Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Slice of Life: Sales

Got to thinking today about an old job I had for about six months during my senior year in high school. I worked at a little store called Bavarian Village Ski & Golf. I didn't know a damn thing about skiing; I was hired as kind of a stock-boy/grunt by the manager of the Golf side of things.

It wasn't exactly the most fun job I'd ever had, but it was eye-opening. Not in a "shattering of innocence" kind of way. More of a "people are strange" kind of way. Or perhaps an "I Don't Really Fit In" kind of way.

I certainly learned that
 some people take stuff way too seriously. These salesmen, on the ski and golf side, were an intense lot. Everything was about the bottom line and there were a few that would seemingly stop at nothing to make a commission. And at what cost? None of them seemed happy. Or even remotely satisfied. I'm pretty sure they didn't read anything besides ski 
magazines. And I know none of them spent any time with their families. They were driven in some way, that's for sure. And at the time (and in a way still) it was a drive that was completely foreign to me.
There were exceptions, of course. One (Dan, or maybe Dave), claimed to have a law degree but said he lacked the drive to be a lawyer. He told us he was selling skis until he "figured out what to do." It's quite possible he's still there. I guess it's also quite possible that he didn't really have a law degree...

Regardless, the cast of characters was overwhelmingly bizarre and foreign to me. They were "Type-A." I was more "Type-C." They threw themselves into selling fiberglass sticks. I threw myself into...not much. But I did a bang-up job taking out the trash. And changing light bulbs, which was actually my favorite task. What's not to like about a little ladder climbing followed by smashing those bad boys in the dumpster? 

The job didn't last long, maybe 6 months. They tried to turn me into a golf club salesman. Oh, and golf shoes, too. I'm sure you can imagine how that turned out. As soon as I discovered they were hiring stock boys at Target, I was gone.

But sometimes I wonder where those guys are now. I'm all but certain they wouldn't remember me, let alone recognize me. Kind of weird, seeing as how they're so tightly woven into the fabric of my memory. Either way, I'm sure they're obsessed with selling people with more money than me things that they don't really need. I'll continue to live the Type-C life, thank you very much.

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