Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! Oooohahahahahahahahahahahaha! (cough,cough)!
Please pardon me! I know this is not a civil way to start a conversation. I mean with a laughter which threatens to overshoot the decibel levels prescribed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court for fire crackers. But then I just could not hold back given the hilarious scenario drawn out by this sweet little ignorant friend of mine. I am sorry, it should be Boss of mine. Here is a ready refresher for you!
Confessions first. No, I was not interested in becoming an Engineer or a Doctor and I didn’t even pretend trying to be one. No I was not keen on an MBA degree and attain the cushy comforts of an AC cabin either. I became what I wanted to, a Salesman. Not to be confused with sales managers, country heads et el who dish out high sounding discourse delivered in lyrical English. I wanted to be the crux of the wheel, the nuts and bolts of a successful sales team which delivered results. The dirty your hands brigade which is in the forefront of a market war. The driver, the accelerator on which depend the entire future of a product, service or the company. The real meaningful work. Not for me the hours spent on ‘XL’ sheets and conjuring up imaginary data. Not for me the frequent bouts with power points to dispense fundas which have no bearing on the market place. I wanted the ‘high’ of putting an entry barrier to competition, convert their customers, switch their consumers, create a network of loyal partners impossible to breach, improve and retain market share or minimize the loss of it. In short I wanted to be the man of action and not just the “Boardroomla punch dialogue” kind of MBAs. Not for me the perils of blood pressure because you are sitting helpless in an AC cabin far away from the front depending on someone else to deliver for you. Not for me the ulcers and indigestion because should you fail, you lose your entire standing among superiors, peers and subordinates. Not for me the fear of a pink slip as there are always millions of openings for a ’25 years expert in field work’ as against the lonely on top kind of positions. To be the kinds who like mosquitoes, cockroaches and Mallus can survive anything. In a nutshell a soldier who would rather die fighting, win or lose than a General wearing meaningless medals or signing surrender document.
I would be lying if these were the only motivation for me to become a Salesman. Look at the perks I enjoy. My day starts at 11 AM with a visit to the tea kadai patented by us salesman in the market place. Notes are exchanged with salesman of various other companies who in their ignorance start early and come to the joint to report ‘market situation’ and more often than not do my portion of the selling.(I am regularly in a position to make ‘offers’ to salesmen of small 2/2, garage sized ‘local’ companies you see!) A few more rounds of tea, masala vadai and market gossip later, I break to Annachi Mess for my favorite ‘meen’ curry lunch. Depending on the weather an early trek homewards for a couple of hours of siesta is often indulged in. Or another visit to the tea kadai for hot bajjis. Once a week I take a detour to the distributors office, collect all the data of sales done by ‘me’, prepare the report, ‘patao’ the distributor into signing a sales order and walk into the ‘AC Cabin’ for my weekly dose of ‘blood pressure, ulcers and piles’. The session might last between one to three hours depending on the dates. They are longer during the month ends for obvious reasons. All ‘hot air’ is silently tolerated, defended when possible or deftly redirected when not so. Should the same go beyond tolerable limits, “Business is bad Sir, if you don’t believe me why don’t you come to the market and see for yourself” cools down the temperature. (These AC cabinwallas get out of it only to go home!) Not for me the promotions which I have been regularly rejecting. A much-in-demand man, who every time I get an offer from the competition, cajole my company into giving me a raise. And now I hold the honour of the highest paid salesman in the company! Why wouldn’t I take the promotion you ask? Read further.
ON DUTY is a phrase perfected by our clan of Salesmen. Marriage to attend? On duty! School fees of children to be paid or the monthly PTM? On duty! Queue up for tickets for the latest Super Star movie to be watched? On duty! Dravid is batting now? On duty! Dhoni will be batting next? On duty! From bus pass to bike repair, from a visit to Marina to even babysitting. We don’t take time off. We are ON DUTY! In fact the quip doing the rounds is that we salesman should be added to the list of services under ESMA like Police, Hospitals, Fire Service etc! We are always on duty.
AND the pleasure of frequently ‘bossing’ over these freshly graduated ‘suit-boot-tie’ type MBAs is priceless! No money and definitely no Master card can buy this pinnacle of pleasure. Sheer Nirvana! I call them boss but they know who actually is! Nothing matches the ecstasy of showing them their place, breaking them in, making their bones as the expression is. As you would have guessed, I delight in ‘training’ them. I don’t have AC cabins, company cars, company credit cards, the works and neither do I crave for these as long as I get a regular dose of this tail wagging the dog. The ultimate aphrodisiac.
To reiterate, I am happy, in fact proud of what I am, a Salesman! And why do I get this funny feeling that many of you would like to join me!
Thanks @Rfed1! Your ‘Boss’ has been a real help!