Thursday, February 14, 2008

West Coast Blitzed

A few years ago I used to work in sales. Since the company I worked for was on the East coast, it was always tough to call the West coast clients because of the time differential. My boss at the time came up with a plan…a West coast blitz.

The idea was a good one. Sales reps would come in late one day, around 1pm, and work until 9pm. To make it fun for the employees there were prizes that reps could win if they got a sale the evening of the blitz. Sounds easy enough, right?

Well at the time, one of my coworkers and I were in a pool (billiards) league that had matches at night. All of our matches were played in local bars, so we always drank the whole time. This one night before we were scheduled for the West coast blitz we decided we could get really drunk since we could sleep in. After all, who couldn’t make it to work by 1:00 in the afternoon? We shot pool all night, put back some beers, and did a bunch of shots until we were stumbling drunks.

After the pool league is a blur to me…I couldn’t tell you what happened. All I know is that I woke up the next morning around 6am, and I could tell something wasn’t quite right. I opened my eyes and saw trees. I felt my dog licking my face. When I sat up, I realized I was in the middle of my lawn. I stood up, puked a few times, and then went into the house to crawl into my bed.

I woke from my morning nap around 11am and continued to throw up. I just sat on the bathroom floor, hugging the toilet, and tried to think of how I was going to call in sick. At this point in my career I had my boss pretty well wrapped around my finger, so I took a chance and just went back to bed. I woke up again, this time from a very short nap, and realized that I couldn’t just not show up for work. There was no way in hell I was calling my boss to say I was late, because I knew she would be pissed. She knew we had our pool league the night before and specifically told us not to drink too much. Instead I called my friend who I worked with and who had to be in at the same time I was. I left him a few voicemails and asked him to cover for me.

I finally made it into work around 2:00, an hour late. I went to my buddy’s desk and asked him what was up. He quickly told me that he just got there about 10 minutes earlier and he tried to shoo me away so our boss didn’t see us talking. What I didn’t know was that my friend had left me a voicemail to cover for him. We were both hurting bad, and our boss was about to rip us new ones. We always had a good time while working, but this day we were nervously glued to the desks hoping the boss wouldn’t say anything. Every time she came out of her office she just glared at us like she was going to kill us. The only thing I thought to do to put her at ease was to get a sale in, so I did…and it was the biggest sale ever for that department.

I held onto the contract for a bit in case she decided she wanted to ream me, and that time inevitably came around 7pm. She said she wanted to see me in her office, and I walked in there with my new sale contract. “Before you begin,” I said, “I want to give you this contract I just got in”. She grabbed it, put it aside after peeking at the amount, and then said “shut the door”.  I got my ass chewed out for a good half hour. I was threatened about being fired, given the old “don’t come into work hungover” speech, you name it. When she finally told me to get out of her office and sell some more I had the nerve to ask her what my prize was for getting that sale in. I wish I could have taken a picture of her face when I asked that, because it was priceless, and she just pointed out the door. At the end of the day I was given an umbrella…what a fucking gift for a $25k sale.

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