Upon the One-Month Anniversary of My Tenure as a Salesman of Fine Furniture: A Reflection

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Pictured: George Stephanopoulos, me

Short version: I ain’t dead yet.

As of today, I’ve served four weeks on the sales floor, plus two weeks of pure training, and am personally responsible for the sale of nearly fifty thousand dollars of furniture and furniture-related goods and services to the discerning and tasteful residents of northern Indiana and southern Michigan.

I was hoping it would be over fifty thousand, and missed that mark by a few hundred bucks, mostly because this week was sllllooooow.  I’m aiming for sixty next month; we’ll see what happens.  During that time, I have walked (conservatively, and not joking) a hundred and sixty miles.  It’s probably higher than that.  I’m still getting used to the schedule; three eleven-hour days a week where I’m there from open to close, a half day on Wednesdays, and a short day on Sunday.  I deliberately did not report to OtherJob this week, pleading the need for two consecutive days off, and spent my Friday thusly:

7:45 AM: Arise from slumber.  Rouse boy.
8:30 AM: Deliver boy to day care.
9:15 AM: Return home.  Go back to bed.
3:45 PM: Get out of bed, grab Sonic for lunch, collect boy from day care.
5:00 PM: Get home.  Spend rest of day lazing about.

I regret nothing, people.

I enjoy the work.  I’m even getting to not completely hate Tuesdays, which involve unloading enormous trucks full of heavy furniture and then hours of time on the phone with people who don’t understand that no, we don’t send a truck to your little piss-ant town five days a week, and yes, that means that if Friday’s truck is full you’re going to have to wait until next Friday.  Yes, I know you spent a thousand dollars.  So did everyone else.  We’re doing our damn best over here.

But anyway.  Yeah: I like the work, I like the people I’m working with, I like the idea that this is a skill I need to sharpen and get better at.  I’m not hugely fond of the schedule, mostly because I’m missing out on daddy time, and my body is weary, but that’s getting better.  The gripes are minor, especially compared to anything I went through teaching.  I have to find a way to carve out more writing time, too, but as the exhaustion lessens that’ll get better.  And I beat my training pay this week, by a decent margin.  That’s all sorts of good.

So, yeah.  As mid-life career changes go?  Right now, this could be a hell of a lot worse.

3 thoughts on “Upon the One-Month Anniversary of My Tenure as a Salesman of Fine Furniture: A Reflection

  1. The last time I bought furniture (after my house was renovated), I walked into my favorite store and there were 6 salespeople standing around. Now, I was dressed in jeans and a T-shirt, and being as I’m short and (ahem) chunky, I don’t look like I’m going to do anything more than stroll and dream. 3 of the salespeople immediately walked away to find a more affluent customer, 2 waited to see if I was, in fact, intending to buy – but the 6th came up and asked if he could look around with me, discussed my decorating interests and approximate price range. Never once did he talk down to me. I bought a whole house full of furniture – which was my intention all along.

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    1. Every single one of the managers has a story of someone coming in dressed like a 1920s hobo and dropping a roll of cash on the counter to buy something. I think I probably don’t need the “don’t profile” talk, but we get it constantly. 🙂

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