Wednesday, October 12, 2005

as smooth as ilk

I don't want to admit it, but one of my jobs is a sales job. I have ALWAYS told myself I would stay away from that heroine-diseased vein of life...but I guess we all eventually end up right where we were supposed to be. There are just some forces working on us that are out of our control.

I came to this realization about my job during a conversation I had my regional sales manager yesterday. If his title wasn't enough for me to figure my true position out, our "talk" was.

I quote "talk" because I wasn't the one doing a lot of the talking. He was. He talked...and he talked...and he talked. He asked me direct questions that weren't exactly direct, and he asked me indirect questions that weren't indirect. He pumped me up; he made me want to succeed, and he annoyed me. I don't say any of these things as an attack because they aren't. This guy is who he is, and he has to be him. I respect him because as least he is honest with himself, and isnt pretending not to be a salesman when he is one. See my first paragraph. Makes me wonder how much I honestly do respect myself.

Anyway, during this conversion, he asked me if I did anything else to supplement my income besides just work for our company...and I was honest and told him that I did. I told him I taught English for a few colleges. His next question is not one that shocked or surprised me, but a question you just get from someone with a different way of looking at life. Not a question you normally hear after telling someone that you teach, but I understood why he asked:

"So, there good money in teaching?"

I was with him on this one. He wasn't being rude. His question was making a point. He was being indirectly direct like he had the entire conversation. Six words...such a strong attack and summing up of our 30 minutes of chatting. He was telling me I was wasting my time, and that if I wanted to make a lot of money, I should devote myself to our company. He had already told me about our earning capacity, and how much room for growth there was. He told me how to make even more money, and he told me how much potential he saw in me. Asking about the money I made from teaching played all his cards, and he didn't bother with a poker face.

"Well, it's ok. But, it's not about the money. I really enjoy teaching."

A deflection on my part, really. It is how I feel. It is what I think. But this is not the guy. This was not the time. Men like this do not think in terms of enjoyment. They think in terms of money. Power. Materials. These are the things that get him going, and I totally get that.

A few minutes later, the circle returned to where it was always meant to begin. He asked me again, a little straighter this time:

"Yeah, but how well does it pay?"

He smelled it. He knew it. He was all over me, and he had obviously played this game face or not. What did he care; he just wanted to know who I was...and how much of the same ilk we came from.

"M-, I just really like doing it."

He wasn't satisfied, and he didn't get the answer I know he was looking for, but he finally backed off. I do know the he got the information he came to retrieve. He saw enough in me; a reflection of what he wanted to see...or at least, what I sold him on. See?

No matter how much I want to think I am not materialistic. No matter how much I try to be giving and caring and into teaching and that side of life...I know this other me is in me, like the Incredible Hulk or Dr Jekyll. I know I can be just American as the next guy, and when someone stands in front of me flashing dollar signs, and preaching about how much potential I have, I feel the pull. Sign me up for the Gestapo, mein freund.

So how can I even try to deny these truths inside myself when I can so easily relate to this guy? How can I deny that we do come from the same ilk when he doesn't even have to explain his actions, and I see the conversational twists and turns glaring right at me and yelling at me to just jump on board? It would be so easy.

The difference between the two of us is that for me, there is more to life than just money; for me, there is nothing more powerful than helping someone and feeling needed...using my time, my caring, my words to make a change. The reason I know that part of me will never be fully into sales, and money, and material, is because I choose when to play cards with the devil....and I choose when to close my eyes. People from a different ilk simply never get up from the table. They think they see it all.


McNastabator said...

I should win an award for the number of times I correctly used a semi-colon in this blog.

It would be a semi-award, though.


I'll just comment on my own blogs, and laugh at my own jokes since no one else does.

Anonymous said...

cool man. keep it real. alkdjfalskdjdlskjf;

lali said...

I hear the devil likes Twister better than cards.

prez said...

I think you should also receive the award for "Most Frequent Use of the Word 'Ilk" in a Single Blog"

Chris said...

So really, is there good money in teaching?