I assume everyone knows that this title comes from the catch phrase of Yogi Bear but since I take nothing for granted, there’s the link. What I did the last two days is much different than most people’s 9-5. Essentially, I was a salesman on the road. I woke up at 3:15am on Tuesday morning, put on my nice clothes (no tie because that’s overkill) and was on the road by 3:45. I hopped on an empty 95 and headed down to Richmond, Virginia. I got through Baltimore no problem, through the beltways without a hitch, and then started to feel myself swerving on the road once I hit Fredericksburg. At 7:00am I pulled off an exit and rested my eyes for 30 minutes. After that I felt rejuvenated and started to hit some stores. My first stop was an Ace hardware in Ashland, than several masonry supply’s in Richmond followed by a roofing supply. I drove right through the VCU campus which was filled with historic slate roofs. I had a few customers in Charlottesville and then a few in Frederickburg. That was a full day and I ended up getting a hotel room back in Alexandria to get a good start the next day beginning with the Beltways and Baltimore the next day.
I was actually hoping to write an entry on my Kindle in the hotel room but the internet was spotty and I couldn’t make it happen. Alexandria, at least the part I was in, is filled with “foreigners.” I mean this in a completely non-racist way but the supermarket was specifically called the “International Market.” I think it was an indicative city of what America is forming into. When a white person writes this I’m sure people immediately assume I mean this in a negative way but I’m merely stating the fact. So my hotel is in the heart of this area and I really did stick out like sore thumb. I went to probably the worst mall I’ve ever been too called the Landmark Mall and ate at the food court. Half the mall was closed and it was literally depressing. I spent the night contemplating my trip the next day and watching the Big Lebowski. Having a hotel room to yourself really gives you time to think amongst yourself in a quiet atmosphere which I am debating on how to reveal those thoughts in a future post.
I got up at 6:30 the next day and dropped the Buffalo defense from my phone and ate a 2x2x2 breakfast at IHop. I had a few stops in Alexandria and then headed to Bethesda. I wanted to stop in Vienna but missed the exit in ridiculous beltway traffic and had to change plans. After Bethesda I stopped in Hyattsville and Bladensburg where I met some long time customers. Rockville was next on my journey and then I finished in Baltimore. All in all it was a jam packed two days. I probably visited about 20 different suppliers and learned a wealth of information from being on the road. I logged 750 miles on this trip.
The one noticeable thing I’m noticing is my sales delivery on these trips. This is probably the 5th or 6th time I’ve done this by myself and to say I wasn’t nervous the first few times would be an outright lie. Approaching big stores, asking for the buyer, and then trying to sell him something can be intimidating. Now I’ve really settled into the role. I don’t get nervous and talk with a slow, relaxed approach. I’m generally likable and think I do a pretty good job. I’d say my biggest weakness is not asking for their money a lot of time. Lack of aggressiveness in sales I’d call it. I believe this is my next step to overcome. Nevertheless this gives me something to work on. I’m hoping that the title isn’t conceded but after doing a trip like this, I know that I’ve gained experience that most people in the 20’s don’t get.