.

I Would Make a Really Lousy Hooker

I hate selling anything – especially myself.

There are few activities I loathe more than trying to sell something. Even if it’s a worthwhile product like my son’s upcoming Boys Scouts microwave popcorn fundraiser, the whole selling process makes me feel like a slimy used car salesman. I despise being a bother or a pest and I don’t like trying to convince people to buy something they may not want or need.

The thing I hate selling the most is myself. My Catholic upbringing instilled a certain amount of humility in my veins, so the thought of shouting, "Look at me! Aren't I great?" would feel akin to a mortal sin that would cost me three Hail Marys and six Our Fathers in the penance box.

Truth be told, I’m generally a likeable person. Whatever I do, I do it with enthusiasm. And I’m a very hard worker. But I would feel really uncomfortable if I was forced to go around town tooting my own horn about it.

This is why I would make a really lousy hooker.

Of course, if I happened to land a job in the world’s oldest profession, I would try to be the best damn hooker I could be. I could see myself on a street corner, wearing sensible Payless Shoes heels and a Victoria's Secret pushup bra, striving to look attractive in a crowd of other gals with taller platforms and manufactured breasts that don't need help standing at attention. Rather than promote myself, I would silently hope my potential customers would inherently sense that I was generally likeable, enthusiastic, and a hard worker and pick me for my good company.

I bring up this hooker analogy because this is the way I felt the past couple of weeks. I had to sell myself in a recent election, and I was wishing I had Heidi Fleiss doing the hawking for me.

I’ve been serving on the board of Neighborhood Council Valley Village for about a year and a half in a Homeowner’s seat, and now I was running for the Education seat. I’m a hard worker, I’m dedicated to education, and I enjoy volunteering in my community. Most people who meet me seem to like me. Either that or they’re faking it really well.

I thought I’d be a good fit.

And I probably would have been if I had run unopposed. But a lovely woman who actually works in education threw her hat into the ring, so now I was expected to campaign.

Six of seven incumbents including myself were running for re-election, and we called ourselves The Slate of 6. The others are knowledgeable, extremely dedicated and completely deserving of another term in office. These candidates knocked on doors, shook hands, introduced themselves and delivered handbills promoting The Slate of 6

The thought of trolling door to door like a persistent Jehovah’s Witness was terrifying. Also, I happened to be swamped with work. So instead, I created daily Facebook posts telling everyone to save the date and vote for The Slate of 6. After a while, I felt like The Slate of 6 was a recorded loop over a bullhorn, and I got that slimy used car salesman feeling whenever I ran into a Facebook friend.

In the mornings after drop off, I passed out flyers outside our local elementary school where I know about half the parents. I planned my speech and rehearsed it over and over:

“Hi. I’m running for the Education seat of Neighborhood Council Valley Village, and I hope you’ll come out to vote for The Slate of 6 on September 20th.”

The school bell rang, the children entered their classrooms, and throng of parents approached the gate. I was ready to run interception.

“Hi. I’m running…”

That’s about as far as I could get. Because they were the ones who were running.

Frankly, I hate it when anyone tries to shove a flyer into my face, so why shouldn’t anyone else hate it as well? Plus, they were on their way to start their busy day. If it was me, I’d be racing off too.

I was so uncomfortable, I felt like a tortoise not only hiding in its shell, but crawling into a catatonic ball within that shell. I ended up shyly handing out the handbills with my head down, not making eye contact, and praying that I wouldn't be shunned at PTA meetings for the next five years.

Most parents took the flyers but didn't have time for my pitch. Those who knew me were quite polite and many others were actually encouraging.

But the whole ordeal was excruciating.

Over four days I ended up passing out 300 handbills, and unlike street vendors hawking outside the Sports Arena, not a single flyer ended up as trash on the ground. I was encouraged.

Election day finally arrived. The campaigning from the entire Slate paid off and The Slate of 6 won by a landslide!  

Today, I’m happy to be back working with a team of dedicated community supporters on an organization I have grown to love. Thank God these board members already know that I am generally likeable, enthusiastic, and a hard worker, so I don’t have to sell myself to them.

And now I can breathe a sigh of relief that I can change my Facebook message to something else that makes me equally uncomfortable:

Promoting this blog.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Cathy Flynn September 29, 2012 at 05:16 PM
I've had a lot of negative comments on my Patch blog posts lately. I've been afraid to read them. Thank you Rick & Tristen for your much appreciated positive replies.
Alexandra Kraemer September 30, 2012 at 03:07 PM
Congratulations! Sorry I just got to read your blog...busy mom myself...but I love your blogs and I know you will do a great job!
Bob Peppermuller September 30, 2012 at 09:49 PM
You won with 85% of votes cast. I'd say that is more than a landslide. If you think you feel connected, my wife and two of my children (who live at home) all work for LAUSD (today). Pray for us as who knows what's going to happen after November.6th. Already been thru layoffs/rehires and job shifting whiplashes. -Bob - board member next door at MTNHNC and retired.
Don Helverson October 02, 2012 at 03:25 AM
Your blogs are always fun, funny, informative, and personal at the same time. Don't let anything discourage you just because there are so many snots on the tablecloth of any blog world. Keep putting your blogs on the fire, and burn baby burn. Congrats on the election, too. I like you best as a writer.
yjnqaz October 29, 2012 at 09:50 AM
“Republicans can do it,” said http://www.coachoutletmls.com Jennifer Duffy, a Senate political analyst at the nonpartisan Cook Political Report. “It’s just getting a http://www.hermesbeltsoutletns.net lot harder.” Rob Jesmer, the executive director of the National http://www.coachfactoryoutletion.com Republican Senatorial Committee, said Thursday that Republican candidates were within http://www.coachfactoryonlinemb.com reach of victory in 10 to 12 competitive races, with Mr. Romney’s improvement in the polls http://www.coachoutletonlineef.org lifting candidates in states that were out of play six weeks ago.But time is dwindling. The implications for the next http://www.coachoutletonlineeu.net two years cannot be overstated. If Mr. Obama wins a second term, his hand would be much strengthened http://www.coachfactorystorebg.org by a Democratic-led Senate, even a narrowly divided one, as opposed to unified Republican http://www.coachoutletonlinetpc.net majorities in the House and the Senate.At the moment, Democrats are given little chance of winning the http://www.coachoutlethcs.com net 25 seats they would need to take the House, though they could well gain House seats.If Mr. Romney wins the White House, even a one-seat Democratic http://www.coachoutletb1.com

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »