You know you're a pharmaceutical sales rep when…

Pharmaceutical Representative

Contributions from this year's reader's writing contest entrants.

Editor's note: Several entrants to this year's reader's writing contest contributed humorous articles on the subject of "You know you're a pharmaceutical sales rep when…." All of the entries were creative and made our editors chuckle. Listed below are three entries we particularly enjoyed.

… You spot a Ford Taurus in a parking lot and immediately feel defensive.

… You realize the majority of your career is spent in a closet.

… You amaze yourself at the multi-syllabic words you use on a regular basis.

… You laugh at how absurd it is for your friends to look to you for medical advice.

… You thought you had this impressive science-based career, and it turns out to be a catering business.

… Lab coats make you smile, similar to the school bell and Pavlov's dog.

… The joke "This pen won't write anything but my product" is one of your top 10.

… The words "You got something for me to sign?" turn you off as a salesperson.

MELANIE PATTERSON

Dura Pharmaceuticals

… You know where the best phones and restrooms are in a given area.

… You can actually spell the word pharmaceutical.

… You know where the doctor's lounge is in more than one hospital.

… You can't walk by a phone without calling voice mail.

… You currently have more than 25 pens in your car.

… You are mistaken for an ostrich with your head in the trunk of your car.

… You can balance three dozen donuts, a detail bag and an umbrella and still get the door opened for a senior citizen.

… You know the first name of your UPS and FedEx drivers and maybe even those of their children.

… You refer to the front seat of your car as your office.

… You own a "Physician's Desk Reference."

… Carry-out restaurants send you Christmas and birthday cards.

… You think hospital coffee tastes good.

… You are content reading a Time Magazine dated July 1995.

… You seem to always have more receipts than money in your wallet.

… You always carry a calendar or date book with you.

… You can actually read many doctors' handwriting.

… A no-see physician calls you at home because one of his relatives has been put on the product you've been trying to tell him about for seven months.

… You have actually included the phrase "not affected by the cytochrome P450 system" in a conversation.

… You thank people for their time at the end of conversations.

… You take your golf clubs to work when you are dressed in a suit and tie.

… One of the best things to happen to you last year was that an insurance company changed its formulary to include your product.

… One of the worst things to happen to you last year was that an insurance company changed its formulary to exclude your product.

… You think the word generic should be stricken from the English language.

… You can spot a doctor's car in the parking lot from two blocks away.

… You enjoy your job most of the time and truly believe you can help physicians help their patients.

MIKE NALIN

Sanofi Pharmaceuticals

… You drive home and realize you're at a doctor's clinic.

… You think you know everything.

… You start looking at other drivers as potential dates.

… You think all other drivers are idiots.

… You can stay awake at national sales meetings.

… Your children run to school telling everyone you sell drugs.

… You propose to your statistically significant other.

… You can spot another rep a mile away.

… Your license plate number becomes your permanent address.

… You convince another rep that your drug is better.

… Your backside starts to look like your car seat: wide and flat.

… You slow down for yellow lights.

… Blank stares and rejection builds your confidence.

… You drive the speed limit.

… You can talk about intimate bodily functions without smiling.

… You could retire if you had nickel for every mile you drive.

… You start diagnosing your friends.

… You start making sense even to the doctors.

… You consider radio talk show hosts close personal friends.

… You start detailing the clinic janitors.

MARGARET HOYENGA

Zeneca Pharmaceuticals