Dear Sales: We Are Never Ever Ever Getting Back Together

Just to clarify, I do not own those lyrics. Obviously I borrowed them from Taylor Swift.

Sales was a great career choice for me 5 1/2 years ago when I first moved to North Carolina and I was newly single after getting out of a 9-year abusive relationship. I had plenty of renewed energy, a thirst for adventure, and the need to prove myself after my ex tore my self esteem to shreds. In fact, that was my inspiration to try sales; my verbally and emotionally abusive ex berated me in the past when I brought up sales as a career option. He told me I didn’t have the right personality for it, people generally didn’t like me, and I wouldn’t succeed if I tried it. What more motivation does a girl need? Naturally, I went into sales as soon as we broke up.

My first sales job was selling cars at Hendrick Kia here in Cary, NC. I learned everything I know about sales at that car dealership, but I had very little actual training. It was sink or swim time, and I had just moved 600 miles from home by myself, so sinking wasn’t an option. Not surprisingly, I had a natural talent for sales. People are rude as hell to salespeople, but I grew up being bullied all the time in school and then being verbally abused by my ex for 9 years, so I had developed thick skin. I was very successful at car sales, and that led to more opportunities opening up for me.

One day, I sold a very nice car to an older couple and I really needed this deal. I had already closed the deal but they were waiting to go into finance and finish it, and they suddenly wanted to go get some food from Wendy’s down the road. Not wanting them to leave and blow the deal, I told them I’d be driving right by Wendy’s on my way to fuel up their new car and I’d pick up anything they wanted on me. Not only did I secure the deal, but that guy ended up being the branch manager of Orkin, and he offered me a better-paying job selling pest control services because he was so impressed. Pest control ended up to not really be my thing though, so I eventually ended up selling office supplies, cable/internet packages, and insurance.

After I got married last year, my mentality about sales suddenly shifted. I wasn’t as eager to overcome a thousand objections just to get someone to speak to me as if I’m human. It’s not that I lost my ambition; I just wanted to be treated well in my professional life because I loved how good it felt being treated well in my personal life. I reached my breaking point with sales and corporate bullshit earlier this year and quit my insurance job mid-panic attack, desperately needing a positive change. I found that positive change in the form of self-employment as an independent contractor. It started out with just one company but now I contract for multiple companies. I control my schedule and make sure everything gets done, and I’ve never been happier.

Self-employment is great but it’s not always stable or easy. I’ve had to add new gigs here or there to make ends meet, and one of them I tried was getting back into insurance on a straight commission contract basis. As soon as I started calling leads again and getting all the same shitty treatment I remembered, I knew that my sales days were over. It’s not that I can’t handle it; it’s that I don’t want to subject myself to being treated like pond scum anymore. I have a great husband and a couple amazing pups, and my life is happy; why would I want to bring myself down by letting prospects treat me like shit? I decided that my career needs to be as happy and positive as the rest of my life.

I needed a new contract gig quickly to keep up with the bills, so I signed on to partner with a local restaurant delivery and catering service, 919 dine, and now I spend part of my work week delivering restaurant orders to customers, driving around in my car and listening to tunes on Amazon music. I love the difference in how I’m treated! People hate salespeople and treat them like shit. But cute friendly girls who deliver their lunch or dinner hot and fresh from their favorite sit-down restaurant so they don’t have to fight the ridiculous Cary/Morrisville traffic or change out of their PJs? Well, people love that! Most of them tip well for this service and they’re nice to me. It’s like I’m finally seen as a human again, and I’ve missed that.

I don’t care if anyone sees this as a career downgrade; to me, it’s the exact opposite. I’m pretty sure now that I’m done with sales forever. I’ve spent too many years being treated like shit by bullies, my ex, corporate bosses, and prospects. It’s time to live a life where being treated with human decency is the norm rather than the exception. So bye bye sales; I proved myself and I’m done. We are never ever ever getting back together.

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