Why I Failed in Business

Finding care for LJ became an issue, since I had to work some nights and weekends. None of the daycares, even the home ones, wanted to work retail hours. Jane Ann refused to take up the slack, saying LJ was my "lumpy-headed baby" and, therefore, my responsibility.

On my Taco Nacho salary, even as an assistant manager, reliable help was hard to find. I happened upon a good-natured deaf girl (on Social Security disability due to a back injury) who was willing to take care of LJ if I paid her under the table. I was a little concerned that she couldn't hear him cry or lift anything over 20 pounds - like LJ - but LJ was a happy tot and I had no other choice.

The situation at Taco Nacho became unbearable. The other assistant manager, Chad, invented a new entrée: the Taco Nacho Nacho Taco. Totally lame, since all he did was pile two tacos together and drown them in cheese sauce, but the home office guys creamed their pants over it. Chad - the brown-nosing overachiever - was promoted to manager at our store. I had to get out fast.

I landed a second interview with the Homes and Wrecks Insurance agency and knew I was a shoo-in for the job. I was assigned to the "Wrecks" department, which was auto insurance sales. I didn't know much about insurance, but figured it was a product everyone needed. Turns out it was even more competitive than the Taco Nacho was, plus I had sales quotas to meet. Homes and Wrecks had its own version of Chad, named Emily. Emily was pure evil, which I could tell from one glance at the swastika tattoo on her neck and the plaid skirt that didn't even cover her rear end.

Emily always had the highest sales and customer satisfaction ratings of anyone in our office and our division. I happened to notice that all her customers were men and that she seemed to meet them in the evenings at bars a lot of times. I suspected she liquored them up to close deals, which I considered unfair. But what could I say about the agency's star performer?

Four years in, I decided to think like Emily and took my next prospect out to a bar. Things were going well until about the fifth shot of tequila. I suddenly realized I had forgotten to pick up LJ and reached in my pocket for my phone. Only it was his pocket and it wasn't a phone I grabbed.

Next ......

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