Tales from sales

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People will tell you sales is about selling products. They are so wrong. Sales is about people. Period. You manage people, talk to people, talk about people… All day, everyday. You are their HR, finance, supply chain, admin – everything. You can plan for hours, make complicated excel sheets but never get results from your people. And you can shut the laptop, bring people together and create magic.

I have dealt with a depressed person threatening to commit suicide.

I have counselled someone on his marital problems because he wanted to quit and move abroad to make his wife happy. I didn’t want to lose him from my team, marital problems be damned.

I have spoken for an hour everyday with a newbie on the phone to smoothen his transition into a new role.

I have coached people through mock interviews and on presentation skills so they could clear the process for promotion. At the very least, leave a good impression.

I have negotiated hard at a high end hotel so my team member could stay in a better hotel instead of a hell hole.

These are just a few instances of my job requirements for which am not paid. And these are just everyday things for all of us. These are situations I would escape from in real life. Sure, I could conveniently avoid them at work too but these are the little things that we remember.

These are the small moments which made me go “GT (General Trade) karna hai, yaar. I want GT”. KC didn’t want to hear it one more time and even when the opportunity was in Kolkata, said to me “Karlo GT. Jee lo apni zindagi. I can’t hear you say it one more time”.

So here I am. In Kolkata. Back in the role I have wanted to be in for 1.5 years.


Which one are you?

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Are you:

  1. A selfless person who cares about everyone around and is sensitive to every little feeling. Someone who tries to be available for those she cares about. Is trying to be the glue who brings a family together. For better or for worse.

Or

  1. A selfish person who can’t put anyone before her needs. Someone who will avoid conflicts and escape unpleasant situations. Comes across as a cold person with no feelings and doesn’t have an affectionate bone in her body.

What are the consequences that each of them face :

  1. Absorbs all the negative energy affecting her mental health and quality of life. Gets manipulated easily and can’t judge people’s real motives. Is in everyone’s good books but is always privy to every conflict.

  2. Is able to distance herself from conflicts and preserve her mental health. Everyone hates her but she can see through the bullshit and manipulation. Alone but at peace.

Which one are you?

Which one would you rather be?


Threads of yarn

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I went for a run yesterday to Hanging Gardens. The plan was to run a few (1 or 2, depending on fitness levels) repeats on the slope (3-4 km), have breakfast and head home. Something truly magical happened. I couldn’t stop and it was a 10 km slope run through Walkeshwar and Peddar road. At one point at a signal I asked a septuagenarian for directions to Hanging Gardens through Peddar road.

Him – Take a left and then a sharp left. But beta, it is quite steep

Me – Haanji, Uncleji. It is hill repeats day today.

When I approached L in May, my red flags were that I couldn’t get out of bed for a run and couldn’t muster any enthusiasm for blogging and the gym. Something was truly wrong. Was I bored of running? Is it because I stopped running half marathons and there was nothing to train for anymore?

Like a friend said – Your life has turned around for the better

Me – Has it? How do I know it is for the better and not for worse? Most days I don’t even know what am doing. What if counting your blessings jinxes it?

Thoughts in my head are like tangled threads of yarn. I need to look for a free end, pick it up, start wrapping it around my hand neatly till I get to the last end. Then store it aside in a box with all the other untangled balls.

Why did I stop running? And why was it effortless now? Running keeps me sane and I rely on it to get me through shit in my life. But if I can’t run at the low points, how do I survive? If the drugs that are supposed to help are not to be taken when you are low, how do you get better?

My theory is that I need to be at a certain minimum threshold of mental health to push me out of bed for a run. As long as am above it, running is the only therapy I need. But when it falls below that, it is a red flag and I need help.


Imagine

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What if you could glimpse into the future?

And you realized nothing that you worked for exists when you turn 70. Instead, you are alone and unbearably lonely. You are just waiting for death to relieve you from alife with nothing to offer.

Imagine knowing that and still hoping and working towards a good life. Imagine trying to be positive about everyday and trying to do your best.

Imagine trying to form relationships even though none of them are going to last.

Just imagine getting through every moment knowing what you know.


A love story

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You know how it starts. You either meet someone and hit it off right away. An all night conversation followed by another all night conversation replaces caffeine to get you through the days on zero sleep. Or you have known each other for a while but one conversation changes the relationship. A new spark is added to the equation. You are high on chemistry.

Over time and with enough conversations, the relationship becomes deeper. You want to say “I love you” but love operates on a different plane from friendship. Love is boring. Love is comfort. Love is sharing silences instead of conversations. Love is consistency. Love is reliable. Love is forever. Can she commit to forever? Can I commit to forever with her?

Everything is perfect. For a while. And then you notice the disparities between your impression of her, which is based on what she tells you, and her actions. Her actions aren’t even consistent with what she tells you about herself. “Who is she? Do I really know her at all?”

You get jerked around. Calls are unanswered. WhatsApp messages are read but not replied to for hours. You have been ditched at the last minute so many times that it becomes predictable. But when she needs you, you are expected to be there. You make excuses for her behavior, maybe you are expecting too much. Then you remember every guy who made you feel like you are expecting too much and how it is a textbook manipulation technique. You know this is a deal breaker but you have hope. So, you become a doormat. Available at her convenience. Trying to be a good friend on her terms.

But it isn’t enough. The less you expect, the less you get in return. Even shreds of courtesy aren’t thrown your way. That is when you decide to stop hurting. You need to sew your broken heart. It is too precious to be trampled upon.

She doesn’t deserve a clean break, you decide. What can be worse? Being friendly without being friends. Being approachable without being accessible.

Two can play this game.