Before I became the über-successful, carefree wine retailer at VINO here in Portland, I had another life in the wine business as a sales hack for a local wine wholesaler. A masochistic, degrading, mind numbing life. But at least it was financially unrewarding as well. Not to forget the "interesting" people I met: the smug, know-it-all sommeliers at the many new restaurants I called on who wouldn't know a food-friendly wine if you forced it down their throats, but who at least were rude and dismissive to me; the chain grocery store manager who thought it was so important for me to show up at his store at 6am for a wine department reset so I could watch the assholes from Gallo and Sutter Home fight over shelf space; the Beringer and Kendall Jackson reps who would go on "drive alongs" with me and blather to my valued accounts about the over-processed, over-priced, and sugar-added swill they expected me to sell. Best of all the compassionate owner of the wholesaler I worked for who was "really excited" about the pickup of Wild Irish Rose...basically the evil spawn of MD 20/20 and Night Train...and wanted the guys calling on the convenience stores in "the poor neighborhoods" to really push it because "those people" can't not buy it. Don't tell me the wine business isn't romantic.
The following video on youtube neatly encapsulates the mortification, aggravation, and humiliation of my previous life. Is it an exaggerration? Of course....but not by much!
The video is an eight part series. The first three episodes are money, but then the joke gets a little repetitive, so you might want to stop there.