Shutting out the world for an hour..Part One

Sometimes it takes everything I have to make it through the day. The last two months have been particularly challenging for me. I finished the bulk of college in December and am only taking two classes online this semester. Business Ethics and Entrepreneurship. Both are interesting but I am having difficulty finding the time and inspiration to do the work involved. Each class requires a half an hour on line each day at minimum. There are texts to read and papers to write. It doesn’t sound like a lot until it is combined with the rest of my schedule.

Knowing I would be graduating in May, I began looking for a job in November. I figured that in this recession and in my luxury goods field, that it would take me months to even get an interview. Well, I had six companies interested in the first week of my search. I was flattered and surprised. I quickly settled on three companies and began the in-depth interview process with each. Each company made me an offer. I carefully selected the best company for my current circumstances. A woman with whom I had wanted to work with for a long time recruited me. She gave me the difficult Boulder territory and I started with them on January 4th. That same day, she told me she was retiring at the end of the month. She knew it when she hired me but really wanted me on the team anyway. I was secretly devastated and may not have taken the job had I known. I wondered if I made a mistake. To top it off, the company had not found her replacement. To further complicate matters, the man I was replacing was promoted to DM in July so the territory was largely ignored for six months. This man was to take on the responsibilities of the woman who was leaving, train me, and do his own job. Poor guy. The downside is that my training was lack luster. I was hoping I had not been set up for failure.

In my fourth week of employment, I was required to give a “State of my territory” presentation to a panel comprised of the VP’s and CEO’s of my company. Each member of my six-man team were required to present. My presentation had nothing to do with me…as I was reporting on the previous year. (It had everything to do with me and how I would repair the broken territory.) The DM, who was responsible for that territory, did very little to assist me in the creation of the presentation. I actually had to call on the woman who hired me to help me find the information I needed. This was a source of extreme tension between the DM and myself. He basically dumped his failures in my lap. In the end, the presentation was a success, the panel was compassionate but firm, and I was able to convince them that I will do everything in my power to turn the territory around. I realized through my research that the territory is in much worse shape than had been revealed to me. Great.

I was having dinner in front of the tv after a very long day at the end of January when I heard the loudest crash and then screaming coming from the street outside my house. My roommate ran out and I followed, cell phone in hand. What I saw in the street shocked and amazed me. My Ford Explorer was attached to a Lincoln towncar by the grill and it had been pushed fifty feet down the block into yet another car. The driver of the towncar was desperately trying to free his car. People were in the street and my roommate was pounding on the driver’s side window trying to get the man to stop. He finally stopped and then he took off running. My roommate chased him down and the man along with his passenger and brother were all arrested. He got a DUI among the other charges. He had just been released from jail two days prior with yet another DUI.
The fire department and nine cops showed up. They were amazed at the sight of the wreckage. The man had wrecked into my roommates car, my car, and then used my car to wreck into yet another car. All of the cars were totaled.

This boded particularly well for me as I am required to drive to Boulder everyday for work carrying boxes of wine. Because of this requirement, I had just added full coverage insurance to my car when I accepted my new job. In fact, I just paid the bill a few days before the accident….

To my horror, the insurance company informed me that they had no record of the upgrade but had processed my ‘early payment.’ I had the bill in my hand and they said the burden of proof was on me. I am not in the habit of recording my telephone conversations so, obviously, I had no proof, and no full coverage. My car was a total loss unless I could track down the insurance for the towncar. Thankfully, the loser had a cheap policy and I would be getting some money, very little, but at least I got something.

As it goes, I am required to have a car for my new job. I drive, on average, 80 miles a day. I don’t really like driving and don’t really like cars but I have always wanted a Mini Cooper. My dad took me looking the day after my car was totaled. We had been looking at Mini’s before-it is something fun we do together. We looked at a few dealers and then as luck would have it, my dad found the perfect car in the web. But…more about that later…

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