Just Another Day at the Office By Raymond v Morrow
Friday, June 20, 2008
Rated "PG13" by the Author.
Just Another Day At The Office
Steve, there is a whole lot more to the Venezuelan trip which I will tell you about the next time we meet and you buy.
We made three more holes in the tire and had the same results. The Senator made a sale, I made a sale, and I left the Sergeant some sealant to do the company six-by–six truck tires.
I told the Senator in English that the bubbles were from residual air in the outer rim of the hole and, in fact, the hole was sealed. He repeated this in Spanish. I than took the air pressure and it read twenty-nine lbs. We had lost just one pound air pressure in the penetration and sealing process. The Senator than rallied beautifully and gave an oration on the whole process in Spanish and took credit for everything including my patent, I am sure.
I wasn’t really concerned because I had done this many times before in many places. However, the Senator was petrified. The government was controlled by the military and unpleasant consequences could result if we caused any damages to the Colonel or his beautifully done up jeep. A soldier got behind the wheel and started the engine and was ready to go after the puncture was made. I took the tire pressure (thirty-two pounds) and the large sergeant took the hammer and pick and gave a sly look over at us and proceeded to smack the pick as far into the tire as he could and then gave a mighty yank and pulled it out. In rapid order the following events occurred: A spurt of tire sealant flew out and got the sergeant on the side of his face. (I neglected to tell him not to stand directly over the hole when pulling out the pick): secondly, the driver roared away down the parade grounds under the fascinated gaze of the senator and the assembled military, roared back and screeched to a halt. Immediately everyone, including the Colonel and the Senator crowded around the jeep to see what happened, to see if a sealing had occurred. They saw tiny bubbles emerging from the hole and thought the test was a failure. The Senator’s face was contorted and ashen. The Captain was smirking and Colonel maintained a stony visage.
I explained to the Colonel and Captain how the tire sealant sealed punctures of up to one – quarter inch in the tread area of the tire and how it stopped bead leaks and sidewall porosity. While I was telling the Senator in English he was translating everything into Spanish. When I stopped the Captain said in a diffident sotto voice that he supposed the sealant would seal a puncture in a jeep tire if there were a puncture in the tire. I replied” that is correct, Captain.” He said, “I don’t suppose you have a quarter –inch pick in your possession, do you?” I replied “yes” He said, “May I “I said “be my guest “Just make sure you drive the vehicle as soon as you pull out the pick because the rotating tire will assist in getting the sealant to the source of the puncture quickly.” I went to the car and opened up our demonstration kit and handed him a hammer and a quarter inch pick. The Captain smirked and handed the tools to a burly sergeant and nodded for him to make a hole in the tread of the front righttire on the jeep belonging to the Colonel.
Never the less, Steve, “I went with the Senator to meet with the military and it was hairy.” A Colonel and a Captain along with squad of soldiers under the command of a Sergeant came out to meet with us. The mustached colonel had on a pair of dark sunglasses which hid his eyes and he was carrying a swagger stick. He was a prototype military officer. He had a barely restrained air of “What kind of crap is this that the greedy politicians and Yankees are trying to put over on me?” His men mirrored his feelings exactly.
Believe me, Steve, what I am about to tell you is a true story. It happened to me on a business trip Venezuela some twenty-five years ago. “Well ok, Shawn, I’ll believe you, but only if you order us a round of Gold Bacardi Rum over ice.” I smiled and did just that. We were sitting in the exotic bar at the Marriot in Grand Cayman where we were attending a seminar on new scuba diving equipment. Steve and I are partners in a diving resort business. We were overlooking the white sand beach and the very blue Caribbean Sea. Sailboats and Catamarans were tied up at the dock with many flying the red and white diving flag. As I said, “I was in Caracas, Venezuela on a business trip. I had a tire related product which I was presenting to the Military. I had met a Venezuelan Senator, I won’t use his name, who was visiting me at my plant in Atlanta. He was also an importer and he was very familiar with my product, a heavy-duty commercial tire sealant. After we went through exhaustive product testing, he liked what he saw and he ordered a forty-foot container of 600 five-gallon pails for commercial use. However, he asked me to go with him to personally demonstrate the product to the Venezuelan Military”. I paused then while we lit up big Cuban cigars and savored the excellent rum. Steve asked me, “how the political situation was at time of my meetings” and I replied “It was touchy but still pretty much under control even though there was an undercurrent of hostility in the streets which made me a somewhat uncomfortable.