Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I Just Want To Do Whatever (Part 3)

Should I just quit? How bad do I really need money? I can’t miss a trip, but I definitely needed money, so quitting was out. Should I fall while we’re walking and break my nose? That would be hard to do plus I wanted to hook up while I was in Cancun. Should I call up crying and say one of my dead relatives died again? I don’t think dead relatives mind if you use their names. They are dead after all, it’s really not a lie, but what if she wanted to send flowers?

Luckily, my NGBF is a pharmaceutical rep, and she’s only had bad bosses. We came up with a plan that was fool proof. It was definitely risky, and it would take the two of us to pull it off. Timing would be crucial. We plotted out both of our moves precisely. If all went well, I’d be sipping cocktails in Cancun in less than 24-hours. If all didn’t go well, we’d both be up a shit’s creek.

I texted Oh My Hummer and told her we were going to meet early at the Manhattan VA. There was a client I wanted to see there (lie number one.) She said that was fine, and that she was looking forward to the day. I said I was looking forward to it too (lie number two), and then got sick to my stomach. This needed to work.

Barely able to sleep the night before, when I woke up I jumped into action. This was it. The big plan. Was I going to be able to maintain my easy, breezy life while working for a crazy-ass boss, or would this be the end of my job? I know most people would just skip the trip to keep their job, but I was determined to keep something more precious than my job: my freedom.

My car was parked in front of the hospital on the street when I saw Oh My Hummer getting out of a cab. She was right on time. I was definitely sweating this one. My suitcase was packed in my trunk, and I needed my NGBF to pull through. If she didn’t, and I had to work with Oh My Hummer all day, not only would I miss my trip, but it’d look weird to have a suitcase in my trunk instead of samples. I got out of my car and saw my NGBF sitting in her car a few cars behind mine. Oh My Hummer was at the entrance of the hospital.

I walked up to Oh My Hummer, said hello, and then we went into the hospitil. Once my NGBF saw us walking into the buiding, she’d only have a few minutes to do what she needed to do. As we were walking down a long hallway over to the psych ward, my NGBF pulled her car out of her spot and slowly started driving up to mine.

It’s 8 am in the morning, but in Manhattan there’s still a fair number of people out down by the hospital. My NGBF double parked her car next to mine. Her heart was racing. She got out of her car and looked around.

While walking down the hallway, we ran into a nurse I knew who stopped us from going any further and told me the client we were about to go

see was out today. Damn, helpful people! I knew that, but I needed more time. “Thanks,” I said and smiled, wanting to kill her. Oh My Hummer wanted to leave to get breakfast. Shit!

Looking around. Thinking of what to do, I told her I needed to use the bathroom first. I went into the bathroom and looked at my watch. I tried texting my NGBF to see if everything was taken care of, but my phone had no reception. AT&T had failed me again! Can they suck any worse?

I figured I’d just sit in the bathroom for a few minutes, but it smelled really bad. I was watching the clock. It was brutal. I tried holding my nose, but I needed to breath, and I still smelled it. But then somebody started knocking on the door. I said, “One minute.” But they kept knocking. Was it some nut from the psych ward? Trust me, they didn’t want to use this bathroom. It was disgusting. I hoped the smell wouldn’t attach to my clothes. This whole protecting your lifestyle and freedom at work thing was hard.

Meanwhile my NGBF was quickly looking around to make sure that nobody happened to be looking her way. She went into her bag and took out her swiss army knife. Ironically, it was a gift she won from a pharmaceutical contest. She quickly plunged the

knife into my front tire.

The knocking. The smell. I had to get out of there. I flushed the toilet and walked out of the bathroom, hoping I’d given my NGBF enough time. We started walking toward the entrance of the hospital.

My NGBF ran back into her car, and drove down the street.

My cell phone rang, and I pretended it was a client, as we stepped out of the hospital. I said, “Hello” and then heard, “The eagle has landed.” Massive relief. The deed was done. Ole’!

Me and Oh My Hummer, once in my car, started to pull out of the spot, but it's not easy driving on a flat tire. Oh My Hummer exclaimed, “Oh my you have a flat.” “Honestly, that’s so weird. I must’ve driven over some glass. Honestly, this day is ruined!”

