The Pursuit of Inevitable Failure, Chapter One: Commissions and Sex. Did a Life In Sales Kill my Love Life?

Authors Note: One day I made the decision to write about the past 12 years of my life in the world of sales. Then, a funny  (not funny) thing happened; I noticed it felt eerily similar to other blogs I’ve written.  Then, then I asked myself a question:

Self, do you treat women like you treat your clients? And did your progression in sales cause a regression in your relationships?

So, I decided to juxtapose my radio life with my love (or lack thereof) life. 

But first, an example of a typical morning of a single, advertising salesman. 

PRAYER

I wake having to pee.

I drink a lot of water.

Now, I’m somnolent, yet somehow the flashing light coming from my Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus magically pierces through my eyelids and finds the dark batcave I hide my anxiety.

Without thought or fail, a silent prayer is said,

“Please Sweet, Compassionate, Loving God, don’t let that yourforesaken blinking light represent a pissed off client ruining my day before it even has a chance to begin!”

What could the client possibly say to do so?

“My ad didn’t play!”

“My wrong ad played!” (This is much, much worse)

“My ad played back to back with my competition!” (Huge in a small market such as Rutland, VT or Glens Falls, NY. But excludes car dealers unless they are, let us say, two Ford dealers playing back to back.)

“My wrong ad played back to back with my competition!” (I don’t have to explain how incompetent this makes you feel even though in sales, you have little to any control to traffic. [traffic places the commercials where they play])

And my favorite:

“Give me some Great Escape, concert, rodeo, wrestling, or anything tickets or else I’m pulling my advertising!”

Authors Note: Radio stations are notorious for their ticket giveaways. “Caller # 10” shit.  Well, because of this, clients think you have an infinite supply of tickets.  Not understanding, or choosing to be ignorant of the fact that the purpose of tickets giveaways is to increase listenership. In particularly the stations Time Spent Listening [TSL]. Or, more importantly, bring customers for advertisers to solicit their goods/services to the stations airwaves…However, when unable to provide the client tickets, they have said, “You know, maybe I should give my money to, blah, blah, blah. I bet they can get me tickets!”  Because their marketing decisions are solely based on whether or not the station can get them a free pair of fucking Travis Tritt tickets?  That’s a country singer, right? By the way, this was an actual conversation a week, A WEEK, after I got him tickets to another show he wanted. When you’re in advertising sales, you not only have the standard management you answer to; you have to also answer how many ever clients you have.  Think about that. 

Stop being so melodramatic and just look at the goddamn phone, right?

 

If I look, they win.

Plus, there is this blue light emitted from our phones which, I guess, will wake me up. Like my flighty, effervescent, easily diagnosable A.D.D. mind isn’t already doing psilocybin influenced triple axels.

Nonetheless, I have to pee.

Dilemma, I don’t have a window in my bathroom.

What does that mean?

No starlight, star bright, please let me see my pee hit the toilet tonight.

And we’ve already established I refuse to subject my eyes to any light, so…

Before I conclude the previous prayer about blinking lights and temperamental clients with its highly anticipated conclusion of “Amen”…

I say another prayer…

“Please, kind-hearted, forgiving, great sense of humor God, please let next thing I hear be pee hitting water. Amen.”

I do, and my countenance looks like I’m stoned with my eyes slit and a grin representing relief.

That only lasts for a brief moment until my body reminds me what I had for dinner last night; asparagus.

My grin dissipates and yes ladies, the opening scene from “40 Year-Old-Virgin” couldn’t be more spot on.

I waddle back to my bedroom and step in something squishy.  I can only assume it’s something “Nightman Keith” decided he needed to consume at 11:37PM.

I belly flop onto my foolishly purchased off of Overstock.com white comforter. Why are white comforters the dumbest invention since Zubaz Pants?

Zubaz

One time, one time the aforementioned Nightman ate something chocolate.  Let us just say when you wake up the next morning and completely forgot about your midnight meal; there is a flash of sheer panic and you… You can figure it out.  (I thought I pooped my bed…I’m working on my writing clarity)

One of my eyes is submerged in my one time Virgin Snowman white comforter. Now, it looks like it runs “tricks” in Comstock prison for cartons of Kools.

Meanwhile, my other eye is being blinded and tortured by the interminable blinking light.

I will not give in.

I can’t.

What can I do to put my mind at rest?

“Sexytime Keith” decides to make his presence felt and proclaims,

“You know what to do…”

brown chicken brown cow

Not thinking, I go to grab my phone ready to Google “Lesbian Massage Seductions”. (Don’t judge me)

Then I quickly remember,

“That goddamn blue light!”

I become disheartened and a feeling of hopelessness sets in, until…

“Douche, you’re this up and coming screenwriter NO ONE has ever heard of. Well, other than a few guys at the office, your cynical family, and the three people who read your blog. We got this.”

My crusted eyes slam shut, and my mind does its own search. (I call it Oogle) 

“Lesbian Massage Seductions”

Or wait…

“First-time Lesbian Massage Seductions”

Or wait…

“Interracial Lesbian Massage Seductions”

Or wait…

“First-time Interracial Lesbian Massage Seductions.”

BOOM!

But calm down tiger, it’s too early in the morning and I realize with the amount of anxiety building coupled with the excitement of my imagination; I’m a belt around the neck away from being David Carradine.

I’ve “settled” on a brunette masseuse with blue eyes named Orchid and a mulatto vixen with green eyes named Jasmine.

Jasmine knocks on Orchids door.  (Pretty sure 98% of porn starts with a knock at the door. And let me say being unemployed for the past month, you do wonder; what IF someone just knocked at my door?)

fat woman with tattoos

Orchid opens the door to her extravagant mansion which also doubles as her private massage studio. (Business is good)

Both ladies are wearing skin-tight dresses and enough makeup to pose as either models or prostitutes. Archetypal for masseuses and those about to be massaged.

