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A ray of morning sunlight struck me in the face as I lay in bed. I opened my eyes and tried to shake the cobwebs from my head. I could not determine whether I was dreaming or awake. My hand reached up to the nightstand and clutched a small piece of paper. I brought the piece of paper close to my face so that my eyes might focus on it. As my vision cleared, I realized that I was looking at a check made out to myself in the amount of $358,832.16!
The month of October was the time of year we usually held our annual sales meetings, and I cringed at the thought of going. Although the gatherings took place at very nice resorts such as the Doral Country Club in Miami and the Southampton Princess in Bermuda, and I looked forward to seeing several members of the sales team, I still abhorred the behavior of most of the people there. The phony back slapping and incessant brown nosing made me sick. Everybody was jockeying for position.
To make matters worse, my wife's mother was terminally ill with cancer, slotoff.com and I hated to leave her at this time. Our meeting was to be held at the Boulders resort in Arizona, and since my sales for the year were very good, I decided to make the most of it. I prepared a presentation that would expound on the outstanding state of affairs in my territory. After reviewing the report and deciding it was definitely what management would like to hear, I advanced to the important stuff.
I cleaned my golf clubs and took an inventory on golf balls. My golf clubs were placed in the travel bag, and I found room to insert my tennis racket inside of it. I was ready to go. My wife dropped me off at the terminal, and as I kissed her good-bye an ominous feeling overcame me. I proceeded to the gate and boarded my plane. There was loud laughter at the back of the fuselage, and without even looking, I knew it was our Chicago personnel.
Apparently the meeting had already started with pre-boarding alcoholic beverages being consumed. Soon we arrived in Arizona in good spirits. Our bags were retrieved, and we were shuttled off to the resort to begin our meeting. The Boulders Resort was the most outstanding location we had ever chosen for our sales meeting. We were greeted by employees that somehow knew our names and guided us to our rooms without even checking us in.
In our rooms were copies of the planned activities. The itinerary for the first evening read "cocktail party and dinner." To put this in layman's terms, the agenda could have simply read: Let's get drunk and eat too much. After fifteen years, I was a pro at this and so were the others. We knew we would pay for our indulgence in the morning. Our meetings proceeded according to schedule. We worked all morning, played golf in the afternoon, and resumed business at night.
By the time we had dinner and played cards, it was two in the morning. I knew the true meaning of working hard and playing hard (this is why most of us felt like checking into the Betty Ford Center after five full days of sales meeting debauchery). The third evening was scheduled for the most anticipated event of the meeting. At this time, the "Salesman of the Year" would be announced. This was a coveted prize that could only be described as the "Oscar" for chemical salesmen.
The National Sales Manager arose and approached the podium. His speech detailed the outstanding accomplishments of the individual to be honored. As he spoke, he noted that not only was the salesman's territory up 40%, but that he had worked diligently to eliminate consignment at major accounts. I thought to myself, "Let's get this over with so that I can eat and play cards." Without warning, he announced my name as the "Salesman of the Year!" I was paralyzed.
Before I knew it, people were applauding and I was requested to come to the podium to receive the award. What was I supposed to say? I accepted the traditional "Screaming Eagle" trophy and without thinking said, "I consider myself a very lucky guy. After all, who can say that they are doing what they enjoy, while conducting business in topless joints." It went over big. As the meeting ended, the management and salesmen congratulated me.
I sensed a deep sense of envy emanating from many of them as they shook my hand. I was shocked by the reaction. I awakened the next morning with a terrific hangover. The beads of water from the shower nozzle struck my head like lead pellets. The pain eased as I recalled that I was "Salesman of the Year.