The Tongue Incident~

This was just bizarre and this is where it all began. At that time, I’m not sure I knew “it,” but this was “it.” I took her out on a full day of prospecting. It went really well. No one was rude and we had a chance to actually sit and talk to a few quasi-decision makers, and someone even said they were interested. Yes! So, it was a success and I’m sure she picked up a lot of insight. Once she got the hang of the whole “on the road” thing in outside sales, she would be fine.

(I think I remember that she told her husband she was so uncomfortable from the first time we went out. It got hot and we didn’t take our blazers off. Her, I’m not sure why. Me, I didn’t shave that week and I had no sleeves on my shirt! She told me her husband called to ask about her day and she yelled at him, “I can’t talk to you right now. I’m uncomfortable!” I think the audio of her saying that playing over in my head was the first time I got a deep chuckle from this hysterical person I think of a soul sister. (Gitchy gitchy ya ya.)

She asked if I wanted lunch. Of course! I was starving! The restaurant she picked was in the same location as a restaurant that I had gotten food poisoning at. I chuckled secretly to myself and confidently agreed to go there because, hey, it’s a different place now. I once again wolfed my food down and we proceeded to drive away so she could get her kids. If it was only that simple.  . .

My tongue felt like it was blowing up. Not like the whole thing and not like it was going to explode, but I could feel a small, hard ball at the end of it. “That’s weird,” I’m thinking. “I don’t remember that ball there before.” I’m having a private conversation in my head and pressing my tongue between my teeth to determine if this is a ball, if it is growing, if it hurts. What the heck?! I decide to get realistic AND I remembered my horoscope – yes – my horoscope. My horoscope for that day indicated that all my “i”s would be dotted and “t”s crossed, but nothing would prepare me for the interruption I would have and it would be (verbatim) “a doozy and I better think quick about how to deal with it.” Oye, now I become George Castanza from Seinfeld and proceed to overreact.

See, I had two allergic reactions in my life that made my lips and face swell. The last time I had this happen the doctor said, “Well, it’s something you ate and when it happens again, it will get progressively worse. We can stick you with a bunch of needles to determine the allergy or you can carry Benadryl with you.” I also promptly remembered my mother having a reaction to seafood and getting rushed to the hospital where they told her she almost died from asphyxiation as her tongue had swelled. So I begin to scramble for Benadryl in my bag and calmly ask her if there is a clinic in the area. Unbeknownst to me, she doesn’t do well in extreme situations. Actually, she doesn’t do well even in mild situations. Now that I know her, and she has mentioned this several times, it is a miracle of God the she gave childbirth.

She starts to scream at me “A clinic. NO. Why do you need a clinic? Well, there’s UCONN. Do you want to go there??!!!???!!”

Me: “No, if we have to drive to UCONN it might take too long. Where is there a walk-in clinic? My tongue is blowing up.”

She: “Your tongue is blowing up. Why? What’s wrong? Oh my GOD. You need a clinic. Why do you need a clinic?”

Me: “It’s okay. Don’t worry. I just need to go to a walk-in to make sure it’s okay.”

Well after all the drama, a walk-in was literally around the corner. Phew. I knew they would take me right away and I told her just to take my car to get her little monkey. She called him her “four –year old thing” and told me he acted like a mafooch and looked like Sammy the Bull Gravano. I could not WAIT to meet this kid. Off we both went as I profusely apologized. She didn’t know why I was apologizing, and I’m not so sure I did either, but I just hate it when people feel uncomfortable!

It turned out just fine and I took the Claritin that was in my bag (note to self: put lots of Benadryl in the bag!) The doctors were a little standoffish and didn’t even want to touch my tongue. I kept sticking out and saying, “Can you see it?” They would kind of back away. What was that all about? I wanted them to put a latex glove on and squeeze my tongue so they could feel it. How else could they diagnose it!

She makes it back with “Sammy” – oh my God – this kid does look like him and is the cutest Chubaka you’ve ever seen. Apparently my condition caused quite a ruckus at pick-up time at daycare. We laughed all the way home and I tried not to scare her kid. After all, I’m the lady whose tongue just “blew up” and he’s four. His visual is tissue and blood all over the place.

She FaceBook’d about it that night and got LOTS of response. I guess these things happen to her… Ahh, gotta love sales training.


It has been said, that everywhere I go there are dilemmas and that statement is VERY true. This day would be like any other in my life, drama filled.  I am heading out with her to go on sales calls. Oh fun! Anyway, she picks me up at my house and off we go. She has a list of places and her car has papers everywhere of clients and people and articles and stuff, there is definitely a method to her madness.

Driving around we are hitting several places, in and out of the car, in and out–annoying! Then she is dialing her phone with a blue tooth and talking, this girl is all business and she is fast. I am more of the turtle and she is the hare. I still get there but in my own fashion.

Finally after circling a huge parking lot in New Britain for what seemed like hours and then walking another mile to get to the office we were looking for, I am exhausted. You see when you run your own company, like I did, you plot these things out….this would have been a day trip for me. LOL, but it was actually our last stop and so we decided to head back to town for lunch.

We eat and talk and I can tell we are comfortable with each other and there is something about her that is very intriguing. Almost like, we should have been friends for years. We finish lunch and head to the car. I have to go and pick up my son at 3:00 and it is like 2:45.

Driving she says, “Heather is there a walk-in clinic around here?”

Me: “WHAT…WHAT’S the matter?!@

She: “I think I may be having an allergic reaction to something I just ate~”

Me: Are you KIDDING, OMG this is horrible, do you want to go to UCONN, how can you tell?”

 She: My tongue is swelling.

