Causes + Bosses

Tonight is the heaviest

It’s 2 a.m. at some apartment in a foreign country away from home. My colleagues are not with me. Two left for the gym—both have the energy and will to catch more endorphins because of recent closed sales. One was still out there closing a deal with a client. And I was left here alone, in bed feeling too cold but not sick. The hum of the air conditioner in the room feels like a wake-up call.

I joined the real estate industry almost two years ago. I became a part of the international sales team for a local real estate developer where it is our job to visit a foreign country to look for clients and affiliates.

It was fun at first; being able to travel for “free” and meet a lot of people from all walks of life. Whenever I tell people about my job, they react with amazement and a little bit of envy. It sounds like a dream job everybody would die to have. But every company-sponsored deployment means a more than 200-percent quota to be reached within a specific period.

When you work in sales, you are defined by your numbers. Working 24/7 does not guarantee you a top spot or a huge commission income. You can be the best presenter, the best digital marketer, and the most charismatic person in the room but without closed sales, you are nothing. You are a piece of shit that’s easily disposable.

Again, it’s 2 a.m. at some apartment in a foreign country away from home. I have been dragging myself to write this. But I guess tonight was the heaviest that I finally convinced myself to seek help from the blank paper to carry this weight.

I just got home from doing saturation. Saturation is when you approach strangers to discuss your offers. I was never that seller. I always thought that that approach was obsolete. I always thought that I was a modern and post-pandemic sales agent who is fully dependent on the power of Facebook Ads.

Almost all of the people I approached through saturation in the past few days were approachable. I just hope that they weren’t able to sense the desperation in my voice, that behind the smiles and carefully chosen words, there were no traces of the fact that I was literally begging them to help me. I just hope that they give me a response after I do follow-ups in the morning.

Again, it’s 2 a.m. and it’s our last week here and I am still nowhere near half of my quota. I was thinking of quitting when I got home. Find a “real” job. Go back to 9-to-5. Forget the promise of “time freedom.” Forget the potential uncapped income and just be a normal and boring professional who dreads Mondays and hopes every tomorrow is a Friday.

But quitting means sacrificing all the efforts I have made in the past. If I quit with a sales deficit, my commissionables will be charged back by the company.

The world of sales is ruthless. It’s not for everyone. They always say that it’s survival of the fittest. And this is my point of no return.

Again, it’s 2 a.m. I am recalling all the sales activities I have done in the past 16 hours and realizing that there are still no results. No numbers. And as I recall, I criticize myself. I look for details that I might have overdone or missed. I blame, constantly blame myself. Blame my colleagues. Blame my manager. Blame the company. Blame the strangers who were not welcoming. Blame the universe for putting me in this position. And this has been the case for the past weeks. It’s a cycle that I still cannot break.

Again, it’s 2 a.m. I feel sorry for all the acquaintances I reached out to and begged for their time that it almost made them uncomfortable because I was too aggressive with my “sales” activities. If I could just tell them that I would never do these things if I was not in this situation.

I was just pushing myself beyond my limits that it feels too much right now.

Again, it’s 2 a.m. and my colleagues are not yet home. I am still alone and I feel sorry for myself—for changing a huge part of me in order to fit in in this industry.


The writer, 24, who wishes to be anonymous, is a real estate professional and believes that he is more than his numbers.

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