Wednesday, 28 February 2007

Will the third time be the charm?

Last year, at this exact moment, I was bumming my eye sockets out. It’s been 3 months since college had ended without so much as a farewell party: no wearing of funny hats, no one getting drunk and having their pictures uploaded to various college sites stating “This is how Malaysians do it yo!” and certainly not one morsel of tasty Malaysian food i.e. McDonald’s, KFC. The very last day of college all we had was stale curry puffs and even staler Coke. The Big Plan right after college was terribly simple: bum for a couple of months, do the things that I wanted to do and then after all the fun was had, it was time to grow up and be a man. Not just any man, but a Working Man.

This is what really happened:

  • The first month was awesome. Total freedom!
  • The second month was getting kind of boring. Oh well, bring on the hula hoops and let’s party!
  • The third month—the month that I’m in exactly a year ago—enough’s enough! I need a JOB!

Fast forward a little and bam, I got my first taste of the working world. After nearly five months of mind-numbing bumming, I and my good friend, Fill, landed ourselves a job! And what better way than to start it off by having a pretty lady as our future boss as well. The job seemed simple enough: call up people, get them to buy the damned land and bam! ka-ching! I left after one day.

Not too long ago, I mentioned that I had landed myself a job. It was similar to my first experience: call up people, get them to sign up for the damned thing and bam! ka-ching-a-ching! I left after two weeks.

I didn’t despair, in fact, I had a backup. It promised an experience like no other. I was gung-ho and I knew I had to nail the interview otherwise I’d be bumming once again. I did. I felt fantastic. On the day the second interview came I was anxious as heck. Normally I would be calm and collected but seeing a dozen or so other candidates there made my heart beat fast and hard. Damn! I have to really nail this! And when the interviewer unveiled what I was supposed to do, what I will have to do once I got accepted, left me flabbergasted and disappointed. I was mortified to the point of wanting to just walk away from it. She did mention sales but she didn’t say it would be this!

This is what sales can do to a person who utterly abhors it.

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve said it before that sales and salespeople are everywhere, in many forms and is a must for the world to keep on spinning lest Al Gore decides to lose some weight. I respect it greatly and those who commit themselves to it. But for the life of me, the more I delve into the nether regions of it, the more I feel like jumping off a bridge for trying it again and again. You’d think people would learn from this kind of fault but not me. In fact, I’m actually contemplating about accepting the damn position! Any sane person would fuck it, I want no more of this shit. But not me. I’m a sucker for pain and punishment.

Honestly, I have not a clue about what I really want to do. I thought I thought I knew it but the reality is sinking in faster than you can say cuckoo. And you know what’s the most painful thing of all? Thinking I’m actually good, that I’m better some people because I have the look and the voice for certain jobs but the hurtful truth always punches me in the stomach.

Maybe I need to loosen or even break my comfort zone. After all, if you’ve never tried something, how are you to know it‘ll be bad or good? But after being bitten, dragged, ravaged, flogged twice by the sales bug, I should know better, right?

I hope I’ll make the right decision. Wish me luck.

This is Chris, signing off.

PS: I’m being all emo aren’t I? Fuck. I hate this feeling.

Tuesday, 13 February 2007

Sales Schwing


The mere mention of the word gives you a very clear picture of what to expect. There’s no hidden message behind it. It’s just a sell-and-buy cycle, which in itself is so simple yet so freaking difficult to master. People in sales are incredibly egoistic, have haughty-looks Victorian aristocrats would be proud of, always on the lookout for a sucker and in dominion of the most sickening attribute of all: self-assurance of the highest order second only to perfidious politicians. (Politicians are essentially salespeople, only with an entourage the size any popstar would be the envy of.) They are eager and aggressive in getting an answer. Nothing short of an outright no will put them off. Even then they’ll lay low for awhile and bam! they’re at it again and even then…argh!

In short, salespeople are one of the most important people in any society. In fact, make that every society.

You know that shirt you’ve always wanted? Sure it was marketing that puts out the advertisement or the brochures or whatnots but who sells it to you? Not the GM, he’s too busy getting his toes trimmed by a buxom blonde named Tawnee. It’s the salesperson that explains, no, tells you that you need it. You think for a minute that hey, I do need it. Then when you get back you realise that you’ve not only bought the wrong size shirt, it’s in a colour and pattern even Stevie Wonder would tell you it’s hideous.

I would say I’m a fairly good presenter. I pepper my explanations with inane anecdotes together with a benevolent face and manner. I do not subscribe to the dogma of being serious all the time. But picking up the phone, and calling up people who wouldn’t even give a second to talk to a junior salespunk like me takes some serious balls.

I’m pretty much the world’s lousiest salesman at the moment. I can’t grasp the seemingly uncomplicated concept of manipulating a potential client nor do I possess the guile essential to trick someone into buying my product even though he or she may not have a need for it. When I was in training (thanks for the lunches) I was taught to lie, cheat, deceive and my absolute favourite, manipulate any situation to gain any advantage. A profit doesn’t have to be right or wrong, as long as it brings in the dough.

Honestly, I don’t think I will last long in this industry. I’ll go my own distance just to see how far I can go before my eventual fall. I’m a simple guy with a very simple philosophy: I’ll buy whatever the hell I want, when I want it and you’re not going to persuade me otherwise. Sure, you can make suggestions. Feel free to do so. Go ahead. But if you so much as even have the audacity to speak your mind and tell me that my choice is not good and that yours is better, then better get ready to run as fast and far as your puny legs can take you.

You can call me a quitter. A non-achiever who throws in the towel, handkerchief, and silk shirt when things get a little too hot to handle. At least I can say that I’ve tried, given it a shot, did my best, oh you didn’t live up to our expectations, oh really? walk away with my head held high and get the pay I’m due.

People always say that practise makes perfect. But sometimes even with all the best preparations in the world from the best in the business doesn’t mean shit if you don’t like it one bit.

I really don’t.

This is Chris, signing off.

PS: If the above ramblings seem exaggerated or ludicrous then maybe it is. I cannot guarantee that everything that has been said as entirely truthful. But nevertheless, trust me on this. I’m still a salesguy after all.

Other blog updated. Read!

PPS: I'm now officially jobless. Again. I will never ever do sales again.

Happy Chinese New Year everyone!

PPS: Due to the holidays my brain is inexplicably incapable of producing quality posts therefore I shall return next week with another Chris-worthy post. Till then, have a great week y'all!

Wednesday, 7 February 2007

Hello! May I be your salesguy*?

Due to the fact that I am now employed (finally!), I am now unable to properly construct sentences that will leave you gasping for more, wishing that it will never end. In other words, readable material.

But fear not, I have the weekends. Well, some of it, anyway. What I can say now is that the pay is peanuts but the commission is fantastic (according to my employers but I don't give a toss, more on this soon) and I have a real working man's sling bag to complete the whole professional look. Unfortunately, my potential clients will not get to see my lovely bag but rather, will instead get to hear my manly and mellifluous voice telling them why they should do business with me, a boy who has no sales experience whatsoever but is still trying his luck selling things.

Life's pretty cool, eh?

This is Chris, signing off.

PS: Do anyone want to buy something from me? I sell for cheap cheap one. No worries.

* = it was originally salesMAN but since I don't feel like part of the sales shtick yet I'm calling myself salesGUY instead. Only time will tell.