The Traveling District Manager

Waiting in the airportI have spent much of my career working in a major metropolitan area.  The result of this is having to drive to field rides in various parts of the geographies that I have been responsible for.  I admittedly (and shamefully) have complained about traffic and all of the rigors of metro area travel as if my professional life was sooooo difficult.  Perhaps the worst travel time I’ve had in my career to get to a field ride was an hour and a half.

It is with the thought of my travel and how tedious at times it seemed, that I hold in high regard the traveling Pharma Sales District Manager.  These are the managers who must travel by air consistently, leaving his/her family during the week for long stretched to conduct business.  Imagine taking two to four flights a week to work.  I can’t stand flying once every three months to a national meeting let alone two to four time a week!!  This takes a special kind of professional, a special kind of employee to keep up such a pace over the entire fiscal year.  Think about what this person must endure:

  • Packing and unpacking in what seems like perpetuity
  • Sleeping in strange hotels, in different beds many nights throughout the week
  • If they have children….being away from your spouse and children continually
  • Going through airport security and all of the annoyances that come with being in a crowded airport on crowded planes
  • The amount of expenses a traveling DM incurs and hence receipts one must keep track of….and oh yeah, actually doing an expense report that is likely a mile long

The difficulties and annoyances that come with being a DM who has a vast territory that stretches across states, go on and on.  In the pharmaceutical industry, it is rarely even spoken about or acknowledged, rather simply just expected of these people.  It is with that thought in mind that I say to all of the DM’s (and Reps for that matter) in middle american territories or southwestern territories who travel weekly by air……HAT’S OFF TO YOU!!!

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