Bending without breaking


We all like to keep some parts of ourselves hidden. It’s the soft easily bruised parts that we keep under disguise. For example, I know quite a few bikers in the area I live in. They are mostly a gruff and macho group, even the women. However, if you were to ask them to participate in a charity, they would be the first to volunteer. They are the ones who drop in a $20 in jars you see in your local gas station when most other people drop in change. They are the ones that go on poker runs, not really wanting any sort of return on the money that they spend, well except for the BBQ at the end anyway. Some I would not doubt come home and would be happy with a lap full of children, puppies and kittens.

Appearance can be deceiving. Those that are shy, are probably the ones that desire attention. Those that are gruff, might just hide a sensitivity that would surprise you. Those that work hard often just disguise their procrastination in keeping so busy they get everything done.

I have a few things I keep hidden. For the most part I am kind of shy and quiet. What I would really like to be is more assertive and loud, but things never work out quite that way. I like to put on the appearance that I am very capable and can do anything. I am a workaholic, at work anyway ( my house is opposite please don’t ask to look). I tend to take on more than I can handle.

About three months ago, we did a lot of things different in the paper that I work for. We are a very small weekly. Its an established paper that has been around in one form or another for over 100 years. For the past 10 years or so we have not had a sales person for our paper, but I was told that I would be the best person to start selling. I have worked for the paper for two years doing composition, or building pages and ads, so I knew the inside of the paper. It was time I knew it from the outside.

As I said above, I am kind of shy and quiet. I can talk to people, but I sometimes tend to be a little standoffish to some. I also have no experience selling at all. Well except for the people who come in the office to buy an ad. Another thing, the call list we have at the office is about eight years old. We did not have contacts, what the billing addresses were, who to talk to, when they were liable to be in, or anything! So after a brief week of training, a seminar and a few walk throughs, I was sent out on my own to sell.

At first I got a few easy sales, and I was elated. It was fun to be out of the office, and meeting people. I had a few projects to sell, but more and more often, I found that I was turned down. The area where I am selling has a lot of competition. Three other papers, six radio stations, cable TV and I have found out that the yellow pages are hitting the area at the moment.

So what if the area is supposed to have a very large sum of money running through it? These people make their budget in December and January, they might splurge for a few small ads here and there, but a large ad campaign in a paper they have barely heard of, of course they are going to tell me no!

The last two weeks have been rough. I went a full week without a yes. Last week I did not even want to go back and try. I did get out, but it was a huge struggle. My manager called, and I cried at work. It was embarrassing but even more than that it was frustrating. This is not a job for a rookie to do. I know that I can accept that. But damnit! If I am not making sales, then take a look and see if something is wrong! I am trying!

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