How to Get Your Friends to Hate You

Posted: September 28, 2012 in Self-Deprecation
Tags: , , , , ,

You know, over the years, I’ve become an expert at alienating people.  Not that I go around actively trying to get everyone and their mother to hate me more than a Kony meme, but through years of observation and innovation– it’s pretty safe to say that I know a way to get anyone to piss off with enthusiasm.

That said… if, for some weird reason you want your friends to avoid you like a yarmulke in Mecca (and you don’t want jail time), start a career as a life insurance agent.

No freaking joke.  People who I know full well have their cellphones glued to their hands, especially on the crapper, suddenly stopped replying to anything I send them.  Friends who I’ve known for years suddenly stopped calling/texting and surely won’t answer or return something as personal as a call.  It’s a damn good thing that there are noteworthy exceptions to this rule, so I am not hurting for drinking buddies– otherwise my shit would have been lost weeks ago.

Not even at my most offensive was this happening to me...

If this shit keeps up, my social life is going to be as dead as a Myspace newsfeed. (Yes, I realize this is a google+ screencap. Appreciate what’s being said here, and the finer nuances will make it funnier.)

So yeah, let me back his up.  When I finally got Sheen-deep in a pile of Kool Aid (because I do this like a boss, forget hydration), I realized that with this career track– I’ve also acquired a skill set that isn’t common.  I have a damn good understanding about how insurance/benefits/retirements and all of those fun shenanigans work.  Naturally I can’t shut up about it, I live-sleep-eat-breathe-drink this seven days a week… and aside from the weekends where I moved and went to a wedding with Cortana, I haven’t had a day off since June 4.  I’d probably be stuck in a “work dream” cycle if I actually got decent time to sleep.

Anyway, I digress, so back to becoming a social leper through employment.  I’ve flooded my Facebook creepfeed with shameless self-plugging (and if you made a masturbation joke, you’re welcome for the gimme), some of it informational– others pointing out the insanely obvious. Granted, the longer I’m in the field– the less I do it– but regardless, there were a couple instances where I was just blatantly saying, “Listen you! Everyone eventually needs this shit.  Someone will eventually get in touch with you about this, do business with me.”  Some people need an anvil instead of a hint, you know?  Decided to work with the whole “squeaky wheel” approach, but kinda shut up about it recently– because I hate broken records and repost whores.   However, I think those semi-informational/semi-marketing posts backfired on me because I think I got myself marked as a sales agent.

Anyone who really knows me, knows I hate “sales” with a fervor that ranks up with the Yankees/Red Sox rivalry.  I know, quit laughing at the irony of my current job description.  I’ll hit that later.  No matter if you’re talking about prospecting, or the almighty concept of closing, it’s not something I’m a fan of.  In fact, if I’m in a place where I’m going to do business (and I know that the public-facing employees are commissioned only), I deliberately avoid “salesmen” and seek out the person most likely to be low-key and knowledgeable.  Then it hit me– I’ve donned the mantle, but not adopted the practices.  However, what do people see?  The mantle, and they make like Iron Maiden and run to the hills.  It’s almost as if they’ve forgotten who the hell they’ve known for upwards of a decade on end.

Thanks everyone

Not sure if I should be thankful for the message, or start dishing out Gibbs Slaps.

Now, I realize that most insurance agents get their start doing a Project 100— there are several companies that mandate this out of their rookies.  Reason #1 where the life insurance guy (in particular) end up as welcome in their circle of friends as Jehova Witnesses on a hangover Saturday.  The company I work with blesses us with response card leads.  Now, not to look a gift horse in the mouth, but nobody said these were fresh– or that someone else hadn’t got their hands on them first.  This gave me a direction to run in, but it’s like playing Battleship.  I don’t even need to complete the simile because it’s all right there for you, just connect the dots.

That said, the company is solid– and the product is beyond solid.  I know this, and that’s why it sells itself.  I don’t play hardball with anyone, especially those I know.  Why?  Because that’s what sales guys do.  I like to think of myself as a service agent.  I don’t sell shit, I’m in this for the long haul– and if someone doesn’t like what I’ve got, hey–  I still walk out of the house with a shake of the hand, a grin, and no hard feelings.   Everyone ends up kissing the Reaper eventually, and if someone doesn’t want to plan for it– that’s between them and their loved ones.

Anyway– I have hit up some friends to have a sit-down with me over beers (and I’m buying) to have a look at what I do.  Primarily, I’m looking for added avenues to follow for business, helping out their coworkers/friends/family who would otherwise have to deal with a sales douche, who may or may not stick them with a bullshit product that will collapse before they die.  We all know the skeezy mental image that pops up when you say the words “insurance agent.”  Seriously, I do not fit that mold– and I’m not trying to.  I want them to see how my approach is, what I do, and know exactly what they’re referring.  Seems to make sense, right?  Worst case scenario, I walk away leaving a coupla freebies (maybe brews) and some knowledge in my wake.  Best case?  They send me to more people to educate and serve.  Simple concept, right?  Apparently not.

Shit.  Listen to me preaching the light side of the Force.

Unfortunately it appears that even I have fallen victim to…  the stigma.  So yeah.  If you wanna really reset your social life– get a job in life insurance.  You will have a clean slate in no time, no matter who you are or how you handle it.

Unplug.

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