The first time, he came to our door, clipboard in one hand and a list of addresses in the other, pitching some kind of security system, one of two kinds of door-to-door salespeople who still come around, the other being electricity distributors.

A shorter fellow, he was wearing a white company branded golf shirt and khaki shorts.  His list of house numbers was dripping wet, as he had pushed on despite the scattered showers.

I made it clear that we weren't interested, several times, before he thanked me for my time and turned around, making his way across the street to the next house.

The second time was the next day.  I was about to get in my car to go to work when I noticed him eyeing up our house, clipboard in one hand and his list of addresses in the other, wearing the same clothes as the day before.

"You got us yesterday," I said, with a little too much attitude in my voice.

"Sorry, the heat is really getting to me," he replied, sounding downcast, defeated, the scattered showers having been replaced by relentless sunshine and heat.

Honestly, I felt bad driving off having been a little short with someone who was desperately trying to make a living.

The third time, Heather and I were watching our show - we are onto a British series called Kingdom, starring Stephen Fry - early in the evening, when once again he appeared in the neighbourhood, clipboard in one hand, addresses in the other.  He was heading down Armit Crescent this time.

I was heading over to the Canada Day festivities two blocks away when I saw him a fourth time, sitting crossed-legged under the shade offered by a neighbour's tree across the street.  He was listening to something on his phone, ear buds in place, happy to block out the world.

The tenacity of this young fellow was really beginning to intrigue me, so I walked over to say hello.  That's when He became Brad.

Brad is a 21-year-old engineering student attending U of C during term, but working for a security systems company during the summer. He is methodically going through our entire neighbourhood, house by house by house, attempting to make contact with every single resident.  When he needs inspiration, he finds a spot in the shade and listens to what I got the sense were motivational recordings.

"I'm looking for those folks who are working 21 and 3's," he said.  "They really have a need for what I'm selling. If I make one sale, that's more than I'd make in one full week at a regular job."

He couldn't have picked a worse time to be trolling for business, in the middle of the first long weekend of the summer.

"You should become a politician," I suggested.  "Having the courage and fortitude to go door-to-door is a great skill to have in that line of work. It's certainly not a skill that I possess."

Here is a guy who faces rejection, rudeness, anger, and hostility at almost every turn and still manages to keep on trucking and smiling.

"It's a lot of fun when I make a connection," he said, "like we are doing right now."

"If you're ever looking for something else to do, let me know," I said, passing along one of my business cards.

"What did you have mind?" he asked.

"Nothing specific, but you have determination and drive, qualities that are rare these days."

He was sitting in a different shady spot when I returned a couple of hours later.

"How did it go?" I asked.

"I think it's time to push on," he replied.

"Have a great day."

"You too."


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