Tuesday, December 3, 2013


While, yes, today is the first anniversary of my divorce—my first annivorcery—what really matters is that I just realized that in March I will have been pedaling drugs for nine years.

I have been practicing yoga for nearly a decade. I went to elementary school for seven years, undergrad for two and a half, and graduate school for two. I was married for 10ish years. I’ve had my Soph for 7 years. I’ve been dating Jim for almost a year. All of which is to say that nine years is a really long time for me to do any one thing. Nine years is a little less than a third of my whole life.

Here is what I’ve learned in my pharmaceutical career:

• selling drugs in Northern Nevada is way better than selling them in Vegas
• a good boss makes all the difference in my job satisfaction
• a good boss has two main qualities: he gets me what I want and he keeps out of my way
• a great boss has three main qualities: she gets me what I want, she keeps out of my way, and she knows everything that’s going on in the company
most doctors aren’t nearly as scary as I thought they'd be
• some doctors are
• lunches are where I really get the job done
at least half of everyone thinks my job is evil
they are wrong
• insulin is the best drug to sell
• the second best is a market-leading, life-saving anti-platelet
• every office has a drug rep policy whether they realize it or not
getting expense reports done on time isn't really where I shine
• (speaking of areas where I don't shine, I need to go log my November mileage right now)
• I am a sensational interviewee
• good shoes can save any sales call on the decline
• 75% of the time good hair can do the same
• patients really matter to me
sometimes I sound like an idiot talking about how much I care about The Patient
• my particular set of life choices make it really tough for me to find much of anything in common with doctors and their staff
• there is a drug rep fraternity
• being able to say that "I sell drugs" for a living is one of the best perks of this job
my partner at work is the best partner in the history of drug sales and I don’t deserve her

Nine years is quite a while, and I don’t see my pharmaceutical life ending any time soon. I like my job. Do I want to work? No, of course not. I want to sleep late, go to yoga twice a day, make use of the graduate degree and actually get paid to write, design prints, take naps, go to lunch with Jim every day, walk my dog late morning, paint my toenails before 9pm, and not care which formulary has my drugs preferred. But that is not my world.

Instead of getting to sleep in 'til ten, I try to get to my offices around nine—any earlier and the staff looks at me like, Please, dummy drug rep, go away until we’ve at least seen our first patient, and—please don’t tell this to the patients queued in the waiting room—the doc hasn't shown up yet anyhow, and that's not so bad. I get to go to yoga every day. I write some even if it ain't for dough. I spend my weekends designing prints that people buy to hang on their walls. I get to go to lunch with Jim at least a couple times a week. I paint my toenails at night while I watch Iron Chef. I have sweet neighborhood girls who walk my dog, and I think Sophelia prefers them to me anyhow.

So while I do have to work and I do have know which formularies list my drugs as preferred and I don’t have the exact life that I want, I have a really good gig. This life, this drug job, will do just fine.

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