This is what he said in his Memoire.
"I worked in the Vancouver Herald for a time to supplement our income by selling subscriptions over the phone. About fifty sellers were in separate cubbyholes, and we were each given a sheet out of the phone book. You called each number with a sob story about paying for a crippled children's Easter bus and the like. You got 15 cents for each subscriptions you sold and the manager got 5 cents each for all the subscriptions sold by the fifty cubbyhole occupants. The hours were 5 pm to 9 pm. I got home at 10 pm and ate. I caught the bus at 7 am the next morning to go to my regular job. I made 15 dollars a week selling subscriptions."
Each time I read his story and every time I receive a telephone pitch from someone, I think of my dad, coping as best as he could at the time with a family and an income shortfall. I am ambivalent about boiler rooms and the hardships of telephone sales persons because of him. But we are called in this life to value connectedness and avoid judgment. We can't really say we are able to walk in anyone else's shoes. I have to say to myself, "Just shut up and do your best."