Ducks In A Tub

Taking life's adventures one day at a time.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

10 Unusual Reasons to Marry a Salesman

I know, I know, if you want to make money you’ve got to be in sales. But it’s not all peaches and roses if you are the wife of the successful (or unsuccessful) salesman. It can be a real drag to go through his fluctuating moods and the treacherous sales cycle. Or is it a drag? If you think about it, each of the reasons that you hate the sales career is really why you married your salesman to begin with and why you need each other. Here is my list of Unusual (e.g., at first they appear negative) Reasons why we women married to salesmen are (or could be) so happy:

He’s more popular than you. Everywhere you go you run into someone who knows your husband. He makes friends with all his clients, after all, that’s how he gets their business…by being friendly! When you are with him in public and you unexpectedly find yourself being introduced to a “great client,” you automatically hope that you remembered to brush your hair that morning and that the spit-up stain on your beat up tee-shirt isn’t too noticeable. You don’t want to spoil his perfect image. When the whole introduction and exchange of pleasantries is finally over your husband gives you a great big kiss and says that you were great. He talks about you all the time when he makes his sales calls and he’s glad that this particular client finally got the meet the woman behind the man. Your husband’s persuasive skills are so good that you are convinced you were an asset to him during that brief business encounter. His compliments let you know that he thinks you are beautiful no matter what.

He gets to do more fun stuff than you. Remember in high school and college how it was always the popular kids who seemed to have the most fun stuff on their calendar? Well, that’s how your husband is. There are so many people that like him and want him to show up to their office party, their after-hours beer social, their Christmas party, their kid’s birthday party, etc. Not only are you home all day, every day with the kids, but then there are times when you get “stuck” by yourself all evening while he’s out having a good time. While your one year old throws food at you during dinner and splashes so much in the bath that you come away soaked, hubby is out tossing back a cold one and talking sports with “the guys” who also happen to give him the business that feeds the family. By the time your man gets home you are so exhausted from the extra duties that you had to perform solo during the evening that you just want to relax. Being the wonderful husband that he is, your beloved takes your shoes off, gives you a nice foot rub and tells you that he left as quickly as he could because he just wanted to be home. You don’t want to believe him. You’d like to believe that he had a great time and didn’t miss you or the kids at all. But you can see it in his eyes – he’s tired from being on his best behavior all day and he misses you and the kids so much. He makes the sacrifices for YOU!

The women love him. Sometimes people (especially us women) just need someone to talk to. It feels like your husband is always “the chosen one” that women use as a confessor. They tell him their life story and most of the time it involves lots of mistakes. He listens to their woes. They rave about what a great guy he is. He asks for their business and gets it. You become suspicious of these women and their motives. In your mind, no women should spill her guts to a guy she barely knows as a business acquaintance. She must be putting the moves on him! What a slut! You have every confidence in your husband. He would never cheat on you. You don’t worry about him, but about those women and how far they will go to get his sympathy for their screwed up lives. What you don’t realize is that every time he hears a story from one of these desperate women he appreciates you so much more. He is thankful for your morality and your values. He loves your stability and your strength. Each tale of woe brings him closer to you by reminding him that you take care of him and stand by him through all the good and the bad times.

He’s so flighty. There’s always something bigger, something better, a more successful way to make money. His eyes are always looking around for a better offer and there is not really any such thing as company loyalty. He would leave for a competitor in a heartbeat if the pay was good enough. This can drive you absolutely crazy keeping up with all his latest schemes for getting rich quick. You just wish that he would slow down, focus, and spend enough time doing one thing to be successful at it. This is where you come in. He needs you. You might not think so because he acts all tough, but he does. You keep him stable. You are consistent. You are always there. Because of you, he will be cautious before making dramatic changes. He does not want to risk upsetting you. Believe it or not, he is vulnerable, and his weakness is you.

Income varies per month. Most people in this country have a steady stream of income. They go to work, do a job, get paid the same amount every week, and live off that money. The life of a salesman, though, is not that predictable. Oh, with success comes some measure of anticipations for regularity, but it can never be completely consistent. Some months he sells a lot, some months he sells a little. Every month you and he hope that his business makes just enough to cover your bills. This is an opportunity for the two of you to communicate. Out of necessity, you need to regularly discuss the incoming and the outgoing finances so that you are both in sync regarding your spending habits. You’ll find yourselves talking about money quite a lot, but both of you will know exactly what is permissible spending and what is off limits.