 Me: Are you kidding me, are you going to die? What!!! OMG this is horrible, what do we do. OMG turn around and go to the clinic up the street-

There was a lot more screaming and yelling, but it is blurred at this point for me.

All I keep thinking is what if she dies and I am with her and OMG!

She does a U-turn in the street and we head back to the clinic, we walk in and there she goes up to the desk and tells them the problem, she then turns to me and tells me to take her car and go get my son.

I fly out of there and to his daycare. Run in and tell him “we have to go quick, the lady I work with, her tongue just blew up in the car.we have to go quick!” His response like any other 4 yr old, “What mama, her tongue blew up and there is blood and guts all over?” No, no I have no time to explain this, just get in the car with your bike and all your bags.

We head back to the clinic and wait. While waiting he is convinced when she comes out her tongue will be gone and she will just have a head. Wait, wait, wait, finally she comes out and it turns out everything will be ok. He keeps checking her face. LOL.

I had to Facebook that evening and no one who knows me was really surprised, after all it’s just a day in the life of ME!


Day One of Training (A.K.A. The Day the Animals Died)

Another benefit of working from your home is that you get to train in comfort. I sent her a ton of stuff to look over. I know it was a lot, but it’s better to digest it all and then come prepared – right? I’ve got all my stuff and I figure it will be just an easy day of training, but I have one sales call to make before she comes.  “Damn,” I thought. “I’m on a roll and I hate having to leave the house. It’s such an interruption!” (Ah, you could use a sale dummy) but now I clearly understand it was my gut telling me there would be no sale.

I drive to the home-based business (strike one, but understandable given the nature of the work) of a woman whose father has been battling an illness. She was kind enough to schedule amidst the back and forth with her father. The business section of the property was locked so I walk toward a mildly run-down older home with an addition on it (strike two – probably has a small budget). I press the doorbell and was glad that the sleeping dog did not awake. Hmmm, the bell doesn’t work. I’ll try the front door. I get to the front door and ring when I see a tiny beautiful, but dead, bird on the doorstep. The internal dialogue starts:

“Oh, how pretty. Poor little thing. God, if I was the woman, I would be embarrassed if someone came to my house and there was a dead bird on the doorstep. Maybe she has a cat. No… it doesn’t look shredded. No sign that it hit the wall. Should I kick it off the stoop so she doesn’t see it? God, but what if she sees me and then thinks I’m just horribly mean. Well, I’ll just smile when she answers the door. Maybe I can make a joke? No. Better not.”

No answer.

I leave one of those bulls**t messages that hide the fact you really want to tell them to go to hell for standing you up. “Hi xxx. I had you on my calendar today, but maybe I was mistaken. I will be in the area for a while (lie) so give me a call if you are still available.” I decide to try the back part of the house again where the dog was. I go to the door and knock very hard. While I am doing so the owner calls apologizing profusely that she had to rush her father to the hospital. Her voice starts to shake. I feel just awful … and then I notice that the sleeping dog does not move. I can’t believe this. A dying father, a dead bird and a dead dog!!!! I knock really, really hard. No movement. I look really, really close. His tongue is hanging out and his eyes are open. It’s all I can do not to say, “Holy s**t lady. Your dog is dead too!” Thank God I keep my big mouth shut and run for my life.

I don’t know whether to cry or laugh, but all I know is that this is so bizzarro I just have to tell someone. When she gets to my house for training, I tell her this crazy story. I’m not much of a crier so I’m kind of laughing. I think she’s a little horrified because she doesn’t laugh at all. I think, “Okay, I’ll be quiet now.”

After stuffing her with oodles of information, it was time to stuff ourselves with some food. We ordered pizza and I wolfed it down. (I really need to stop that. I think it freaks people out – not necessarily grosses them out, but has the potential to.) Anyway, we talked a little outside of work, but not a lot and I was thankful for this. My last hire was a communications nightmare. I loved her personality and wit, but she digressed for a solid 20 minutes about 5 minutes into each phase of training. Plus, this was my big chance to implement an effective sales process to create successful employees and a successful company. What the hell was I so serious for? It seems like a hundred years ago.

She started to glaze over after hour 4 and said she had to go home and get her kids. Ewe . . .  I know, I know, kids are important and they’re fun as heck, but that’s the hard a** in me. Work, work, work while you’re on the clock. Funny though, she mentioned to me that she had a very strong work ethic and I knew that to work in the entertainment field creating what she did she HAD TO HAVE a strong work ethic. I wasn’t concerned. Go get your munchkins.


First Day on the Job

I am told to be at her house at 10:00am on Monday to go over training stuff. Ok fine, but I will be in casual clothes and be comfortable. I drive out to the house and as I pull up, I am amazed. Wow, she lives here? It was beautiful! The house was stunning with a giant circular driveway overlooking a lake. Mental note to self…she is not being invited over my house.

I ring the bell, she opens the door. She is standing in business attire with big puffy white slippers on and begins this story, “I just got back from a clients and as I walked up the step-there was a dead bird on the walk. I wanted to kick it out of the way so the client wouldn’t be embarrassed, but I didn’t. Then I kept ringing the bell and knocking and no one was coming to the door, but I could see her I kept ringing the bell and knocking…BUT then I noticed the dog was dead, it’s tongue was hanging out and it was dead…finally my cell rang and it was the client and she had to take her father to the hospital and he was dying!”

Are you kidding me I thought to myself…this is crazy. I don’t want this freaking job! I inhale and follow her out to the kitchen where she proceeds to overload my brain with sales lingo, rates, one sheets, customer service templates, web passwords, etc.

We eat lunch, we finally finish up and we head to her garage where she piles loads and loads of stuff into my arms for the job. This is not what I had bargained for, why all this paper and stuff…OMG, I am in ad sales overload. I get in the car and drive home.