Today, I met a guy named Roy. He is a salesman. I heard his voice saying, “Hello. Hello!” in front of my neighbors’ houses. One house to another, he went. I was home alone at that time.
Finally, he reached in front of my house. I took a peek from a slight gap in between the window curtains in the room where I was sitting and saw his face. He said hello a few times. I didn’t answer straight away on purpose – to observe him a little longer.
He wore a blue uniform with a pair of black pants. There was a sling back on his right shoulder, the color of mossy green. His hair was neatly combed, parted to the right. He wore white and black shoes, the kind that school kids wear. I didn’t see him wearing watch, maybe he kept track of time using his phone. He has this kind of smiling face which is hard to not like – boyish and friendly.
It was half an hour after noon. The weather was hot. It feels like the Sun is peeling my skin when I was outside. And this guy was standing there under the scorching Sun, saying hello to don’t-know-how-many houses he had been to.
I finally opened the front sliding door and answer him from behind the metal grills. I was alone, so I reminded myself to be careful. But actually I don’t have to because until the end, that guy was standing outside of the gate the whole time.
In other words, he laid out his sales lines from outside the opened gates, under the sauna-like weather, approximately 10 feet from me who was standing behind closed grills. Reminded me so much about the dilemma between sales efficiency and respecting privacy.
He needed my cooking gas pipe serial number so I went in to get it and wrote it down on a piece of paper. Even when I tried to hand the paper our to him, he stayed outside and asked politely for me to read it out for him.
He continued with his sales line which, honestly, I don’t even remember. The only information that I remember are he’s from a company called UJS, the company office is in town and his name.
All the while he was giving his presentation, I wasn’t listening, because I was too busy observing him. And I was thinking of offering him something to drink but since he didn’t even want to step inside the gate, I let it pass.
The final question he asked, in his thick Sabahan accent, was, “Kakak ada ‘ati mau cuba?” which means, “Would you like to try this product?”, referring to the gas line he was selling. I said, “No.” He said thank you.
And as he was about to leave, I asked him his name. He said, “Roy” and proceeded showing me his name tag and mentioned his company name again, maybe thinking that I was suspecting him as fraud. And I asked whether he is from Borneo and he confirmed. That was how I know his name.
The reason I asked for his name is only one.
I want to remember that one day, when I was alone at home, feeling down and hopeless, a guy named Roy came and it hits me how ungrateful I have been and there are more unfortunate people around me who are working so hard to get to where I am now.
I know they will succeed. I know Roy will succeed. I will, too.
Hat’s off and thank you to Roy!