(Des Moines, IA) Another day at home, another step closer to the edge of sanity. At least, that’s how it has felt to homebound traveling salesman and part time semi-professional racquetball player Jim Stanley. For close to two months now, Jim has been making the most of his situation by continuing meetings and sales calls remotely, but it’s just not the same. “I miss it, I really do,” Jim told us via Zoom, where has been spending most of his time these days. “I understand why we need to stay home and I’m in no rush to go back until medical professionals give us the go-ahead, but It’s gotten so bad I have started missing standing in line for TSA security.”
We decided to talk with Jim more about this for today’s feature and find out exactly what a traveling salesman does when the only traveling he can do is from his home office to the Keurig. Turns out, it’s not just TSA he misses, but the entire experience. It was clear right from the start that staying home was having a severe effect on Jim’s brain.
“As a traveling salesman like myself, it’s hard not to get accustomed to a certain way of life. I mean, I can’t tell you how much time I have spent in airports, airport shuttles, and hotels adjacent to airports in my life. And the crazy part is, I miss all of it.” With this, Jim paused for a second to put his face in his hands and continue.
“Last night I had a dream that I got asked to be in the emergency row. Now a nightmare, a dream. Like I was blissed out because I had extra leg room. Most people would have a dream that starts off that way, only for the plane to crash with them standing between safety and danger for the other passengers. Nope, not me. I just opened my laptop and started writing email replies IN MY DREAM. Is there something wrong with me?”
We didn’t want to answer that too quickly, for fear of scaring him off, so we decided to go a different direction. “It sounds like you are grieving for a lost time, which is perfectly normal, but this might be an opportunity to address it and move forward rather than wallow in it, don’t you think?”
“But if I’m not a traveling salesman, what am I? Just a regular salesman? I don’t know if I could do it.”
Unable to see much difference between the two ourselves, we kept pushing forward. “You will find something new, we all do. Even if it is just telemarketing rather than face-to-face.”
“I guess you’re right.” With that, before we could add more reassurances, Jim closed his laptop on us, ending our Zoom meeting. We’re not sure what happened next or where Jim is now, but we hope he feels as safe wherever that might be. At least, as safe as we all feel while going through TSA security.