Reliance on the marketplace. Sometimes it just does not matter how good a salesman your husband is. If the marketplace is down, then he can’t get business no matter how hard he tries. It’s tough to get something out of zero. My husband was a title insurance sales rep for 3 years…the good years. As soon as real estate started to die locally, his business went downhill. He still knew the same people, was still as friendly and as good a salesman as ever, but there was no longer a need for his services in the same volumes as before. And since his paycheck depended on making sales, we struggled with very little pay for a while before he changed industries altogether. This can be tough on a family, but it is particularly rough on your husband who no longer has any control over his business. The plus side: you become very well educated in current market trends. Even though you are juggling kids all day you are a mommy who can carry on an intelligent conversation about the recent economy. Thank your husband for all the times he talks about work. At the time he’s saying it you do not particularly care, but later the information makes you knowledgeable and isn’t that a boost for the mommy-mush brain!

Inconsistent work schedule. Sometimes your husband will kiss you goodbye in the morning before you even have a thought of waking up, and sometimes he hangs around doing computer work at home until 10am. Sometimes he is home for dinner, sometimes he’s not. He could be home anytime between 3pm and 8pm. Maybe he eats lunch at home a few days a week, but you never know until an hour beforehand whether he will show up. What time will dinner be tonight? You call him at 4 o’clock every day to ask him. You just never know. On the other hand, he had the flexibility to arrange his schedule so he could be there for every single doctor visit while you were pregnant. When you want to take a weekend trip he gets home in the middle of the afternoon on Friday and you don’t have to worry about it cutting into his paid vacation time. After all, he can take phone calls in the car while you drive to your get-away place and not even consider it a day off. He can work from home while the kids are napping and you go to lunch with a friend. Yes, the flexible schedule definitely has its benefits.

He thinks that he is always right. In your husband’s world, people come to him for solutions to their business problems and his advice is usually heeded with the utmost respect and admiration for his ingenuity. Clients say things like, “What would we do without you?” and “You’re the best!” He thinks he will get the same treatment at home. While we love our husbands, they don’t always have a practical application for household problems that arise. When you complain about something the kids did today, or you tell him your latest challenge involving the education of your youngsters in proper manners, he offers a solution to the problem without any regard for the circumstances surrounding it. He adamantly defends his erroneous position and will not be swayed…until he tries to apply his “solution” and fails miserably. Then he tells you how smart you are for always knowing the right thing to do. He is humbled. He is apologetic. He admits his mistake. You are the queen.

He tries to sell you. Mr. Hot-Shot Top Salesman of the quarter is so confident in himself that occasionally he tries to apply his winning techniques on you. He thinks that this phrase or that leading question is just the thing to get you to change your mind on an issue and bring you around to see his point of view. Little does he know that you have steeled yourself against such mental invasion. You love him. You would do anything for him. He is your hero. You are far from being immune to his charm. But you live with the man. You know exactly what he says to try and get what he wants. He uses the same lines on his clients, but with you the effort does not yield the same result. When you know what his favorite closing line is, you will know when to roll your eyes, smile, and tell him you love him, but he’s not winning. The best part is, you can probably learn how to sell him if you pay attention. That’s a nice backup to have in case your other forms of persuasion fail…

His mood swings are legendary. And you thought women were prone to the emotional roller coaster! You never know when your husband will come home elated and on top of the world, or devastated beyond consolation. He may have finally succeeded in acquiring a new client, or he could have heard nothing but rejection for the last eight hours. This is your opportunity to shine! Yes, you’ve been busy all day too and maybe the kids were not as well behaved as you would like. But you have the power! The power to change the atmosphere of the whole house by simple welcoming your husband home with open arms, placing a warm dinner on the table, giving him a few minutes to vent his frustration, or sing his own praises, then gently changing the topic. If he had a frustrating day, those problems will disappear under your verbal caresses. You can lift his mood with a word, a glance, a smile. We women have the power!! Use it.


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