Thursday, April 1, 2010


Good heavens you are the luckiest folks alive.

For weeks (months, even!): Drought. Drought. Drought.

Now? Words, words everywhere. An unmitigated inundation of Me. Three showings in one day. Someone up there must love you. (Though the following, I must admit, is boring. Generally I'm too arrogant to admit things like that. So apologies in advance.)

I simply had to stop in to release effusiveness into The Great and Powerful Void. The Husband isn’t home from work yet, talking to The Soph is only fulfilling to a point, and I think sister Whitney probably gets sick of me calling to talk about things that she couldn’t give a damn about.
I love my job. (Today, that is. Me and My Iron Conviction in a Person’s Capacity to Change love my job. This is a fluid thing. I am a fair-weather friend.)

I have the best job. If you gotta have a job—and I do—then this is the one to have. And I do! I have it. Glory be!

What's to love? Well, I have spectacular counterparts. I have doctors that listen and respond. I have office staff that seems to like me okay and if not that like my shoes and earrings. I have a manager that is an advocate and a support. I have far-flung teammates that I enjoy when I get to see them. I have mental stimulation. And I have a good amount of autonomy.

One of the really great parts of my job is the autonomy. I am the one that assesses my job responsibilities and per that directs my day's activities. I am a lone wolf day in and day out. There's a lot of trust involved with my job. I consider that a high compliment—that a company trusts me enough to set me lose, without someone breathing down my neck, to promote products like these.

Oh, sure I collaborate with counterparts that share my product responsibilities, but I spend most days alone. I drive up to an office alone. I walk in alone. I talk to the receptionist alone. I go to the back alone. I check the samples alone. I wait alone. And I interact with the doctor alone.

So like one of Wordsworth's Humble Solitaries am I.

A solo gig, me and this job. And I like that. No one stopping by my office or cubicle to ask me to do something or seek a follow-up. Yes, yes, I still have much administration work to do, and it can be a real bummer doing it in the evening, making my job more than a 40-hour-a-week gig, but I’d much rather do it that way without a tangible someone pestering me.

You must get lonely, says you.

No, I certainly don’t, says I.
For though I operate alone, my “coworkers” are the office staff and doctors I see each day; they’re the people I work with, the people I support, the people to which I make commitments. I know their names (most of them), and I learn about their families and interests just like I would with a daily face-to-face, working-for-the-same-company person.
In a sense, we team up to achieve the same goal: accessible care designed to improve pt. QOL (patient quality of life, that is—forget not that my corporate world is one of acronyms). Yes, believe it or not, that is the goal. Even for nasty, nefarious Big Pharma and their minions (me).

('Tis true. That's the goal. I kid you not in saying that there have been times that I've moaned about going to work and have overcome the inertia tugging at me with the sense of urgency I feel regarding the help certain of my products render patients. Help that honest-to-goodness saves lives. That's what I get to pedal: perpetually supported clinical proof of the efficacy of a life-saving medication.)

To hedge against the monotony of autonomy though, I occasionally have my manager ride with me. He flies in and spends a couple days as my observer, counselor, cheerleader, coach, and porter. He sits on my desk (the passenger seat in my car), carries my stuff into offices, stands quietly or contributes during my conversations with docs and staff, and then reviews with me the call experience when we get back to the car.

No matter how many times I’ve done it—and I’ve done it every 3-8 weeks (depending on the manager) for the last 5 years—I get nervous the night before one of these ride-alongs. Fretful. It’s illogical because I’ve never had a rotten ride-along. Nevertheless, eschewing logic (for I am still a woman, you know), I get a little anxious about every impending encounter with my boss. See, when you only see someone every 4 weeks you have less of an opportunity to make a positive impression and fewer chances to correct a bad one.

Today was one of those ride-along days, and, of course, I was nervous last night and the night before. Granted my ride-along today was with a manager that I’ve never had in my car before so perhaps the anxiety was warranted, but he’s amiable, has a great reputation with his employees, and is said to be more of a coach than a critic, so if I did do a rotten job on my calls I’d still come out on top with a list of opportunity areas (corporate speak for “things you totally suck at”).

Did I need to be nervous this go 'round? No ma’am. It was a great day. We had good calls (read: we were able to get a couple minutes with each doctor to talk about what’s presently relevant to the products we sell and we were able to schedule, let’s see . . . five! lunch appointments to occur sometime in the next month or so) and when he got out of my car at the end of the day he left me with some positive feedback, new disease state information, and tips for greater success in certain areas.

I get nervous for every single ride along. And for ever single ride-along I’ve ever had (watch me now as I totally jinx myself) it was needless, for I’ve ended the day on a high.

Much to my bewilderment, I’m good at my job. Even great at times. And I enjoy it. A drug rep? I’m a drug rep? You know that there's something unique about your job when a person asks what you do for a living, you answer, and all you get in return is a look of utter confusion (so generally I just answer that I sell drugs from out of my trunk and leave it at that). No kid sets out to be a pharmaceutical sales representative when they’re fantasizing about a future career. I myself just fell on it. And I’m ever so grateful that I did.

I just love my job.


whitneyingram said...

I give a damn. I really do. I like that you like your job. It's nice to hear people praise their work when so many complain.

I know that you don't give a damn about me talking about my kids. Although that story from Jack's doctor appointment was a high point in your day. I just know it.

Megan said...

Oh you know better than that. 'Course I care about your kids. I'm even planning to be there when the next one is borned.

And yes, your story was a high point and shall be told and retold many timed.

Rabid said...

I've said it before and I'll say it again, you have the perfect personality for your job. You have an almost artistic balance of intelligence, playfullness and confidence. You're also extremely articulate and approachable. And interesting. Interesting is important if you want to be listened to.

Rabid said...

And detail oriented. And thoughtful. You are great at making people feel important and special and stuff.

whitneyingram said...

Geez Rabid, why don't you just marry her?

Rabid said...

Cuz, Rookie. She hasn't asked me. Yet.

Jessica said...

And you guys would have to relocate to make that happen. Maybe somewhere warmer. Like LA?

p.s. don't you love corporate speak? My term for "stuff you suck at" is "areas for development." Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy, huh?

My25Cents said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
My25Cents said...

From a multi-pill-popper, I thank you. From the bottom of my weekly pill organizer, I thank you for being good at your job so my Dr. can know about what is currently available out there in the world of Pharma.

My ability to function each day sends a 'thank-you'... because I just don't see you as the touchy-feely-huggy type

Just Sue said...

Hey, I thought I had the best job in the world. I am thinking that I may have to write about my best job in the teacher or just plain old teacher.