The Job I Wasn’t Made For…

Posted on March 30, 2013


A lunch discussion prompted this post.  The discussion was about jobs and revolved around a job each of us had which pretty much was the job you weren’t made to turn into a career.  Yep, I had one of those.

The job?  Well, it was in sales.  The company?  A water softener company.  There was an ad in the paper for a sales person in the water industry.  I sent in a resume and a cover letter, and suddenly found myself at an interview.  Next thing I knew, I was offered the job, and of course being a leo, I thought it was due to the fact they were impressed with my interview.  To be honest, not many had applied for the job and they were desperate.

I show up for the training which consisted of learning about all things charcoal, water and the “testing process.”  During the brief training, I quickly assessed that I was not a good fit for the job.  But, this company had hired me, so I felt like I had to give it a good effort to sell the water softener product.

I dreaded what would be my first, and ultimately, last water testing appointment, and prayed the company had bad lead setters, but much to my dismay they were quite quick.  With my lead’s paperwork in hand, I grabbed my metal suitcase full of the water testing “stuff” to go do my very first water testing sales call.  To say I was nervous was an understatement, and as luck would have it (Not), it was out in a suburb I never went to and was very easy to get lost in.

And yes, I got lost as I had anticipated I would.  I drove all over this suburb getting more nervous with each lost minute, calling the lead multiple times to try to figure out how to get to their gorgeous home. (pre-GPS)  Yes, it was a huge gorgeous home.  As I pulled up into their long driveway, the front door opened where a husband, wife and two little kids greeted me.  Now I was really getting very nervous because you see, in order to test the water, I had to hook up the hose to the kitchen faucet, attach it to my charcoal tube, turn on the water while I hoped the tube stayed attached to both the faucet and the charcoal tube, then pray the color of the water turned blue which would indicate this family needed a water softening system which was very expensive to buy.  The sales pitch was it would save money over time.

While I put together all of the equipment I needed for the water test, I explained what I was doing and if the water turned blue, then it meant their water was too hard and would eventually lead to repairs, etc.  The two little kids stood on either side of me with eyes wide watching me fumble along trying to get everything set up.  The wife and husband sat at a very expensive granite island drinking a glass of wine, which at this point I was much in need of to calm my anxious nerves.  The family’s golden retriever and fat cat had even settled into a good place in the kitchen to watch the “water test.”

Now it was time to test their water.  I paused for a moment praying that the water would turn blue, then turned on the water faucet.  Wife, husband, two children, a golden retriever, fat cat and this very nervous person leaned forward to stare at the charcoal tube to see if it would turn blue.  For a couple of seconds, water slowly filled into the charcoal tube with no color change, then suddenly the tube became unattached to the charcoal tube and started dancing around spraying water all over this gorgeous kitchen drenching the family watching the test.  I dove toward the faucet and turned it off while the family dried their faces.  Grabbing paper towels next to the sink, I cleaned up the water apologizing profusely.  Let’s just say everyone was laughing except me, the golden retriever and cat.  Both furry creatures bolted from the room upon the spray of water, something I certainly wanted to do right now.  As I’m cleaning the water off of granite counters, I got a tug on my shirt sleeve from the little boy.  I glance down into his wet face.


He looks up at me with an earnest face.  “It didn’t turn blue.”

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Posted in: Life