Monday, August 11, 2008

To sell or not to sell???

You know you are living the typical sales life when:

  1. Chai becomes your breakfast and lunch…and at times dinner too
  2. U do not like setting up your room, most of your stuff is always in the suitcase
  3. You start analyzing each and every statement that another person makes and your mind goes : whats there in it for him and whats there in it for me…
  4. Every interaction is viewed as a negotiation, you always want to win the bargain and the win could be as petty as saving a couple of bucks by bargaining with the auto rickshaw guy – many times the big picture is lost.
  5. Cuss words are used as often as punctuation breaks or maybe even more.
  6. Lying comes naturally to you – your boss thinks you are in the market talking to the retailers; the retailers think you are in the office in some important meeting; truth is you are sleeping till 11 in the morning. Obviously that is not what you tell when you get a call from anyone.
  7. Your eating habits become like how a camel stores water: infrequent bursts of heavy eating and food is stored before next meal which comes after a long longggggg time
  8. If you do not smoke it becomes difficult to start a conversation.
  9. You start believing that sales is the only function which does some actual work, all the other function people are cooling their asses in air-conditioned rooms!
  10. You understand that there are somethings which you should never speak about; like never ask a distributor ki sahab business kaisa hai because invariably he will start with his long list of complaints and you will be left nodding your head for the next hour…. Also never tell a retailer ki sahab kuch madad chahie; he will eat off your brains asking for more discounts and offers.
  11. You would not necessarily lose sleep if you girlfriend ditches you for some other guy, but not achieving targets would surely give you sleepless nights…and if you do manage to reach your targets or cross them comfortably you will think that you are the king of the world though deep down you know how much role you had in actually making those high sales figures…your achieving targets does not have any correlation to the amount of work you put in, there is some extraneous factor(s) which is calling the shots – basically the concept of invisible hand.

Back to where I belong…

As the flight gets ready for the take off, gradually the feeling sinks in. Yes, I am finally going back home. It’s been just 2 months since I left home for work, but it does seem like ages. And it is not as if I have not stayed away before. I spent past 2 years staying in a hostel in a place thousands of miles away from home. But the difference is that was college life in the stable environment of a hostel and friends around. Whereas now it is the hostile environment of corporate life and a sales job which means lot of travelling to not so good places and spending lot of time alone. That surely makes this trip worth quite a lot. The excitement to see family, friends; the excitement to finally eat some good food; the excitement of playing with my 3 month old baby niece; the excitement of finally doing things which I have sorely missed off late: all this surely adds up to expectation of a great time ahead. And I am determined to make the most of next 3 days!

Saturday, August 2, 2008


I visited Chennai recently and as opposed to what I had heard about the place, I really thought it was a great city…apart from the fact that language was a big barrier, the city as such did not give any reason to disappoint me…well apart from one thing…that I will tell you guys about through an incident that took place…

I took a local train from some place to reach the airport. I get into a compartment and to my surprise see most of the train empty, still many people are standing as there are not enough seats….me talking to a friend in bombay on the phone, telling her about the new place and all … that’s when I start talking about the train, heres how the conversation goes:

Me: the local trains here are kind of like mumbais locals… just that theres a lot of wastage of space..

Friend: wastage as in???..

Me: the number of seats is very less in the compartment, its not optimally designed for passenger comfort, so many people are standing where there could have easily been seats, god knows how people come up with such designs for local train compartments, I tell you this place blah blah….

Friend: hm hm

Me: ya man utter wastage of space I tell you, Mumbai is so great…now I know the reason y…people out there have the brains…they don’t keep 75% of train space vacant for people to just stand around….they build seats …they understand customer comfort and they prioritise it…here toh I don’t think people are sensible enough…I mean….(me going on and on as if its some life or death thing…not just seats..)

Meanwhile, a co passenger taps me on the back and says softly : “bhai sahib luggage compartment hai”