Symbols of the world's religions


Jay Schauer

Almost as soon as we moved there, I experienced some very difficult times in Myrtle Beach.

My job skills were geared toward working in large corporations, but my skills had limited application in what is essentially a beach town. In fewer than 2 years I had changed jobs 4 times.

My family was hurting financially as a result.

Also it was not easy on me personally. Every time I changed jobs it was difficult — losing a job, searching for work, applying, interviewing, hoping, getting the job, learning the ropes — and then, all too quickly, to lose that job as well. (In all but one case I'd lost each job because the company had decided to go out of business). I felt like I'd gotten onto a roller coaster and had no way to get off.

At the time of this story, I had just taken a job selling beachfront condominiums at a resort near the Meher Center. The job was commission only — and that meant I got paid only after a property I sold had changed hands. It would typically take 30 to 45 days me to get paid for anything I sold.

My family, as I say, was sharing in my financial difficulties, but everyone wanted to stay in Myrtle Beach if possible rather than moving again. I borrowed money from friends, and worked out a timetable which included a fail-safe point.

I figured that I needed to start making sales quickly. I needed to have sold at least 2 or 3 condos within 6 weeks. 30 to 45 days after that, my limited money would run out. If I hadn't made enough sales by that day, I would have to make plans to leave Myrtle Beach and find work elsewhere, and would have only 30 days to do it. Otherwise, with no income and no reserves, things would be in a mess.

Since I'd done pretty well selling before, I felt pretty confident that I could make the needed sales in 6 weeks.

As it happened, 6 weeks passed and no sales.

When the final day of the 6 weeks arrived, I was upset. I had dedicated all my efforts and energy to my new job. I had written up half a dozen contracts, only to have them fall apart a few days later.

Because I had felt so strongly that Baba wanted me to stay in Myrtle Beach, I discussed this with my wife, prayed about it, etc.

I got a very clear intuition that Baba wanted me to keep at it. I seemed to hear him say "Why start digging another well? Keep digging the one you started."

Remembering the 30 to 45 day part of my plan, I decided to keep at it for 15 more days — that would still give me 30 days to close a sale before our money ran out.

During this time, it seemed as though I repeated Baba's name constantly, begging him for help. I have never begged more for his assistance. I had staked everything on this throw of the dice.

15 days passed without a sale. Not even a nibble.

At the end of the 15th day, I returned home exhausted, anxious, and upset. Like many men, having trouble in my work affected me badly. I felt worthless. I could barely hold my head up in front of my family.

I felt terrible just sitting in my house, and at my wife's suggestion I called the Meher Center and got permission to walk on, even though visiting hours had officially ended.

I walked along deserted paths deep in the woods of the Center, and I swore at Baba with all my might. I was so angry and hurt, I wanted to let him know.

I wandered aimlessly, hot, tired, angry, upset, depressed, until I finally emerged near the Lagoon Cabin. I walked over, took off my shoes, went inside and threw myself prostrate before Baba's chair.

"What do you want from me?" I asked Baba. "I work hard. I deserve to get paid! I need to feed my family!" I felt angry tears flowing. "Why are you making my life so hard?"

I felt nothing — just a deafening silence.

"You need to take the heat off!" I yelled out loud. "I can't take any more!"

It's a hard thing to describe what I felt. I was breathing hard, but I felt as if Baba were in every breath. I didn't want him there. I wanted him outside of me. I wanted him to comfort me. I wanted him to be somewhere that I could scream at him. But it was as if he were inside me. And absolutely silent.

This was not what I wanted at all. I went home from the Center very upset.

I went to work the next day more from habit than from desire. I'd made up my mind to tell my boss I was quitting, but she wasn't there. When a pair of married couples walked into the office together, I took them on a tour of the resort.

Usually it's a disaster taking 2 couples on a sales tour. If one couple likes something, the other couple hates it. You can never get a rhythm going, and they never buy.

Not these folks. They loved the place. They liked everything together exactly the same. They couldn't find enough nice things to say.

I showed them one condo, and one couple completely fell in love with it. They wanted a beachfront condo to vacation in, and they decided to buy it. The other couple looked a little depressed . . . they had wanted it too.

I took them next door and showed them an IDENTICAL condo. The OTHER couple decided to buy as well!

As we drove back through the resort, the first couple asked if we sold small investment condos as well. As it happened we did sell them! When they saw one, the couple asked to buy one of these also!

The other couple asked, jokingly, whether the investment condo next door was for sale.

As it so happened, it was. They decided to buy that one, too.

I had just sold 4 condos in 1 hour!

Now came the hard part . . . acting calm while I prepared 4 sets of contracts for them to sign . . . looking nonchalant while they worried over each of the clauses and paragraphs they were about to sign . . . staying relaxed while the whole deal could blow up in my face.

I prepared the papers and passed them around the table.

As they were signing they asked how long it took to close. 30 to 45 days, I told them.

Couldn't we do it faster than that? they asked. Like in a couple of weeks?

I couldn't believe my luck.

Just as the last man was about to sign, he put the pencil down and looked at me very oddly. Everyone had been laughing just a moment before, but now he seemed very serious, almost fierce.

"Well," he said to me, "this will take the heat off, won't it?"

I think my mouth must have fallen open.

"I said this will take the heat off." He looked at me quite fiercely.

The man's wife seemed uncomfortable, and told him to lighten up. He shook her off.

"No! He works hard! He deserves to get paid." He again looked at me. "Isn't that right?"

I nodded.

"He deserves to feed his family."

I again nodded. Everyone at the table was silent now, disturbed by what was being said. The man's wife in particular seemed very embarrassed.

"Look he just sold 4 condos. How often does that happen? I'm just observing that this sale will take the heat off for a while. OK?"

He looked at me, then at his wife. There was a stunned silence at the table. Then the man seemed to collect himself. He shook his head slightly. "I'm sorry," he said to me. "I don't know what came over me."

He smiled sheepishly at me and signed his contract.

It's been many years since that happened. As it happened, three of those 4 contracts blew up, and the one that survived didn't close for 90 days, but 2 others I sold a few days later closed in a matter of days — as it happened, the very day our bank account reached zero. But by that point, and since that time, I had given up feeling as if I had any control over my life. I have found out for certain Baba is the real boss, that he is the boss of everything, the boss of bosses, and that there is nothing, NOTHING, that is beyond his concern or his power.

In his holy moustache.

Jay Schauer

Reposted with permission from a post on Baba-talk, 11/14/99
Originally posted circa 1996

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