Oh just a day at work.

On Wednesday my manager rode in the field with me.  As a sales rep, it’s always a little awkward to have a manager with you.  It feels as if customers respond differently, on top of me being nervous (moreso than usual in most cases).  Also I should add that my manager is a very tall/large man who dresses impeccably well in dark suits with ties.  Not that there is anything wrong with that, but I have a very rural territory and there just aren’t a lot of real big guys in dark suits walking around.  Kinda have to wonder what the doctors are thinking when he walks in behind me.  FBI agent?  CIA?  Auditor?  Nope, drug rep manager.

All of our calls went fairly well.  Started out talking to a doctor who excused himself midway through the visit to make a phone call to a patient.  He then told us that this was a patient who had “made an error in judgement” and I realized what he meant by that was that his patient had been involved in a few, er, extracurricular activities that did not involve his/her spouse.  In turn, the doctor said that the patient “brought home a gift to the spouse… which now will have to be dealt with.”  Yes, you guessed it, this is not the kind of gift you want, and certainly not a gift that you can wrap up in a box with a bow.

My manager: “Surely this gift is something a round of antibiotics can handle, right?”

Doctor: “Not a chance.”

So, after that interesting talk about adultery and incurable viral STDs, the doctor asked me how long until I got to my 3rd trimester.  My confidence soared, and I told him that I was actually 4 weeks past the 3rd trimester mark.  I felt great leaving that meeting.

Well the next doctor’s office wasn’t as smooth.  One of my more, er, “witty” customers saw my manager with me and so chose to absolutely grill me about my products.  He pulled out his iPhone, looked up my drug on the net and proceeded to ask me about just about every scientific question he could ask (while he stared at the answers in front of him).  Oh yeah, and he told me I had 60 seconds to answer as many questions as possible.  And he speaks in a really thick accent which makes him difficult to understand.

60 seconds later, Lola had sweat stains in her armpits and had almost blacked out from nerves, but had passed the test.  That doctor is getting a punch in the arm next week and a “THANKS A LOT” when I see him.  Juuuusssst wait.

So after a few more calls, the boss and I went to lunch and then I dropped him back off at his car because I had to accept a sample shipment at my storage unit.  We ate lunch at Newk’s Cafe before he departed, and if you have ever been to Newk’s you know that if you order a drink, they give you a giant 24oz plastic cup.  I drank an entire glass of water and refilled it before getting back in my car and making the 1 hour drive.

Well 20 minutes from my storage unit, you guessed it, I was about to pop.  My unborn child was doing acrobatics atop my bladder, making me actually attempt crossing my legs while on cruise control.  Well the way these deliveries work is that you have 15 minutes to meet the delivery truck at the unit to accept the samples, otherwise they take them back to the warehouse (wherever that is) and you have to reschedule the entire delivery.  As luck would have it, the driver called me and told me he was there and I had about 10 minutes to meet him before he’d leave.  So, not enough time for Lola to stop and use the restroom.  I decided I could probably hold it and sped past the truck, waving him to my unit.  Of course the driver turned out to be a really overweight and slow moving man who first lost the paperwork I had to sign.  Then when he lifted the back gate to his delivery truck, about 27 giant cardboard boxes plummeted out, nearly crushing me, him and the fetus to death by weight of antidepressants.  After restacking and verifying that everything was still intact, he wheeled them down the long storage hall for me and put them in my 10×10 unit. I signed and he took off.

Now the way these things have to go is like this.  I sign for the samples, the driver leaves, and then I have to open all of the boxes and count the amount of samples in each box.  Then I have to get online asap and report that the amount of samples shipped is indeed the amount of samples accepted.  And if these numbers don’t match up, I imagine that some undercover FDA agent wearing dark sunglasses breaks into the offending drug rep’s house at night, smuggles the sleeping drug rep with a towel full of gas, and carries him off into the night, never to be heard from again.  I don’t know, I always dutifully count my samples so that this doesn’t happen to me.

So here I am, doing the crazy dance because I have to pee SO BAD at this point, but I am ripping open a giant stack of cardboard boxes and counting as fast as possible so that I can avoid ending up on the Missing Persons list of drug reps gone MIA.  Each giant cardboard box contains smaller cardboard boxes.  I started with 15 giant boxes, meaning that soon I was surrounded by about 45 smaller boxes.  Most of them are antidepressants, and some were actually (this is ironic) bladder medications.  Maybe it was a subconscious mind game, or maybe the fetus just decided to suddenly head-butt my already pained bladder, but suddenly I felt as if I could not hold it anymore.

And then, the worst cramp I have ever felt in my lower body literally caused my entire bladder to spasm and I felt a shooting wave of heat go down my legs.

I stopped counting, leaned against the wall, and tightened my body with everything I could.  I looked below me, at an empty cardboard box.

Well, I mean it is a pretty thick, sturdy box,” I thought to myself.  “I could probably pee in it…”

No.  Absolutely not.  But I continued to ponder…

“It’s such a thick box, I could pull my storage door down, pee in the box in the dark, close it up really quick, put it in my trunk, and drive it down the road to the dumpster real quick and toss it!  No one would ever know!”

Well at that moment I had a choice to make.  Pull down my maternity panty hose and relieve myself in a box inside of a tiny dark storage unit, or leave?

I’d like to proudly announce that still do have a little bit of dignity left.  I grabbed my keys, slammed the door to the unit, sprinted to my car and sped to the nearest gas station.   

I made it.  Barely.  And then, well, to be honest, I was exhausted and the lower back pain had really kicked in from all the leaning over and stacking of boxes, so I just went straight home.  I collapsed onto the couch, ripped off the stupid panty hose and took a nap. When Oatmeal got home from work, he asked me how my day was.

“It was good, manager meeting went great and I almost had to pee in a box but I didn’t!”

He didn’t even blink.

 Today I awoke happily to find that no FDA ninja had broken in during the night, I went back to my storage unit, counted my samples, reported them, and went to work.

So, the week has been a success.  I made it through another day in the field with my manager, and there is not a soiled cardboard box in a dumpster of Brenham, TX with my name on it.


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