Chris Eller likes to talk with his customers.
“A lot of them talk about politics, a passionate subject; Trump, of course and ISIS and the Middle East. I read the papers every day. It’s important to be an informed citizen in this crazy world.”
He’s not sure how to make it less crazy.
“I don’t want to be that guy that’s telling people what to do. If I could convince people to not go to war, take advantage of each other financially and other ways — I don’t think people are so likely to listen, but it would be nice.”
Chris is from the Tri-Cities. His father, originally an accountant, moved into upper management of his company; his mother is a medical transcriptionist. The family moved to King County when Chris was a kid.
“They moved all around the country since. I stayed here.”
He has a brother in Seattle and his grandparents have a big farm — “as far as you can see in every direction” — near Spokane.
Chris stays because Seattle is a beautiful place.
“I love nature, going for walks on the beach, out in the woods. I really like Lincoln Park.”
He’s seen porpoises, otters and sea lions there.
Chris likes to read, too.
“I just got done reading “The Odyssey.” Now I’ve got “The Iliad,” and I’m reading that.”
He also plays guitar — “a little bit” — and sings.
“I like a lot of everything, blues, rock, Alice in Chains, Tool, Johnny Cash, Muddy Waters. It’s a great way to have fun.”
Chris likes selling Real Change because “it’s not an actual ‘job’ job. You can set your own hours and work as much or as little as you want at whatever time of day.
I love that it’s here, but I’m not going to be doing it forever. Even after I’m done, I’d like to support it, volunteer, make a contribution.
“I was doing little side jobs [before], and I’ve gotten back into that a little bit. One of my customers has a landscaping company. We laid lawn a couple days ago, and sod, never done that before.
“I’d really like to be a pilot. I’ve thought about that for years, bounced around to different jobs, a cook, driving. I’ve had friends got a four-year degree and took out massive loans, and then they got in the profession and it wasn’t something they wanted to do. A pilot is something I could see myself doing. Getting to travel the world and do a service and make some money.”
In the meantime, he tries to listen to his customers. Besides politics, “people talk about their kids and their careers and their pets. I’m somebody they can confide in. It’s not about trying to give advice, because I don’t know if I do give the best advice. Having somebody that listens and cares means a lot to people, so I’m trying to do what I can.”
Read the full June 7 issue.
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