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The Dainty Episodes: Bella Pulls It Off
March 5 2009

Dainty….d a i n t y –no, not me…..I trip, I fall, I drop things, I break things – everything, and I hiccup (loudly); usually when there are many ‘important’ people around – clients; the doctors who look to me for information and knowledge. I try to be discreet but, this is not always possible for me.
For ten years I ‘pushed’ drugs. I was a pharmaceutical sales representative. How funny is that? Anybody and everybody who has ever known me finds it completely baffling that I was actually able to pull this off –to play that game successfully for ten whole years! Sure, I did have many successes. I am a very likable person, very loveable. I know how to express myself and I understand people. I know how to give them what they need – even before they themselves know exactly what that is.
“Anticipate the needs of others and act on these needs.” – This advice was given to me by a total stranger when I was 16 years old and working as a cashier. This single sentence has had a greater impact on my daily life then any other single sentence that I have ever heard. It became my private motto. It has been my formula for living out my life. I suppose that this is how I landed that job to begin with. Anticipate the needs of others and act on this…It’s a great way to get a job….and keep it for quite a few years. I was able to follow this motto for what seemed like an eternity. The clients were those whose needs I was to act upon. Pity… All those years passed and I was not aware of the toll this could take when followed to an extreme. Ironically, anticipating and appeasing the needs of my clients was often the antithesis of what is actually required of the pharmaceutical company – sell, sell, sell (but don’t tell anybody…shhhh)!!!
So….one evening I have a date. I put 2 bottles of beer in my bag and we meet but, we don’t drink the beer (that’s another story).
The next morning I wake up early, get dressed, put on my ‘make-up’, send the boys out to school and back to the army and load up my car for work… I have an early meeting with the Head of the Neurological Clinic at “A” Hospital…He is one of the most important doctors in his field. For me, this meeting can make or break my sales for the quarter –and maybe the year! I walk into his office after waiting 45 minutes for an appointment I had made some three weeks ago. I walk into his office, smiling and ready…’anticipate his needs’. My goal is clear. He must come to realize that his need is ‘my’ drug.
I walk into his office, introduce myself and sit down in the appointed chair. We engage in small talk. I listen. He tells me his stories. He tells me how important he is to me. I reach into my bag to take out the appropriate scientific medical articles – Oh; dear Lord…It is early Sunday morning, my first meeting of the day, first meeting of the week. I bend down and reach into my bag and –
Before I can stop it…before I can even catch my breath –one of the beer bottles flies out of my bag, smashing onto the hard, freshly cleaned, sanitized tile floor. Beer and glass –and all that beer smell- all over his office. OH MY DEAR MERCIFUL FATHER IN HEAVEN! I am so FIRED….Calm…breathe…think! I react quickly. (With my level of daintiness I’ve learned how to react quickly. It’s some sort of survival thing…) Anticipate the needs… He needs me to be reliable, solid, straight and smart. We both need me to be someone he can relate to and trust. So, I say, “Damn it! My son gets out of the army for the weekend and leaves his beer bottles in the car and even hides one in my work bag!”
Wow, I am a genius. Great save. I am the mother of a combat soldier. I am more then ok. I am a hero. All is forgiven. The following week I bring this doctor a box of candies – an apology.
The following month, the same important doctor invites me into his office. He’s got a story for me about my competitor! Pretty young girl – so inexperienced! Would I believe that during one of their meetings she broke a beer bottle in his office! It stunk the whole day and he’ll never be able to forget!
Oh yeah, I am dainty!
Another day…another hospital…another doctor... This doctor and I have a history. We’ve been working together for years. We both have sons named Avi and both are combat soldiers. We share our fears. We are open and straightforward with each other. He likes prescribing my drug. His need is easy to anticipate. His need already exists. My job is to see that he follows through with his prescriptions and he allows me to answer that need. Translation: sales, sales, sales. Here too, I am generally successful.
He leads me into his office and closes the door. We talk. I present an article. Then, the unthinkable happens. It’s not even silent and it is definitely deadly…loud and deadly. We are alone in the small closed office. The origins of this fart are indisputable. We continue talking. Relief – nothing ‘happened’ –He has not ‘noticed’. Suddenly, the door opens and a nurse walks in, “Ughh!!! What the…?” she exclaims and opens the window, laughing hysterically as she leaves, with the door open.
Dainty…Yes, I am so dainty…
Another day…another doctor... one doctor …one very important client. She has been invited to ‘The Offices’ to meet the Big Bosses. She’s the director of one of the biggest clinics in my area and consequently one of our biggest potential clients. She is a real power in her field and also a close personal acquaintance. All of my doctors love me. I may not be what anyone expects but, I am loved. She meets us at The Office. We sit in a small office, having a ‘casual’ meeting. The ‘Big Bosses’ come in and out, introducing themselves – small talk; niceties and smiles. I get up to refill the coffee cups. I open the door…I have walked out of this office at least a dozen times. WHERE did that step come from? Of course, this particular office is encased in windows. There is a clear view of the foyer from every seat in this office. I open the door and all inside can see as I step into the foyer. I am wearing a new suit. This is an Office meeting with an important client/doctor and the Bosses.
WHERE in heaven’s name did that damn step come from? Slow motion, maybe…SPLAT, definitely! I am on the floor, coffee cups, half empty (or half full, depending on whether you are an optimist or a pessimist) –and no, that is not all! EVERYBODY runs to me from inside the glass encased office. They’ve all seen my flight and my landing; Important Doctor, Big Boss, less big Boss, Manager, Team Leader…and what? Of course, I’ve wet myself and I, ever the optimist, praise the L-rd! I think fast and slide right into that spilt coffee! Saved again!
Dainty…for ten years I kept up the façade. I guess I am finally done. Dainty, just isn’t me.

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Comments from Our Readers

  "you are resilient indeed, if not dainty per se! and I'm glad you have found another thing to do besides anticipating the prescriptory needs of doctors." - jude, March 5 2009 - reply
  "These were great. I'm impressed at your quick thinking and your ability to keep on moving to The Next Thing. I hope I'll be able to solve the equation below! Believe me, it's not a given!" - Yam Erez www.StandByYourName.blogspot.com, March 6 2009 - reply
  "I once wanted to pursue a career of a pharmaceutical sales rep. Now I am not sure I would qualify, took me 10 minutes to form this comment... " - Stan, March 6 2009 - reply
  "frankly i loved it" - dov, March 8 2009 - reply
  "hah. you show 'em girl. clumsy is as clumsy will be." - boo, March 13 2009 - reply

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