Friday, August 29, 2008

I Hate Mondays

I had a tee shirt when I was nine that said "I hate Mondays" with a kitten on it, I literally had a epileptic  seizure in the store until my mom bought it for me. The tee shirt was somewhat of a foreshadowing for my future career of straight
commission sales.

I am fiercely
competitive, aggressive, and never satisfied. All good things in a sales job, but also qualities that will make you crazy. Despite being in sales for going on 14 years I am still constantly in a tizzy of stress. Honestly if ludes were still legally available I would probably try to score some. I live in my car going on calls and have more than a handful of times I have driven off from the bank drive thru with the plastic money container in my car or driven away from a drive thru after paying for my food but not actually getting it. My commute is an hour each way and sometimes I will drive in silence with my mouth open in catching flies mode dreaming of a much simpler time when Val and I would sing Prince's "Raspberry Beret" into a mic with a cassette recorder and then listen back to it and laugh hysterically at our tone deaf voices.  Of course we always had a little stolen gin from one of our parents liquor cabinets to get our Prince party started. In our defense we lived in Tucson, AZ and since we didn't golf or play bridge we were seriously hard up for entertainment.

I was thrown into the pitfalls of my career early on. Only 24 I was clueless and would wear mini skirts with giant safety pins on the side, tights and high heel loafers to work, my boss gave me a
Come to Jesus on my wardrobe and off to Ann Taylor I went. I was young but I was determined not to fail, I cold called a copier company (Xanadu) which would soon become my largest client.

My client at Xanadu was in her 50' s and I would soon learn she was also completely
psycho and jealous of my youth. She was also really into Jimmy Buffet (beware of the psycho Parrot Heads). Despite our close business relationship and my super service she would call my boss and complain about me and then call me the next day and insist that Daddy Warbucks and I come to their house that weekend for "Cheeseburgers In Paradise." She would tell me I was so green and that she wanted to meet me for coffee when I was 50. I wanted to say, "Bitch, when I'm 50 you will be crapping in your pants"

I sold her a sponsorship of a huge Olympic breakfast sponsored by our company where there would be an appearance by Michael Johnson the former "fastest man in the world" (and based on a previous meeting I had with him, quite possibly "prick" could be added to that title.)
30 minutes after he was supposed to be there, my manager grabbed himself a huge plate of pancakes, I was flop sweating and told him I
couldn't believe he was eating nor could Parrot Head who was giving me a huge "where the hell is Michael Johnson hairy eyeball."

fastest man in the world never did show to the ginormous breakfast in his honor. Luckily there were some other D-list Olympic athletes there to distract, although they were sitting in front of giant photo scrims of the worlds-fastest-prick's face. Two weeks post this disaster and continued abuse from my client she was transferred to Florida of all places and I never heard from her again. Perhaps she joined some David Koresh-like Jimmy buffet cult.

A year after the Xanadu incident I had hit my stride and bought myself a three series red BMW with a
spoiler, to this day that is my favorite car I have owned. Daddy W and I lived downtown in a loft so I was constantly lost trying to find appts on the other side of town. On one of the busiest highways I whipped out my mapsco, which I naturally tried to read while going about 30 mph on a 70mph highway. A silver much more expensive Beamer was as close to my tail as possible and soon honking at me over and over. We both exited and stopped at a red light - him behind me as I waited for the green light to turn yellow so that he would miss the light. Of course he honked like crazy and went completely ape shit when I did this, running the red light. At this point he was on the side of me yelling profanities, I pulled my window down called him, and I quote "A doucebag dickweed" followed by "fuckstick" all while giving the best finger I could arm fully extended out.

We both pulled into the same parking lot and parked in opposite directions I was getting a little worried he might confront me however he ended up  parking far away from where I was. I grabbed my media kit took a deep breath and asked for "Steve
Hancock." The assistant led me into his office and we locked eyes. Blood rushed to my head and I briefly threw up in my mouth. Steve Hancock, my new prospect major insurance company client, was indeed "fuckstick."
With a completely flushed face and no eye contact I tried to pitch my product and pretend our road rage exchange did not really happen. Steve just listened and stared at me, I thought he might possibly hit a button under his desk and have security remove me. He called in "John" to meet me saying he was also in marketing. I raced out of there when done and I think I may have momentarily blacked out, all the while knowing John was listening to the story of that crazy bitch on the road. Needless to say I didn't make the sale.

Embarrassingly, this last incident happened recently. My manager and I went to see an existing client whom I really liked but talks incredibly slow and loves to tell stories. An hour into his story,  I had completely zoned out on his War and Peace story. He had been talking about the beauty of his hometown in Iowa and said how he loves the four seasons. I missed the entire first part and said, "Oh yes I love that hotel too." My boss said, " Umm Parker, he is talking about the actual four seasons like fall/summer. "

These are just a few perils and one of the more positive aspects of my job is that no day is ever the same and you never know what to expect. You might even get to release some stress and flip off a client.

1 comment:

Katie said...

Oooo man, that sucks! Funny for me though. :) Did you ever notice as a kid how deep your voice sounds after you record it onto a cassette? I was always a little freaked out by that...or was it just me?