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A funny thing happened on the way...
by Holli Foster
Jul 28, 2010 | 168 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
There was a time when a job in sales did not appeal to me at all. It’s not that I didn’t think I would be good at it, like I have said before, I have an overly inflated sense of self due to ridiculously supportive family members.

My problem with sales is rejection. I just cannot stand to hear the word no. My parents will confirm it is not something I have heard abundantly over the years. In my mind, the times I have heard it have served as an opening to negotiations. I spent much of my life planning to become a lawyer and eventually the first woman president.

When I first starting making my sales calls I was excited about the high “yes” rate I was hitting. And then came the “no’s.” I was so frustrated I decided I disliked sales more than I thought I would. But Leslye at Alamo Lumber kept telling me to look at the positive side. Every day is different, it’s not mundane, and you are helping people to fulfill a need; it’s a purposeful occupation.

Over the last four months I have come to agree with him. No occupation will be perfect but this one has a lot of perks. I drive a lot and when I am in the car it is kind of my solace time. I listen to what I want to listen to and no child is yelling about something they cannot reach.

I see and speak with different people every day. And sometimes I do not even need to drive to my clients. I can walk down the street, enjoy the sunshine and get a little exercise all while working.

Last week I was doing just this, making sales calls on foot. I walked down to Jauer’s and then across to Witte’s enjoying the blistering south Texas heat. As I was on the way to Jauer’s I encountered something that happens somewhat regularly but is not something I feel I should have to get used to.

Pretty much the whole way down the street as I walked I was ogled by these two men standing in the doorway. I went in, had a short conversation and left through the same door. I was not wearing anything provocative, just jeans and a dressy summer top.

I was at Witte’s chatting with some people and Carl Hummel remarked on having witnessed the guys with their eyeballs falling out of their head. He found it offensive. I find it offensive. Sadly I have had even worse encounters.

On several occasions I have been on foot doing sales in Kenedy. Anyone who has had to cross Main Street on any given weekday has an idea of how many big trucks travel down that street. Although I have nothing exceptional that sets me apart, just legs and a lack of the Y chromosome, I can’t tell you how many times I have been honked or hollered at by the drivers. As if a truck honk and yelling “owww, hey baby!” is going to make me jump up in that big rig and ride off into the sunset?

If anyone reading this is a man who honks his horn to flirt with a woman crossing the street, I would like to ask you several questions. Has this ever worked before? Did the woman stop and give you her number? Or have they all continued to walk on as if you do not exist?

If by some crazy chance it did get her positive attention, is this the woman you want to marry and procreate with? Did you always envision telling your children “well I picked up your momma when she was crossin’ the street and we lived happily ever after?”

And my last question is this, which generation of men allowed chivalry to die? Steve Harvey has a book out entitled “Act like a woman, think like a man.” I will admit I read it. Part of it actually did make sense to me, and part of it really irked me. His advice to women is to behave like a lady; this consists of never opening your own door, never offering to pick up a check, making him drive, etcetera, etcetera.

Wow, thanks Steve, now I know what I have been doing wrong. I adapted to the behavior of men, or at least the great majority of the ones I know. Maybe it was the feminists who ruined it all for those of us that enjoy having the door opened for us. But then again, maybe it was the men.

So here’s a thought Steve Harvey: Write a book instructing men how to behave like gentlemen. I have a son, and although he is six he opens the door for his mom and sister. And men, if you are honking and hollering at women, try this. Pull over, step out of your vehicle and go open the door she is about to enter, compliment her and respectfully invite her to accompany you to dinner.

I know, it sounds foreign, but it used to be common practice from what I hear.

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