Wednesday, December 01, 2004

...An Addendum to my "Things to be Thankful For" List

I suppose it is inevitable that the spectacular eventually becomes the mundane.

Take sex for example. I remember being in high school, when sex occurred for me, at best, sporadically, and thinking how much happier my life would be if I was in a relationship where I could have sex whenever I wanted.

I bet that version of myself would have been quite disappointed in the 18-year-old me. My college girlfriend had come up from the LA area to stay with me for a few days during the Summer while my parents were out of town at a cousin’s wedding. One afternoon after she had just finished taking a shower, she came into the room I was in, walked over to where I was sitting and started to slowly hike up her towel – an obvious invitation for some sex. But my favorite wrestling newsletter had just arrived in the mail, so I chose to decline. It wasn’t that I had gotten bored with sex; it was just that it was happening often enough for me that it simply wasn’t that big of a deal anymore

Professionally speaking, my first year out of college, when I was working a dead-end customer service job alongside people who I’m not sure had even finished high school, spending my days doing what amounted to data entry, I knew that the one thing that stood between me and professional happiness was a position in sales. Not only would the pay be much better, but it would also bring what I truly desired which was the respect, admiration and high-esteem the position brought with it.

When I was finally offered a sales position within the company, I did earn all those things I had hoped for, but also found the job was often stressful, the pedestal salespeople were put on was not nearly as high as I had imagined, and that when you earn more money, ultimately it just means that you end up spending more money. I would never have traded my new position for my old entry-level one, but it didn’t quite live up to the spectacular fantasies I had imagined in my mind beforehand.

Likewise, for years I dreamed of owning my own business. Working for other people, I was often frustrated by silly restrictions on my ability to sell, like territorial limitations, having no control over the marketing that could potentially increase sales and the huge corporate bureaucracy that made it near impossible to ever get anything done.

Don’t get me wrong. Every day I count my lucky stars that I don’t have to answer to a moronic boss, that I now look forward to Mondays instead of dreading them and don’t have to ask permission like a 1st-grader if I need to leave early or want to take a day off.

But even owning my own business has a certain sameness to it to the degree that eventually it just sort of becomes like any other job minus a few annoyances. There are definitely the days when 5 o’clock can’t come fast enough or when I look at the piles of paperwork on my desk and wish I could have some low-level job where one mistake on my part wouldn’t send the entire company into shambles.

So it is nice when something happens to break up the normal routine and remind me of how lucky I am.

Yesterday, I had a sales call at a company that manufactures lube. Sometimes it’s good to be me.
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