Consult the Stars

Edition: December 2001 - Vol 9 Number 12
Article#: 1114
Author: Alan Grogan

Last year, Repertoire Managing Editor Lea Sharp wrote a horoscope, which, judging from readers' remarks, has proven remarkable in its prescience. This year, Alan Grogan, president of Grogan's Healthcare Supply, has penned a horoscope, which we trust you'll find just as astonishing. So, take a glimpse into your future.

Capricorn (The Goat)
Dec. 23 - Jan. 22
Dreamer! It really is great that you think your glass is always half-full. Still, ''New Year'' doesn't mean ''clean slate.'' Prior bad acts come back to haunt, especially if you don't get that returned EKG out of your trunk and back in for credit. Like with the hemostat your customer left inside the patient, ''res ipsa loquitor.'' Still, since your focus has been catering to the non-brain-surgeon element among potential customers, you may just get away with some of it, provided you keep your ''favor file'' this side of Osama's truth quotient. Focus sale: Cashmere stirrup covers, the final upscale fashion statement.

Aquarius (The Water-Bearer)
Jan. 23 - Feb. 22
Clinically abstract! Your love of products is what brought you here, but there is only one Halloween a year to wear those ''free'' scrubs and mask, and playing doctor in your den with that loaner exam table will not be a meaningful ''lifestyle statement'' for most guests. Get over your dismal MSAT score and console yourself with merely rubbing elbows with the rich and famous, and getting to satisfy all their bedpan needs. Focus sale: flotation systems, to keep your own head above water.

Pisces (The Fish)
Feb. 23 - Mar. 22
Over-achiever! You've won every competition your company has had since the Seralyzer, and you know your competitiveness pays big dividends. But, hey, it's probably a good idea to shelve the crack-back blocks on the office staff at the company picnic's touch football game. Sure, everybody loves a ''winner,'' but not if the company's workers comp rates go up. And the stories of your youthful athletic glory are wearing as thin as your hairline. Focus sale: calcium alginate products (seaweed), the Earth Day answer to just about every medical condition.

Aries (The Ram)
Mar. 23 - Apr. 22
Road warrior! Like the energizer bunny, you just keep on going. But the time has come to check your own cholesterol level. Fast food and snack grease will slow even you down eventually. And that back seat trash pile makes you look like the original Mad Max, it must be time for a new lease. Smoking that Marlboro through your new trach -it really does get better than that. All that ''windshield time'' you keep using as your badge of honor could be put to a bit better use than listening to ''Free Bird'' in repeat play mode. Focus sale: random accessory memory upgrades for PC-based diagnostic equipment, to ''RAM'' that sale through.

Taurus (The Bull)
Apr. 23 - May 22
Innumerate! Earth to Willie Loman: Cost plus four just can't produce a gross margin of 28 percent. Compensation plan dissection is destined to consume and elude you. If you want your cost of living bump, you better hit the street and sell, sell, sell. Your marginal tax rate can never make those gambling losses tax deductible. Calling H&R Block. Your competitor referring his credit hold customers to you is not a gesture of professional respect. Calling The Count from Sesame Street: Something's not adding up, but it's never too late for the local adult ed program to help you finally gain command of arithmetic. Focus sale: group purchasing programs. (Figure out the connection to Taurus.)

Gemini (The Twins)
May 23 - June 22
Lighten up! And work on your grasp of medical terminology. ''Anal retentive'' is not the new disease management program for your proctologists - it's what everyone else mumbles while you take detailed notes about the latest cartoon character bandage during the sales meeting and then obsess about how to download 40 years of JAMA onto your Palm. Focus sale: infertility specialties, to double your pleasure.

Cancer (The Crab)
June 23 - July 22
Rebel! Your efforts to preserve freedom and individuality went over pretty well on campus, and the ''Question Authority'' bumper sticker can be written off as boomer nostalgia, but it's time to grow up. Determination to thwart the latest ''Big Brother'' policy is becoming an obsession whose philosophical origins aren't that redemptive at this point in your career. Moving that hidden GPS tracking device from your Ford Taurus to the mail carrier's truck wasn't as smart as you thought. Your call volume expectations for next year are going up, up, up. Focus sale: diagnostics for sexually transmitted diseases (though Phthirus pubis, the friendly crab louse, isn't really a crustacean).

Leo (The Lion)
July 23 - Aug. 22
Slacker! Being more of a ''self-starter'' would look good on your resume, if it were remotely true, and it could solve some of your ''career path'' concerns. Motivation will come from the inner self, not the one staring you in the mirror when you roll out of bed just in time to catch ''The View.'' All those ''worked at home'' days on your call sheets may have to be explained if anyone ever starts reading them. Your cell phone logs may make you look busy, but your car is still parked in your driveway AND your lights are off. Duh! That customer's sympathy card to the boss saying ''Sorry your sales rep died'' may be the ''defining moment'' you've been waiting for. Focus sale: trash bags, those receptacle ''lioners'' that make a great add-on to any sale.

Virgo (The Virgin)
Aug. 23 - Sept. 22
Sucker! Who did move your cheese? Modern change management is tough for those who read every self-help book published but still have their VCRs flashing ''12:00.'' Reading the latest fad book and listening to all the tapes still won't phlebotomize your turnip. Take the time spent on researching the latest network marketing goldmine and go sell some flu test instead. Play ball! Focus sale: office-dispensed contraceptives, since education always pays, especially for the inexperienced.

Libra (The Scales)
Sept. 23 - Oct. 22
Loser! Don't hold your breath for that ''big score.'' Watching the Dodge Report for the next big building project is one thing, but spending two hours in line for PowerBall tickets is another breed of cat. Nicolas Cage notwithstanding, it really couldn't happen to you. Grasshopper, big clinic made of many cottonballs. Focus sale: digital patient weighing systems. (Surely, someday, mankind can advance beyond the balance beam.)

Scorpio (The Scorpion)
Oct. 23 - Nov. 22
Buck-passer! Anybody remember Truman and the great mileage he got from stopping the buck? Can you really blame your pickers for not shipping the controls that you didn't know were necessary to properly run the test? And did you really expect your purchasing department to negotiate an exclusive on Cipro? Take the finger you were pointing and press firmly against your chest, and repeat, ''The trouble is not in my set, I control the horizontal and the vertical.'' Focus sale: snake and insect bite kits (since you never know the next bioterror vehicle, and we do know the desert is full of scorpions.)

Sagittarius (The Archer)
Nov. 23 - Dec. 22
Grifter! You are the ultimate customer psychologist. No excessive pride here. ''Dressing down'' and ''driving down'' to look poor and beg for customer sympathy can work, but the `76 Gremlin is a bit much parked in front of that big house in the `burbs. Just watch out for your benefactors while touring the south of France, and don't give out your home address -it could be a tip-off to your prosperity. Focus sale: acupuncture devices (to target the next frontier, the alternative medicine practitioner).