As a sales representative for a large medical supply company, it seems like my entire life is spent behind the wheel. I’ve crisscrossed the United States more times than Jack Kerouac. Every May, my boss sends me out on what he’s dubbed my “Summer Safari,” which basically means making the rounds between Baltimore and Milwaukee. This year, I’m arming my auto with a roof top cargo carrier and a cargo liner to keep my ride comfortable and protected.
If you asked me 10 years ago what I would be doing today, I would never have imagined saying that I rep compact kidney dialysis machines. I used to have dreams. When I started in college, I chose environmental studies as my major because I wanted to work for Greenpeace saving the planet from corporate and governmental pollution. Not to toot my own horn, but I was pretty brilliant. Then, I fell in love with one of my classmates: Gina. Her politics were similar to mine, but she had a more anarchistic sensibility. When she quoted McTaggart and Rousseau, I was putty in her hands. Unfortunately, she convinced me to take part in a midnight Lab Rat Liberation over at the Biology building. Someone must have tipped off campus security because they were waiting inside when we showed up. The whole crew was expelled, and Gina left me to go live in a redwood.
After the incident, my life spiraled into a tailspin. I went on a 2-month bender and woke up in Cincinnati with a gnarly gash on my forehead, a pocket full of beer caps, and $7 in my wallet. I had to donate plasma and sleep in the park for 3 weeks to save up enough cash for a bus ride home. I worked some odd jobs for a while—nothing I’m too proud of. And I kept drinking, heavily. There didn’t seem to be any reason not to be in an altered state. Sobriety just gave me an excuse to dwell on my failures, and that was the last thing I wanted running through my head. So I suppressed my reality with booze, and it was working well enough. However, I woke up one morning after a particularly hard night, and I spent 3 hours vomiting bile and blood. That’s when I knew I had to turn things around.
I checked myself into a local treatment center and started detoxing. I won’t lie; it was a rough couple of weeks working that poison out of my system, but I was determined and I persevered. Not only did I kick the sauce, I also made friends with a sales representative from a medical supply company. He said that he’d put in a good word for me once I got out, and I landed a junior sales position a week out of the center. Now, I’m a senior sales agent, which requires regular road trips to see clients.
Every May, my boss sends me on a 2-month whirlwind tour of the Eastern markets. He calls it my “Summer Safari,” but I hardly think that name is appropriate since I don’t really see any beaches. What I do see is a lot of fliers, samples and fast food in my car. Rather than let my Kia get wrecked, I’m making some upgrades. I added a roof top cargo carrier to hold my product brochures, and popped a cargo liner in the trunk to shield the carpet from all the samples. Now, I’m set.
Not all roof top cargo carriers are alike, the same is true about Cargo Liners. I would avoid the corner auto parts stores that sell those cheap brands you’ve never heard of. I found that Thule and Husky were the best, at least so far.