The New Guy

Soul got hit by a car. Twice. So he won't be back for a while. One of our new guys is sitting in his office. Lucky break. His name is Angel. His brother used to work here months ago. Angel is from Puerto Rico.

Margaret needs a good trial lawyer who will work for the fees of a court appointed attorney. I tell her that she would need to find somebody with an altruistic streak to who would take on her son's case. I don't tell her that I believe it is hopeless for him.

The month is over. Final numbers are being turned in.

Angel sits in Soul's desk, going over paperwork. I like him. He is excitable, and commands himself like this dealership is a schoolyard playground. He believes that his life is beautiful. That he or anybody can make it in America. He falls in love with every woman he sees. Sincerely. Every woman he sees is America. He is brimming with confidence. With expectation.

He hasn't sold a car yet.

Marcos comes up to my desk to check out. He needs to go to the bank. I ask him why nobody has taken their day off today, and why everybody is here early. "We didn't sell enough cars last month. No days off." Another seventy-two hour week for the guys.

My switchboard rings. I answer the line and the voice on the other end asks for Angel. I connect the call and watch Angel's grin fall from his face. He places Soul's phone back on the receiver. "Not this time," he says to himself. I feel sorry for him. I am sad that he came to Texas of all places from Puerto Rico. I am sad that he came when he did, during these hard times, particularly for Chrysler. I wonder if he will learn. Change. Become a true blue salesman. Live a life dominated by contracts and closing deals. I just don't see that happening to Angel, but he will hold on because this job is America to him.

This business will destroy him.