Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Twist Of Noir 644 - Keith Rawson


So are you gonna close her or not?

I don’t know. I think I am. She seems like she could go either way.

It seemed like a good call, at least from what I heard.

Yeah? I dunno. I thought I could have sharpened up the close a little bit.

Why? That was flawless as far as I could tell.

You don’t think saying I was going to fuck her skull was a little harsh?

Absolutely not, it created a sense of urgency. Most reps are so lax about what they want the student to do. With you, though, that student knows you want to fuck her skull. She knows you want to play in her blood. You stated your intentions and what you wanted her next move to be and I’d call that real progression.

I guess.’re right, of course, you’re right.

What’d you like about the call?

Oh, I have to think about that one...I guess I like the easiness of the call. The rapport I’ve developed with the student really shows through with the call. I mean, most students wouldn’t pick up the phone at 2 o’clock in the morning, right? Most students would just let the call go straight through to voicemail, but she picked up.

I liked that, too.


Of course. Rapport and trust are the two biggest areas they cover in training, right? We want the student to feel the need to pick up the phone no matter what time of day or night it is. Whether it’s 5 pm or 2 am, the student has to feel compelled to pick up the phone, because your call’s that important. That the information you have to convey cannot wait. So, tell me what you didn’t like about the call.

Uuuummm......I guess I didn’t like the part when I mentioned how important her enrollment was to my job.

That’s right. You’ve been doing this job long enough to know to never mention that your job is dependent on whether she enrolls or not. Why don’t we want to mention that to the student?

Um, ugh... it makes the student feel like they’re just a number?

That’s right. We want the student to feel important, like they’re an individual.


If they feel like they’re nothing but a number, chances are they’re not going to want to enroll and they’ll decide to go to one of our competitors instead. Plus, there’s the possibility that a student might get upset and decide to go to the Department of Education with their concerns, and the last thing we need is the DOE poking their nose around here questioning our curriculum, questioning our accreditation. I mean, we lose our accreditation, you lose your job, I lose my job, everybody loses their jobs. So make sure you keep that aspect out of your conversations from here on out.

I will. It won’t ever happen again.

Good. Now, what do you think your next step should be?

I don’t know...I was thinking an at home visit might be my next best course of action.

Have you ever done an at home visit before?

I tried, but she was getting ready to move and the police were there.

So she just blew off the appointment?


So maybe she didn’t take you as seriously last time?


Do you think this time will be different?

I don’t know.

I think it will be. I think she’ll be more receptive because of the urgency you created. I just think you need to bring the right materials. What’d you bring with you last time?

A couple of course catalogs.

Good, but I’d bring a few other things. A couple knives, maybe a razor, let her know your intentions are real. So let’s go ahead and make that your action item for the week.

BIO: Keith Rawson is a little known pulp writer who lives in the alkaline desert wastelands of southern Arizona with his wife and very energetic three-year-old daughter. His stories have appeared in such publications as Plots with Guns, Pulp Pusher,, Bad Things, Powder Burn Flash, A Twist of Noir, Beat to a Pulp, Needle Magazine and many others. Keith is a frequent contributor to BSCreview, a staff writer with Spinetingler Magazine and, along with Cameron Ashley and Liam Jose, he edits and publishes Crimefactory Magazine. You can also find him stroking his overinflated ego at his blog, Bloody Knuckles, Callused Fingertips.


David Cranmer said...

I'm not sure where I've just been but I like it. Unique, Mr. Rawson. Very unique and unsettling (in a superb way.)

AJ Hayes said...

I knew it! I knew Keith has done his time at selling cars. (It takes one to know one.)That's one hell of an helpful sales manager. This damn thing crawled inside my head and will be making me chuckle out loud for a couple weeks. And. I'll be very careful of the wording in the next community college catalog I find laying around. Thanks man. Cool.

Paul D Brazill said...


Eric Beetner said...

Every time I think I can't be more afraid of you, Rawson, you turn it up a notch. What a dark a frightening basement your mind must be . . .
Nice work.

Chris Benton said...

Very nice continuation of an ingenious mood.

Michael Solender said...

pulled and kept pulling and is still pulling. very cold.

Kieran Shea said...

exploring form! yes!

Sean Patrick Reardon said...

A nice continuation of your 602 story. Liked getting the POV from the caller this time around.

Charlieopera said...

Clever and engaging. Didn't stop once i started reading. Way to go, Keith. Dynamite.

Have a great holiday season, brother.

Joyce said...

Went back and re-read 602, then read this again. Now, I've got twice the chills. This is not like horror type scary, it's like yes-it-could-happen type scary, which is so much more terrifying. Interesting marketing plan this school has. No one will ever have to remind me not to send for info from ANYWHERE! SO GOOD.

Hilary Davidson said...

This was just excellent. Bravo, Keith!

Nigel Bird said...

really like this piece. a great twist as well as being twisted. this kind of interview (at the core of it) will be familiar to so many - the nature of the business hopefully not.

Chris Rhatigan said...

Nasty as a paper cut! All dialogue stories are tough and you nailed it.

Naomi Johnson said...

So glad I'm not one of your co-workers, Keith. Excellent story, one that makes me smile even while it gives me chills -- but I expect no less from you.