…Or how I went from the #36 Ranked salesperson in the country to unemployed in the same day…
Frustrated. Angry. Embarrassed. Afraid. Depressed. Tired. All these words describe me right now.
After a month of unemployment, I was hired as an outside sales person for a growing company where ownership potential was within my reach within a few years. I was excited (and nervous) to be starting out in something new after 5 years in the tourism industry.
I arrived for my first day of training, and right away I knew I was going to be doing something different and fun. My teammates were nice and I knew I right away I would now have friends in my new city. After a week of training, I managed to earn my “solo” status, and would be out in the field on my own.
I opted to go on a business trip, in order to be able to get promoted to Leadership. I was jazzed – within two weeks I would have jumped up to the level it sometimes takes months to get to.
And I was good at the job. Although I hated it when I was young when my father would take me on business trips or have me work the merchandise mart selling jewelry on the weekends, I must have picked something up from him. I liked going out and interacting with new folks. And though I heard a lot of “no’s” before I got to the “yes”, those folks who bought their paper, ink and toner from me were all so nice and interesting to get to know. On my first day solo, I managed to rank #43 out of 700 salespeople in the country – go me! The next day I woke up to the news that I had moved up to #36. I was kicking butt and taking names!
Then came the 95 degree days. A large bulk of the job had me walking door to door. I knew moving to Florida, that heat intolerance would be an issue for my MS, but during my training it wasn’t too bad. Aside from sweating like I stole something most the day, I was okay. Until suddenly my vision blurred. This happens often when I’m tired or hot, or when I’m in a busy place like a mall or an airport, so I didn’t think too hard on it and continued on with the day.
The tingling in my left leg was gradual, as if I had been running for a while on a treadmill and I was just tired. After stopping for a quick lunch, I went to get out of my car and go to my next client, and I had full on pins and needles. I worked through it, and even managed to sign up a new client, all the while, feeling my left leg go completely numb. As I got up to leave, my leg gave out underneath me and I managed to avoid hitting my face on the counter as I fell. Great last impression on a new customer, right?
I got out to my car and immediately called Matt. He of course had been concerned from the beginning about this job, and had been urging me to look for something less taxing. After half an hour of sitting in the A/C of my car, and not having my vision clear or my leg come back to life, I started to panic. Was I in a full-blown episode? Crying, I called Matt again, and we came to the conclusion together that I couldn’t do this job. Fear immediately turned to shame as I knew I was going to have to face my teammates and tell them I was leaving. This was a great group of people I had gotten to know in just a short time, and I felt as if I was letting them down, that they had wasted two weeks of training on me. So I took the coward’s way out and stole back to the hotel, threw everything into my suitcase and snuck out like a thief in the night. I gave my boss a call and gave him the news.
He tried to get me to stay with a really good sales pitch (he’s pretty great at his job) and I almost gave in. Until I realized that I have to put my health in front of my ego. Did I enjoy the praise from my boss and coworkers? Yes. Did I like the recognition of my work? Of course. Was it worth possibly ending up in a wheelchair someday? No.
So here I am, back to the drawing board. Searching for a job that, while not necessarily behind a desk all day, at least has me in the A/C for the majority of it. That is where the anxiety comes in. My vision is back to normal, and the heaviness in my leg has lifted some, but my mind is as sharp as ever. My wallet, however is empty and Mama has bills to pay!
So, think good thoughts my way as I make my way back onto the job boards. Any and all advice is appreciated as I search for that perfect fit. Wish me luck! And thanks for reading my pity post. 🙂
Thinking and praying for you, Kristie. You are a fighter and so very talented, so you will find the perfect job. Hang in there. Love you.
I’m a licensed insurance agent and I’m good at it but recently I had to stop working and file for disability. I was working in an agency where I could literally work two hours a day if that was all I could do but eventually I had to accept the reality of the situation. I can’t sit long enough to even go out to eat, much less work. It sucks to be 45 and know that I’ll never be able to work again. I’m blessed to have a supportive family and a place to live during the estimated 6 months to two years that it takes for disability to be approved but after years of being a working single mom… I’m an empty-nested “retiree”. It’s tough. I know what you’re going through. I really do.