Jasmine tells Orchid she doesn’t know what to expect because she’s never had a massage before.

Orchid tells her she’s in for a treat because she uses a “special technique” which her clients seem to enjoy.

Jasmine tells her she comes highly recommended from the “gals at the gym”.

Fast forward to Jasmine, lying on the massage table covered only by two hand towels and lavender scented massage oil.

Orchid is massaging Jasmines legs with long, soft, sensual strokes. For some reason, unbeknownst to Jasmine, Orchid is in lingerie.  Orchids hand moves further up Jasmines’ thigh. It seductively approaches the area covered only by a thin piece of cloth…

Suddenly!

Jasmine, startled, looks back with her piercing eyes and says,

“My wrong ad played and I’m canceling my advertising.”

For the first time since I woke up, there is no blood flow to my penis.

They win.

Appropriately my phone sits next to the clock, because, as I grab it…

I just punched into work…

It’s 4:27 AM.

“Don’t get too high, don’t get too low, just keep it in neutral.”

After about 4 years into my life in sales–two in auto sales, and two in radio–a guy told me, “don’t get too high, and don’t get too low, just keep it in neutral.”

He’s never been married, no kids, and has been in sales his entire life.

Neutral doesn’t have numb as a synonym…It should.

At this point, my dating life was much more “successful” than my radio sales commissions.

However, that was about to change.

                                                                                                                                                                   

In sales, nothing is more exciting than finding the new, willing, and eager prospect.  I’m charming, witty, show no signs of the quotidian routine of pre-dawn “Lesbian Massage Seductions”. I’m willing to do anything to see them again. Hopefully to make the sale.

In dating, nothing is more exciting than meeting someone new, exquisite, and passionate lady.  I’m charming, witty, and act as if I’ve never watched porn before in my life.  I’m willing to do anything to see her again. Hopefully in the nude.

Eventually, I make the sale.

Eventually, we get naked.

Times are exciting. They call to let me know they heard their ad and they love it. I love it too.

Times are exciting, She calls to let me know she can’t stop thinking about me and she loves it. I love it too.

I tell them to not hesitate if there is anything more I can do for them, and thank them so much for bringing me into their life.

I tell her to not hesitate if there is anything I can do for or to her, and thank her for bringing me into her world.

I bring them restaurant gift certificates every month and they give me little tokens of their appreciation.

I bring her flowers every month and she gives me “little tokens” of her appreciation. (Blowjobs…Clarity)

Slowly, we only talk when we need to.

Slowly, we only text when we need to.

Eventually, all I hope for is they don’t fuck up my day.

Eventually, all I hope for is she doesn’t bring drama to fuck up my day.

Once a month, I’m obligated to give them attention by changing their commercial.

Once a month, I’m obligated to take her out to dinner.

A year in, I’m somewhat charming again because it’s time for them to sign their annual contract.  I bring them a present and tell them how much they mean to me.

A year in, I’m charming again because it’s our anniversary. I bring her a present and tell her how much she means to me.

Things are changing, my commission checks are getting bigger and bigger.

Things are changing, the times we have sex are fewer and fewer.

Occasionally, there is a disagreement about their commercial, or a campaign didn’t work.

I’m neutral, so it doesn’t bother me.

Occasionally, we get into it because she’s telling me I’ve changed and this isn’t working.

I’m numb, so I blame her.

I try to be endearing and looking out for “their best interests” by upselling them on the potential of buying an event or a specific package in search of a higher commission check.

I try to be endearing and looking out for “her best interests” talking about marriage, buying a house, or having a child in search of something to break the mundane misery that is my life.

Then, one day, they say they’re cutting back.

Then, one day, she says she’s not happy.

Panic!  I scramble to do anything to rescue this.  I bring in a manager and start offering things they never received when they were paying more. But now, now they are coveted.

Panic! I scramble to do anything to save this. I bring in a counselor and start offering things they never received when they were more loving. But now, now they are coveted.

They say yes, but they know it’s only a matter of time.

She says yes, but she knows she already made up her mind.

Predictably, the time comes and they decide they are going to pull and allocate my funds somewhere else.

Predictably, the time comes and she leaves deciding she is going to take some time for her.

The client informs me, as a parting shot, I stopped giving them as much attention as I did when they first signed.

The girlfriend informs me, as a parting shot, I stopped giving her as much attention as I did when we first met.

Little do they both know, I loathed who I’ve become.

Eventually, eventually I find a new client, but the fear of blinking cell phone light terrorizes me.

Eventually, eventually I find another girl, but the fear of an empty bed paralyzes me.

Don’t get me wrong, I genuinely loved my clients, but after a while, I have so many, they only become a number.

Don’t get me wrong, I genuinely loved my girlfriends, but after a while, I took for granted everything.

Saddest part, in hindsight, which is a bitch, I realize how much I objectified both.

It didn’t use to be this way.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

The compensation for living a life like this is more money than you’ve ever had in your life.

The penance is a blinking phone and an empty life.

Does having a career in sales kill my chance of having an actual, legitimate relationship?

I have no goddamn clue. I really don’t.

All I know are two things:

  1. The ratio of salespeople I met who were either never married or divorced was astonishing. I being the latter of the two. But there are people who genuinely love this life. I am not one of them.
  2. There is no goddamn way this job is going to stop me from seeing Jasmine experience her first massage from Orchid with her “special technique”.

So, what did I do?

I sat down, looked in the mirror, and sold myself on moving on…

To be continued…

-k

 

 

 

 

 

 

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