I really dislike selling, but it comes naturally. It's easy and I'm good at it - at least that's what I've been told. I'm a pro at reading a situation and slanting the outcome to work in my favor. I should have been a politician, but I'd probably dislike that even more than sales.
I think I acquired this skill in my junior high years out of pure necessity. There was this girl, Dajuanna Phillips. She was white and meaner than a damn snake. A bully if there ever was one. I don't know how many girls and guys she beat the crap out of. And I was on her list on more than one occasion. For what, I never knew. I just knew that I had to do whatever I needed to keep my ass safe.
She would have been a good kid really, but probably didn't have parental support or guidance in any area of her life. Her kid sister Angelique was destined to be just like her, creating a wake of fear throughout her high school years.
Despite being scared to death of Dajuanna, I kind of liked her. Well, respected her anyway. She didn't take any crap - even from the teachers. The first few times I was on her "ass-kicking" list, I avoided her and her groupies at all costs. If that meant walking outside the building to bypass "her" hallway, I'd freeze. If it meant not eating lunch that day so I wouldn't run into her in the cafeteria, I'd starve.
About the fourth round of possible beatings, I decided to approach the situation from a different angle. We were freshmen by this time and I knew that if I didn't eventually face her, my whole high school career would be jeopardized. I had no friends that were as strong as her and nobody that wasn't afraid of her.
I will never forget the moment. I can't tell you if it was winter or spring. I can't tell you the class I had before or after, but I remember where we were and what was said. It was right after gym class and we were standing by the East doors waiting for the dismissal bell. Dajuanna dared a couple of her buddies to leave early (punishable by after school detention). No one bit. Except me.
"I'll do it." I dared.
She looked at me with such disbelief that it fueled my fire. "If you dare to do it with me." I challenged.
Without another word, she grabbed my arm and we walked out of the gym. I could feel her looking at me so I glanced over and said, "that was cool," to which she responded, "yeah".
"Why?" she asked simply.
"Because I had to talk to you in private." I said.
I then began to tell her the whitest of white lies. I told her that there was this older girl (don't even remember her name) that wanted to beat me up and that I needed someone like herself on my side. The reality was that I only sensed that this other girl didn't like me, she never actually threatened me.
It didn't matter. From that day on Dajuanna was my protector, creating the illusion that I was to be feared as much as her. In fact, no one ever bothered me again in school. But I didn't use that to my advantage. I was nice to everyone.
And the selling skills were honed.