Oh My Hummer immediately left and told me to take care of it. She called up the Brooklyn rep up and told him she was coming to work with him. Can’t she just take a day off? I felt sorry for him, but this really wasn’t my fault. Typical Pharma Bitch was to blame, and she’d get hers eventually. My NGBF pulled up from back around the block and waited with my car for the tow truck. I grabbed my suitcase

and hailed a cab to go to the airport.

Freedom is worth everything. Sometimes you slash a tire. It’s not like you’re slashing a face. I definitely owed my NGBF a big favor, but she knew I'd be good for it. I watched Manhattan pass before my eyes as the cab sped down the FDR drive, and I smiled about my future of mojito’s, guacamole, and doing whatever I wanted.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

I Just Want To Do Whatever (Part 2)

It was my first day working with Oh My Hummer, and we had never met. She had me meet her in a McDonald’s for breakfast. Gross. As we sat there in the bolted down chairs, and I stared at my hash browns, I was ready to heed my old boss’s advice. First, I started repeating my own weird phrase, “Honestly?” over and over again. I can be sarcastic, so I love saying, “Honestly?” when I think something is ridiculous, but I don’t overuse it. It was funny to listen to her say, “Oh my” while I got to say, “Honestly?” over and over. If I was going to be a character it might as well be amusing.

Oh My Hummer wanted to go over my entire client list before we started working. As we went down the list, she asked me about each client. Before I’d get into it, I’d say, “Honestly?” and roll my eyes as though I were frustrated that the doctor wasn't

writing enough. As though I were agreeing with her. I wanted her to think I was crazy extreme like her. I prepped all my clients the day before and told them I was coming in with my wacko boss, and I wasn’t going to be acting like myself. I called on psychiatrists, and when I told them my plan, they were interested to see how it’d work. They’re nuts too.

All day we drove around in the car visiting clients from sun up to sun down. It was exhausting. It definitely cut into my couch time, but I persevered. If I made it through this test, I’d start to get my freedom back. She hummed, and I whistled. She said, “Oh my” and I said, “Honestly?” We were like two mental patients saying catch phrases while humming and whistling unknown tunes. I was ultra-aggressive with the clients, and I rolled my eyes at them all day to her. By the end of the day she loved me, and I laughed to myself. Coolest Boss in the World had hooked me up one last time.

Things didn’t go as well for Typical Pharma Bitch. When they worked together , they fought all day and Oh My Hummer tried to make her cry. I had told Typical Pharma Bitch to do what Coolest Boss in the World had told us to do, but she wouldn’t listen. Stubborn and annoying, this was why most people hated her. They were having a power struggle, and we all knew who would lose.

However, I soon became Oh My Hummer’s favorite rep, and everyone knew it. I was the only one who didn’t get screamed at. I was the only one who she didn’t make cry. She never questioned what I was doing or where I was. As long as when I saw her, I was whistling and honestly-ing her to death, everything was fine. Everyone on my team thought it was hysterical, except for Typical Pharma Bitch. She was the type who wanted the bosses to love her, but they never did. Apparently, being a pain-in-the-ass is annoying even to angry, humming people.

I started getting comfortable. I started cutting back on the whistling and the “honestly’s.” We stopped meeting at McDonald’s and started meeting at an actual diner. I was in. Work life was great. Everything seemed to be getting back to normal. Sleeping in. Pajama conference calls. Four hour work days. Three day weekends. My sales were great, so I figured there was nothing to worry about. I went to California for a few days, and then to Miami, without putting in for any of the time off. Just like the old days. My easy,

breezy job and lifestyle were back. So what if I had to act like a crazy, obsessed sales person? As long as my life was good, who cared?

Oh My Hummer totally trusted me, so I had nothing to worry about. But then I booked a trip for a long weekend in Cancun and mentioned it to Typical Pharma Bitch. That was my mistake. We ran into each other in a bar at happy hour. Alcohol had failed me again.

I saw my phone ringing with Oh My Hummer showing up on the line. Typical Pharma Bitch was supposed to work with Oh My Hummer the next day. I didn’t understand why she was calling me. She told me that Typical Pharma Bitch had just called out sick, a stomach flu, and since she was going to drive into NYC anyway, she might as well work with me instead. What was I supposed to say?

