I’m doing business development at work now.
(I'm going for client meetings, too, which is pretty interesting. Met a sharp, insightful Director who shook the ground under my feet with his dazzling personality, and remained unimpressed with what we had to offer; also a receptive, cool Prof who raised our hopes and spirits by being more positive... but that's not what this post is about.)
So, as I was saying, I’m doing business development at work. And it’s not my cup of tea.
I’ve done several different things – from arranging travel to HR functions, language training to administering and scoring psychological tests and surveys, facilitating of-sites and doing basic office admin. But no, siree. Being a Jane of many trades does NOT imply that I will enjoy everything I take up and I will attain all the absurd targets people give me.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m a perseverant person that way, and a very diligent professional. Learning new things and meeting challenges effectively are two (of my million) strengths. And it’s true I’m good at communication and persuasion. But sales? Not my forte by a long shot...
Any way, I DID say that I would assist the company and board in whatever way possible and necessary, so, I’m not backing out. But, the fact remains, I’m not enjoying it. It’s ok as long as I’m sending out brochures and emailing people. But when it comes to actually calling them... You know what I mean, right?! Here’s a glimpse...
Tring Tring... (or some sidey caller tune! Jeez, didn't know even full-blown professionals can be so juvenile... But then, the world has all kinds of folks...)
And tring again...
(After a few light years...) “Hello?”
Me (in my best come-here-darling-puppy voice) : “Helloooo? Am I talking to Mr/Ms. so-and-so?”
Me : “Hi! I’m Anuja calling from Alchemy. Is this a good time to talk?”
“What is this about?”
(I’m aching to say – Look buddy, I’m not selling you some chaddi-diapers or detergent. I’m also not offering you a loan. I just want to talk for a moment, and that too, not coz I like you, but coz my task is such. So, try and pull up your nasty face and make an attempt at being more polite and sweet. We’re all cultured, educated humans, after all!)
Instead in a cootchie-poochie voice (as if I just detected a 100 Rupee note under my chair), “Actually we’d sent you a brochure, so I just wanted your comments on that.”
Several taciturn answers ranging from :
“What sort of comments?”
“I haven’t received it” (a BLATANT lie, bhagwan se darr, murkh!)
“I haven’t had time to go through it” (At least that’s frank!)
And then starts my bid to prolong the dialogue and squeeze in my request to grant us a chance to meet... Which invariably receives a response that there is no requirement at the moment coz of global/organizational reasons or that it’s a busy time and I get in touch with someone else or a simple, futile rejoinder “call me next week”.
I tell you, cold calling sucks...
I’m not badmouthing officials coz I know they have busy schedules and heavy work-loads. And I know I may not be calling them at the best of times coz they may be abroad or dealing with personal crises and concerns. Or they maybe bored and plainly NOT in the mood to answer such sales calls. I don’t blame them one bit... All I ask is civility, honesty and amiability. Not a gigantic demand, is it?
I really pity the customer care reps. (I, myself, don’t encourage them to say a word beyond who are they and what they’re calling for. And I must confess, I ain’t affable all the time either.) But I’m flabbergasted at their persistence and overwhelmed by their endurance. Talking to a hundred different (the majority grumpy) people each day, reciting the same mugged-up lines in syrupy tones... No child’s play by any standards!
So, well, sales is a SAD task. (And my getting weighed down by this task also stems from the fact that others keep pseudo-supervising me without pitching in an ounce of effort to relieve me.) It’s tough. And not having a shoulder to cry is worse.
I know this has become my regular cribbing ground, but let me tell you it’s no cakewalk to work with people who are all snobbish and senior to you - at least age-wise (wisdom not guaranteed), and no age-mate or peer to share criticisms and gossips. (The cartoons that comprise my colleagues each has his/her own idiosyncrasies, which I sure will share with you when the time arises, indicating that my tolerance levels have gone for a toss)
But well, tough times don’t last; tough people do. (At least that’s what the scriptures claim. They weren’t written by folks who never experienced challenges, where they?!!)
AND... The update is the tea vendor has been discontinued (!) The official reason is that the tea's not too good (as if they really care about us!) Yep, you guessed it - the costs definitely are way beyond the creamer nightmare... Smirk smirk!
To conclude with some food for thought : Attitude in the wrong place is called arrogance (An astute observation from the Bollywood flick Fashion)
Psst, psst - Dostana's releasing today, and I'm really looking forward tp it. Hope it doesn't go kapoot like my plans for Golmaal Returns and Fashion... The joke is that EMI has left screens in a week! Looks like people couldn't wait to see it go... Poor Urmila and Sanjubaba... Everyone's not as loyal as me!
And to everybody readinfg this - WISH U A VERY HAPPY CHILDREN'S DAY... Discover the child within!