Once upon a time, I thought I needed a career change, so I decided to sell real estate. I did not think this through. (If I could Not Think Things Through for a living I'd be a millionaire, I'm very good at it.) So I went to school at night and passed the test the first time (Yay!) and joined a local real estate firm. The open houses on Tuesday were lots of fun. You got to walk through a bunch of houses that had just been listed. Although, truthfully, after you had gone through 4 or 5 Mt. Brook houses, they all started to look alike. Which is probably a quasi-racist statement, but nonetheless true.
I soon discovered that I hate selling things. Again, if I had Thought Things Through before I started this quest, I would have realized that already. When I go in a store, I hate salespeople to come up to me. I actually hate people anywhere to come up to me. It makes me anxious and I start assuming I've done something wrong, because that tends to be my fallback position in life. I apologize for everything and to everything. If I bump into a chair, I apologize to it. Sometimes, the first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is yell, "I'm sorry" to the empty apartment. I'm a firm believer in being proactive.
Anyroad, miracle of miracles, I did sell one house. But I felt guilty (my second fallback position) for selling it to the couple because although the owner fixed some water damage, I knew they were in for more, having owned a house that fell apart from water damage. I had no hard evidence that this would happen, just a general feeling that it probably would. I really wanted to say something to them, because I have this thing about being honest. Call me crazy. But my supervisor said that legally I couldn't advise clients based on my Irish Sense of Foreboding, so I got through closing, handed the poor young fools their keys and said, "Sorry."
My real estate "career" lasted about six months, the last two of which I spent mostly in tears and tummy pains. My then-husband was not teaching that summer and we decided to take an extended cross-country family road trip, so I took that opportunity to quit real estate. I also made my children swear a solemn vow that if I ever talked about going into sales again, they were to take me out to the back yard and shoot me. They could bury me between the cat and the guinea pig.
I guess I tried sales in the first place because I vaguely thought if I could get on stage and convince an audience I'm someone I'm not, I could convince people to buy things they don't need. One of these things is not like the other. Besides, and I swear this is the last time I'll say this-- AGAIN, if I had Thought Things Through, I would remember the fact that I am, like many actors, an intense introvert. People scare the crap out of me, cause they talk to you and stuff, and expect you to talk to them back. Don't they know I'll say the wrong thing? Why do they put me through such torture?? In sort of the words of that Senator that finally brought down Joe McCarthy, have they no shame??? No, they don't. They're people. And people are scary. Yeah, sales is a bad idea for me.
Unless I could sell to animals. Or chairs. As long as I don't bump into them.