That’s what it is here in New York today. The humidity and heat of summer is in full swing as we head into a heat wave that will be lasting for… well, we just won’t talk about that right now.
It’s 10am on a summer Monday morning and I’m just enjoying coffee and the little breeze through the living room window.
Are you sick, Christiane? Why… how are you still home at 10 on a Monday?
Yes, I ask myself that occasionally, as I’m sure others do. But gone are the days of waking up at 5:30am to commute to work, ping-pong between jobs, and finally arrive back home around 11pm just to collapse on the bed and to it all over again a few hours later.
Sometimes I can’t believe I have a full time job that has an accommodating schedule and is somewhat fulfilling and rewarding. I’ve been climbing the rungs on the proverbial ladder- I’ve been with this company 3 years June and stuck it out (even when it seemed like the end) so a promotion came with open arms. That’s not to say it’s all fun and games. It’s a total retraining, relearning, re-strategizing process.
I work in sales. No, not retail so much anymore. Not hospitality, although my Southern charm has come in hand way to many times. Sales. Membership sales. Sales of an intangible practice at lofty prices.
Sure, I can talk about the value and benefits all day long. I can put you in the right class again and again and know you are enjoying it. But then comes asking. Asking for or assuming the sale. It’s not like selling a pair of shorts– OK, these fit and they look good. I need shorts, cause it’s warming up and all. Great, I’ll buy these shorts. I know they are what I want and I know I will have immediate use for them.
It’s not exactly the same process for a membership. “Would you like to continue your practice with us?” Sure, maybe I would… but I’m traveling and what if I get hurt and can’t take class or I get busy with work and never make it in for the classes I want. I’m sure I will enjoy it, but I want to come 3 times a week and I know I won’t be able to any time soon… Wait, it’s now much? Will I be coming enough to justify spending that?
I hear it every day. Smiles and Southern flair only get you so far. And that’s where my biggest challenge lies… in the new uncharted unknown.
I’ve also found myself so much more immersed in the business… the numbers game of a large company. The stat reports and corresponding percentages are suddenly something I check and actively participate in every day.
So why am I writing about this as I sip my coffee and procrastinate putting on stretchy pants and a blouse for work? 1. Because I thought my fabulous blog community would be interested in what I do. and 2. Because of the newest book I picked up the other day for summer reading.
While browsing the shelves of Barnes and Noble on 80 something and Broadway I picked up my usual- the latest edition of Women’s Running, another book on the cosmos, Origins by Neil DeGras Tyson, a book recently turned major motion picture that was recommended by a good friend, Wild, and then I found myself in the Business Management section. Here I was drawn to a book bearing the Starbucks logo– Onward; How Starbucks Fought for Its Life without Losing Its Soul, by the company CEO Howard Schultz.
I don’t know what it was about the book or the moment, but I had to have it. Will it unlock some hidden secret about working in a corporate company? Maybe… I have no idea. All I know is I haven’t been able to put it down. My train commute is now something to look forward to rather then hold off on a long as possible.
While I’m not very far into it yet, a section of Onward stuck with me and I will leave you with it.
“There are moments in our lives when we summon the courage to make choices that go against reason, against common sense and the wise counsel of people we trust. But we lean forward nonetheless because, despite all risks and rational argument, we believe that the path we are choosing in the right and best thing to do. We refuse to be bystanders, even if we do not know exactly where our actions will lead.”