But for some reason, I walked into the company, sat with the department manager, went over the proposal I had designed (other sales consultants did not use cost justification proposals at that time) and after an hour of explaining how they couldn’t live without the equipment, the manager went straight to the purchasing office and had them cut a purchase order. When I went back to the office my manager was sitting against his desk with several of the other sales consultants, arms crossed over his chest and smugly said “So how did it go?”
I handed him the purchase order and he stood up abruptly, grabbed it out of my hand and said “Damn!”
No one had told me he had been trying to close the account for two years before he became the sales manager. But the fact was, I never should have had to go on my first sales call alone. He was trying to prove how inept I was and putting me in a situation where I was bound to fail was a power play.
Even though it involved a working relationship, it was still a form of abuse. It also was the beginning of a new pattern. I never trusted him again. No matter what he told me, I would do the opposite, quietly go about my way of doing the job and resent having to even be around him.
In a bizarre way, it was not his fault, I attracted the relationship and many others like it, just to see how I could learn to manage them and learn to finally stand up for myself. But that would take a few more years and a lot more education.
The pattern I had set up at five was played over and over again. It involved different people, different situations and different environments, but it was basically the same lesson that escalated in intensity with each occurrence.