Serve somebody / sell something

While leaning back on my bed one night, I thought Bob Dylan was spot on when he said that ‘you’ll have to serve somebody.

A corollory that follows is that we’re essentially salespersons. If it isn’t a product or then it’s a service; payment may be tangible or intangible, but in one way or another, we’ll always have to look to satisfy somebody’s needs. We’ll always be selling something.

If I may be so bold as to quote myself in a post that starts by quoting Bob Dylan – I am a product in this marketplace of people. I sell my time, my effort, my services, myself just as any shopkeeper sells a product.

You’re probably doing the same, right?

Most people that I’ve come across are averse to selling. They think it is beneath them to sell, and they equate selling with peddling. This image, perhaps, is a consequence of our culture. There is little dignity of labour in India, and even today, a call center job is looked down upon. This attitude is depicted perfectly by a financial services BPO advertisement, and it shows an ideal self image for a call center executive – a situation wherein he is exhibits greater knowledge than a person who doesn’t work for a BPO.

In India, positions matter. Which is why a friend of mine took the job of Asst. Vice President of a consulting firm at the age of 23. He beamed when he showed his card to me, and I congratulated him.

Will this attitude change? I doubt it. One tends to associate positions with salaries, and as long as there’s plenty labour in India, there will be a difference in payscale. Physical labour is overvalued and underpaid. Mental labour is undervalued and overpaid.

Sales, for me, is an area of discomfort. If I don’t have the need for a product, I can’t sell it. It isn’t a comfort zone for me. Which why I’m thinking of doing something which will surprise a lot of people. I’m considering a sales job, only because I don’t want it to remain a discomfort zone. Because eventually, I will have to sell something or the other.


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