would have been proud to nail it to the door.

    I naturally start to walk to the next house. File under: lost cause. But Greg, with raised eyebrows, calls me back. ‘What’s up mate?’ He asks. I point to the sign on the door. ‘No, no, no. We’re going to hit this and hit it hard.’ He says. ‘In fact, you’re up.’ He hands me the clipboard.

    ‘Really?’ I ask. ‘I mean, you’ve read the sign right?’

    Greg shrugs it off, laughs. ‘Probably a serial killer, you know, needs privacy to cut up bodies and stuff. Go on mate. Hit it.' He says rapping on the door.
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