I started a new job as an insurance agent this week. Agents work Monday’s through Thursday on location in rural areas we travel to. Sales happen through referrals and door-to-door. This first week is training for me so I’m supposed to shadow the team leader as he makes sales.

The team leader and I go out into the field around noon on Monday. First he goes to the county sheriff’s office to, as a courtesy, drop off a list of all the agents he has working in the county and the cars we drive. He asks me to wait in the car.

Then he goes to the county assessor’s office and spends probably 20-30 minutes getting help finding people’s addresses. A lot of people in this rural county have addresses listed that can’t be looked up with a GPS so he buys a plat book to help him find them. He asks me to wait in the car.

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Then it’s about 2pm and he goes to a potential customer’s house. I wait in the car. He comes back and says the guy on his list got divorced and moved out of state, but there are still people in the house he’s selling to so he goes back in.

I wait like 45 minutes and he doesn’t come out. I have to pee really bad so I walk .7 of a mile to the public library and back in order to pee. I get back and he’s still in there. I wait another 15-20 minutes and he still hasn’t come out so I knock on the door to see what’s going on. He’s still in the middle of a sales presentation and I join them at the kitchen table. The presentation goes on another 30-45 minutes.

We get out to the car and he kind of comes at me a little bit. I’m pissed off because it’s after 3 and I haven’t done anything yet. He’s pissed off because I didn’t wait in the car the whole time and interrupting his presentation could have cost him a sale. (It didn’t, by the way. He sold two policies in that house, the first one before I came in.)

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I did join him in the house on all his other presentations for the day. He sold two more policies on Monday.

My issues with this:

- since when does shadowing someone mean “waiting in the car for hours”? I feel like that wasn’t explained beforehand very well. A big part of life is managing expectations.

- in how many other situations would it be reasonable to ask a new trainee who doesn’t really know what’s going on to wait in the car for literally 2 hours? I couldn’t even text this fucking guy because he left his phone in the car with me.

Pay is based on commission so if I had cost him a sale it would have been a big deal. I get that. I just feel like given the situation and what I knew at the time asking to come into the house was totally reasonable. Tell me I’m wrong, GT.