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Letters to Uncle Edmund

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Letters to Uncle Edmund
by Jeanster




2008 April 29

Dear Uncle Edmund,

Greetings and salutations from your loving nephew across the pond! Life on the university campus is going well. I've made lots of friends, and I'm doing great in all my classes. You'll be pleased to know I've already found employment for this summer. According to the recruiter, I'll make tons of money in just three months! And I'll be able to see cities all over the U.S.A.! Other students here are just as excited as I am about this wonderful business opportunity. We'll be moving out of state right before summer. They haven't told us yet which city, but doesn't a bit of mystery add to the excitement? I can hardly wait for June!

I'll write you more about this after I'm settled in my place of summer employment. Say hello to Baldrick, Uncle George, Uncle Melchie, and Aunt Elizabeth.

Love, Oliver



2008 June 30

Dear Uncle Edmund,

Greetings and salutations again! I'm sorry I haven't written sooner, but I wanted to wait until I had some really great news to report. Not that I have any really great news to report at this time, but I thought it best to update you on what's been happening.

I really thought I'd be making tons of money this summer. But it's nothing like that at all. They loaded the whole lot of us (twenty of us fellows in all) into vans and drove us to Northern California. We're all settled in our apartments, but it's been an entire week, and I haven't made any money at all. The fellow in charge is from an alarm company based in Utah. I asked him how the money-making part happens. We've just been sitting in our apartments all day waiting. I asked him what are we waiting for? He just shrugged his shoulders. I couldn't get any straight answers from him. I asked the other fellows, and they didn't know anymore than I did.

So we end up spending all day watching TV and playing video games.

I hope things pick up soon, money-making wise. I'll write you again.

Love, Oliver



2008 July 7

Dear Uncle Edmund,

Hello again! This feels odd to me. Let me run it by you just to see what you think of it. And feel free to share this with Baldrick, Uncle George, Uncle Melchie and Aunt Elizabeth. I'd like to know what they think, too.

That fellow who recruited us has this room filled with lots of packaged home alarm systems. These have been sitting in this room the whole time we've been here. I finally asked him yesterday if we're supposed to do anything with them. He told me that homeowners in this city would be getting them free from us, but that we'd be selling the monitoring service.

"Then why are we just sitting in our apartments all this time?" I asked him.

He gave me a blank look.

"What do you mean?" he asked me.

"I mean, shouldn't we be going out knocking on doors asking homeowners if they're interested?"

He looked very puzzled.

"Knocking on doors?" he asked. "Why on earth would I have you and the other fellows do that? Do you think people want to be disturbed in their homes while they're having dinner or watching television?"

I stared at him. "Well, then are we supposed to phone them at home and approach then that way?"

"You mean telemarketing? Good heavens, no! We don't have the financial resources to do that! And do you think people want to be disturbed with phone calls while they're having dinner or watching television? It's a surefire way to alienate them!"

"Then how are we supposed to make any money? We're just sitting on our backsides all day goofing off! Aren't we supposed to be making money?"

"Just be patient. They'll come to us. We certainly don't want to be pushy."

I couldn't believe what I was hearing. What the blazes did I sign up for?

"Look, can't I at least take one of these alarm system packages and try my hand at finding someone interested?"

"What do you mean?" he asked me.

"I mean this: I'll go hit the pavements going door-to-door. I'm bound to find someone out there who wants a free alarm system."

"Well, I really don't think that's a good idea. In fact, the concept of knocking on strangers' doors doesn't feel right to me. After all, if someone is in the market for a home alarm system, they'd come to us. We shouldn't have to intrude on them in the privacy of their own homes."

I tell, you Uncle Edmund, I felt like I was in the Twilight Zone talking with this recruiter.

Some of the other fellows heard me trying to reason with the recruiter and they chimed in, willing to head outside and knock on doors. He kept telling us no, to just be patient and that the customers would come to us.

Does he sound like a complete loon or what?

I'll write you later after I try my luck at this.

Love, Oliver



2008 July 12

Dear Oliver,

Thank you for your letters. Tell me, dear boy. Are you familiar with "reverse psychology"? If I were to hazard a guess, I'd say your recruiter wants you and other fellows to believe it's YOUR idea to go door-to-door during the summer peddling those alarm systems. Oh, right. They're free, according to your recruiter. But the monitoring services are what you'd be selling, right? Let me guess. Three or five-year ironclad contracts? Even if the alarm systems turn out to be defective?

Do a Google search, dear nephew. Then get back to me.

Love, Uncle Edmund


Information on Alarm Sales peddled during the summer:
Jeanster's Blackadder Page: