Monday, August 21, 2006

Career: 100 washups still remaining

In the spring of 1982, my high school lacrosse team held a fundraiser to buy new equipment. We didn't have a car wash. We didn't sell t-shirts. We sold lotion soap.

Some of us did, at least. While I can still remember some of the product features that we were supposed to reel off ("240 washups!" "wildwood scent!"), I'm not sure I sold a bottle except to my parents, who bought a case. I believe the bottle in the photo is the last remnant of that order - it's probably the last bottle remaining in all of Charlottesville.

I hated selling. Whether it was light bulbs for the Boy Scouts, Florida citrus for the high school band, or lotion soap for the lacrosse team, my main (and sometimes only) customers were my parents. At least we stayed well-lit, vitamin C fortified, and clean.

Fast-forward a couple of decades - so what does my job as a legal publisher entail? Among other things, I sell. On January 1 of each year I start out at $0.00, and by the time December 31 rolls around I'm on the hook for several million. Fortunately, I've warmed up to the selling thing a bit over the years.

Hey Mom and Dad, wanna buy some books? I'll throw in half a bottle of 24-year-old lotion soap - there has to be at least 100 washups left in there....

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