Two 'Fer

Back Next

In his youth, before James Cooley became a railroad mogul, he was employed as a traveling salesman for the Baldwin Locomotive Company. Of all the prospective customers he wanted to see, none was more prized than Terence Jackson, sales and purchasing manager of the Delaware and Lackawanna Railroad. Jackson was a difficult man to see, especially for an unknown salesman.

"I would like to see Mr. Jackson," the ambitious Cooley told Jackson's secretary. He handed her his card.

Cooley's business card was taken into the inner office, where activities could be seen through the partly opened door. Cooley saw Jackson tear his card in half and throw it in the dustbin. The secretary returned and told Cooley that Jackson would not see him.

"May I have my card back?" Cooley asked innocently.

Embarrassed, the girl retreated into the inner office, returning a few moments later with a nickel and a curt message.

"Mr. Jackson says that your card was destroyed, but he hopes the five cents will repay the cost of printing it."

Without any hesitation whatever, Cooley drew another card from his pocket and presented it to the girl.

"Take this back to him," said he, "and tell him I sell cards two for a nickel ..."