I wanted to kill Typical Pharma Bitch, but I’d have to save that for later. With a flight leaving at 11am the next morning, I’d have to come up with something. Why was she screwing me over like this? There was no way I was going to miss that trip, but I couldn’t call out sick. As soon as I hung up the phone, I called my NGBF (Non-Gay Best Friend) to discuss what to do.


Sunday, May 22, 2011

I Just Want To Do Whatever (Part 1)

I just want to do whatever all of the time. Really, doesn’t everybody? Yea, I’m sure there are those ultra-regimented people who want consistency and rules, but I’ve never been one of those people. Let’s face it, work can be inconvenient at times. I’m not sure who thought Monday through Friday, eight to six, would be a good time to go, but those times don’t always work for me. After all, I have a life. But when you’re in sales, most of that goes out the window. Sales lets you have freedom which makes it all bearable.

In pharmaceutical sales you have a ton of freedom, but all of that freedom depends on who you work for. Your boss makes or breaks the job. Yea, you have to increase sales and do a few things, but doing all of that leads to freedom. If you have a cool boss, the lifestyle of a pharmaceutical rep is incomparable. But if your boss happens to be a nut-job, then nothing is worse. No freedom equals nightmare job.

I was lucky enough to have a job with the coolest boss in the world. All he cared about were your sales results. That’s how it should be. When you did work with him, you’d go to an expensive lunch, and then he’d leave. He was funny. He was easy-going. He thought he was a dog in another life. It was perfect. I did my job in a few hours, went home, and never worried about anything. I wanted to work for him forever.

But then one day at around 10 in the morning, Coolest Boss in the World was ringing my phone off the hook. He knew I was sleeping, what the hell? He kept hanging up on my answering machine, and then ringing back. Finally, he screamed into the answering machine for me to get out of bed to answer his call. Totally unlike him, I should’ve known that his phone call was the beginning of the end.

The company we worked at was creating a new division, and they picked top reps from all over the country to join it. I was going to be one of those reps. Were the other reps in the company out of the country for the entire year because I barely worked? How the hell did this happen? I pleaded with Coolest Boss in the World to try to fight for me to continue working for him, but he said he had no choice in the situation. When I asked him who I’d be working for, he almost didn’t want to tell me. He said her name, and my heart dropped. I was about to work for the craziest chick in the company: Oh My Hummer.

She was from Connecticut and constantly said the phrase, “Oh my” while humming all day. (Why did you think I called her that?) I don’t think people should hum. And I take a very hard stance on this. I don’t care if you’re old. I don’t care if you’re in a play and practicing the tune out loud. I don’t care what your situation is; you should never hum. I’m pretty sure people who hum have some form of mental illness. It’s not a pleasant sound, you look strange when you do it, and nobody can ever figure out what song it is.

These humming people are definitely on the fringe of society. No doubt! I bet right before people go ballistic they’re humming. “Hmmm, hmmm, hmmm, hmmm time to chop up my family, hmmm, hmmm, hmmm, hmmm.” Am I wrong here? Either sing the song or shut up.

The humming was horrible, but it wasn’t the worst of what she did. She spied on reps, bragged about making them cry, was over aggressive with the clients, called you at all hours of the day, was cheap with the company money, had unrealistic expectations for your sales, and watched you like a hawk.

The company also moved this other rep from my team over to this new division. She was the typical annoying rep who's totally miserable in pharmaceuticals. Typical Pharma Bitch was tall, skinny, worked Manhattan, and took the job too seriously. She was hated by doctors, and other reps. You’d think she’d like the idea of working for a nut job, but she was upset too. I figured Oh My Hummer would love her. They’d be like two peas in a pod. What chance would I have?

I was telling Coolest Boss in the World my fears about working for his polar opposite when he said, “I’ve lasted in this business for years and the one thing that’s constant is that it’s always changing. You won’t have to work for her forever, but while you do make it work for you. Let her think you’re just like her and act like you are as into the job as she is. Do whatever it takes to make her like you, so she’ll leave you alone. If you do that, you can’t lose.”