Fair warning: the word nipples is used in this post. I promise it’s relevant for the important life lesson I’m about to teach you.
For the most part, my customers (99% male), are completely respectful of me. Many of them have wives and family themselves, so a lot of them are actually protective of me. That being said, being a female in a man’s world- once in a while, I get some odd ducks.
Take, for example, the following text I got one day: Customer: “Hey, Sales Gal, how are your nipples?”
It took me about five seconds to formulate my response. This is the text conversation that followed:
Sales Gal: “I don’t talk about this, but I don’t have nipples due to a birth defect.” Customer: “Wait, are you serious?” SG: “Yeah, I used to be sad about it, but now I think it’s cool.” Customer (no response for five minutes): “I don’t know what to say.” SG: “Then stop talking about my nipples!”
He’s been professional ever since. So be warned, gentlemen: when you ask a non-work related question, expect a ridiculous answer!
Today is Sunday, the “day of rest.” But instead of resting, I’m packing for a quick overnight trip. One of the downsides of being a RoadWarrior is that oftentimes, your schedule can be erratic, and dictated by your customers.
For example, one of my customers is having a problem with a new product installed in his truck. If you know anything about trucking, it’s that if a truck isn’t rolling down the road, it’s not making its company money. So I need to hurry down there and find a solution so this truck can start making money again.
The good part about all of this is twofold: first, my customer can see that I am committed to finding him a solution, and second, since I have the ability to plan my own schedule, I’ll still be home in time to celebrate the 4th of July holiday with my friends and family.
I generally think that having the ability to set my own schedule is one of the biggest benefits of my job. If there’s a week I absolutely want to stay home, then I do it. This job certainly affords me more luxury than typical office jobs I’ve had in the past!
Some women are obsessed with purses. And even though I can appreciate the quality and design of an awesome purse, there’s something else that keeps me up at night, obsessing: luggage.
I’ve been through approximately seven bags in two years (yes, seriously!), trying to find the right “set up” for my bags. While the other bags I had worked just fine, they weren’t exactly what I wanted. I started searching the internet for bags and finally settled on my current setup: a TumiVapor and a RedOxxCPA.
I can’t say enough about the two bags. My Tumi is durable, goes everywhere with me and fits in the small regional jets I often find myself in- which means no gate checking! The only flaw in my Tumi is that there is no outside pocket, so oftentimes I try to stash something in the outside of the suitcase, with no sucess. The RedOxx is a heckuva bag. It’s built in the USA, strong and I can even use it for an overnight. These two bags together make me a successful road warrior.
Frequent traveler and fellow road warrior Brian has launched a relatively new Twitter hashtag on twitter: #roadwarriorproblems. If you’re a roadwarrior, you know what we’re talking about. You get used to certain things on the road, like:
- Checking in to one of your normal hotels and always getting the same room,
- The hotel staff asking you how you’ve been since you were last there,
- Trading Christmas cards with your airline gate agents,
- Extra special snacks and treats in your hotel room,
- Knowing that if your upgrade doesn’t clear, your gate agent will get your fav seat, and
- Remembering to turn off the hotel room alarm.
On my first solo trip as a road warrior, I rolled up into Joplin, Missouri and checked in to my room for the night. Imagine my surprise, at 3:35 a.m., when the alarm started going off. I didn’t know where I was, what alarm was going off and it took me about 5 minutes to figure it out. By then, my next door neighbor was pounding on the wall and I was wide awake.
The next morning, I was tired, but I figured I had survived my first round of roadwarrior hazing. Also, a life lesson learned on my first trip: always check the hotel room alarm to make sure it’s turned ‘off!’
Let’s face it, most of my friends are stay-at-home-moms covered in spit up and baby goo. While I certainly commend them for their difficult jobs, at this point in my life, it’s just not for me. Many of them ask me how I do what I do. Somedays, I’m just not sure. But most of the time, I think there’s certain qualities that you need to have as a road warrior:
- A sense of adventure
- The ability to adapt to any situation
- Be able to pack light, and
- Appreciate that home is wherever and whatever you make it.
I’m not saying that I don’t miss home. There are times I miss home so much I ache. But, as you settle into a routine as a roadwarrior, it’s easy to fall in love with the lifestyle- you’re getting paid to travel! On someone else’s dime! To a place you’ve never been before! If you work hard and accept being a roadwarrior, you can reap some really great benefits.
I almost turned down the best job of my life. Like many of you, I was victim to the economic downtown. So there I was, mid-2010, unemployed and bored with my prospects. I had just walked out of boot camp, huffing and puffing, when my good friend JD called me.
“I’ve found you the perfect job,” he said. “It’s a sales…..”
And I immediately tuned him out. The thing is, all my life, I had this connotation that sales people were annoying. (Sometimes I still think they are, but more on that in another post!) I thought salespeople were sleazy, conducted bad work practices and it wasn’t something I wanted to be a part of.
But I had to be real with myself. While I had gone on many interviews, nothing seemed like the right fit. The fact that a close friend was recommending this job to me certainly made it jump up in status. So I interviewed for my current position sitting in a car while running errands- going to the bank, grocery shopping, etc.
As luck would have it, my friend JD pushed me just enough for me to leap before I thought about it too much. And here I am, two years later, a female road warrior.