“I’m on the Road”
Spoken like a true sales person. It’s taken some getting used to, but six months into my new position I think I can officially say I’ve become a “sales guy” (ahem, gal). The switch from marketing to sales has been surprisingly different – they really are two different beasts. Aside from the obvious differences (instead of helping the sales people sell, I’m now the one selling), one major difference is the amount of time I’m “on the road”. Whereas in marketing, traveling for work meant flying to Vegas with five of my favorite co-workers for a trade show, now it means spending hours in the car, alone, followed by nights spent in boring hotel rooms – also alone.
Take today, for example. This morning I drove north to Akron for a meeting with a potential customer (not The King). I first met up with my Distributor at his office (technically, I’m not a full-fledged sales person; I manage Distributors who sell our product). After visiting a few of the customer’s stores (gotta be prepared), we had lunch at Bob Evans (happily, not Applebee’s – I’ve eaten more at Applebee’s since I started this job then in the past ten years combined) before heading to the customer’s office for our meeting. After the meeting, I got back on the road. But instead of driving south back to Columbus, I continued north and west to that state up north to meet with a different Distributor and customer tomorrow.
Which brings me to my current location – Detroit. My hotel is actually located on 8 Mile, and ironically enough, my iPhone shuffled to “Lose Yourself” right as I was entering the city limits. But before you freak out, Mom – we’re talking 8 Mile in the suburbs, not the middle of downtown. I pulled into the hotel just before seven, and immediately noticed a nail salon in the shopping center directly next to the hotel. And since I wasn’t quite hungry yet, I decided to treat myself to a pre-Spain pedicure! It was just $23 (20% off for new customers!) and very relaxing. Check out those matching third-toe blisters – a souvenir from my Saturday night 🙂
While sitting in the pedicure chair, I browsed my phone’s Yelp app for dinner ideas. Sometimes when traveling I’ll meet someone for dinner, a co-worker or a Distributor. Other times I’ll take myself out for dinner – I’ve gotten pretty good at dining alone (but I always need my “dining out alone armor” – Sex and the City reference, anyone?!). But tonight, I didn’t feel like sitting at a restaurant. I felt like getting takeout and being cozy in my hotel room, with my blog and the TV. After a few minutes of Yelp browsing, I decided I was in the mood for Thai – it makes the best takeout! I called Thai Fresh and placed an order for some fresh spring rolls and red curry with brown rice, and then walked the 0.05 miles down the strip mall to pick it up.
Upon check-in, I learned that my hotel does not have a bar – what?!?! I had my heart set on a glass of red wine with my classy hotel room dinner! But never fear – Trader Joe’s to the rescue! In between the nail salon and the Thai place sits a TJ’s – aka, cheap wine! And cheap it was – I picked up a $3.99 twist-cap (no bottle opener) and a three-pack of dark chocolate bars (I will only eat one, I promise!) for a whopping $6 – cheaper than a glass of wine at the hotel bar would have been! Win, win.
Back in my hotel room, I changed into my PJs and set-up shop for a five-star dinner:
Yes, those spring rolls were actually THAT BIG. Sadly, they didn’t hold a candle to my favorite ones from Basil and I only ate a few bites of one before but deciding to call it quits. Happily, the curry was much better – a little spicy just like I like it, and the half tofu / half chicken I requested hit the spot. As far as the wine goes, it tasted like $3.99 wine – which is perfectly fine for the Hampton Inn! The only problem with this meal is that it resulted in a lot of leftovers that I’m unable to enjoy (no fridge and I’m not driving home until tomorrow afternoon), and I hate wasting food. Oh well – you can’t win ’em all. Oh, and I was looking forward to watching the E! Fashion Police Emmy’s special, only to discover that the hotel TV doesn’t have “E”?! #onlyinmichigan
So there ya have it – being “on the road”, Sarah style. Tomorrow I meet with my Distributor and their customer in the morning / afternoon before heading home – hopefully in time to see my personal trainer tomorrow evening. In case you’re keeping track, that’s 500+ miles in two days – whew! Good thing my Dad taught me about “This American Life” – this week’s episode was a real nail biter.
Do you travel for work? What does “on the road” look like for you?