Cesar left Cal Van Auto Leasing under
suspicious circumstances. He claimed he was doing well, making
a lot of gelt, but he ‘knew’ he could do better on
his own, working out of his Mom's apartment. (He knew and used
some Yiddish as he was in the schmatta business for a few years.)
I still remember their phone number:
Ordway 3-.1948. I would call and Mrs. Murillo would answer, “Bueno.”
I’d reply, “Senora Murillo, Como estas? Cesar en casa?”
She would answer, “No en casa,” followed by a few
other words in Spanish. I would leave my number in Spanish. I
just wanted to check in with Cesar to see how he was doing under
the new setup and to see if he was still leasing cars.
After a few attempts with Mrs. Murillo,
one day I actually caught Cesar at home. I asked him if he had
received any of my phone messages. He told me that his mom was
in the early stages of Alzheimer disease, and that she forgets
to give him messages.
I said, “Since your mom has that
problem and considering that she knows no English, wouldn’t
it be a good idea for business to get an answering service?”
(No answering machines in those days.)
He thought it was a good idea and thanked me for it. However,
this award winning suggestion was never implemented.
Surprise? Cesar was out looking for another
gig shortly thereafter.