Businessman Raises Eyebrows With Unhinged LinkedIn Post About What Proposing To His Girlfriend Taught Him About 'B2B Sales'

When even your engagement is about work, you might be too entwined with your job.

woman reacting to unhinged LinkedIn post about getting engaged Try My Best / - YuriArcurs | Canva Pro | Brian Shankman / LinkedIn

If you're lucky, you don't just have a job but a career that you find genuinely fulfilling. However, there is a point where you can become a bit too into your job, and it takes over your entire life to a downright strange degree. Case in point: a businessman's LinkedIn post about getting engaged.

He has people all over the internet raising their eyebrows and wondering if he's being satirical or if he is so far down the rabbit hole of his career that he needs some kind of intervention to return to reality.


The businessman's bizarre LinkedIn post about getting engaged compared his marriage proposal to sales.

As a writer and creative person, I share and understand the love of a good metaphor. However, salesman Bryan Shankman's viral LinkedIn post is a bridge too far, even for me.

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"I proposed to my girlfriend this weekend," Shankman wrote in his post. "Here's what it taught me about B2B sales." That sound you hear is basically the entire internet β€” including many on LinkedIn itself β€” simultaneously groaning in unison.

He compared his engagement to the sales cycle in a way that struck many as not only deeply strange but also insensitive.

"Am sure your soon-to-be wife is super pleased that you treated her like a sales prospect," one commenter wrote on Shankman's post. "Good luck."

That pretty much sums it up, right? If the person I chose to spend my life with went to work days later and said, "Understanding and calculating ROI is crucial" to our relationship as if I and the success of our partnership was a strategic bit of math that had to add up to a profit...

Well, respectfully, I'd be finding a new fiancΓ© β€” one who isn't suffering from a case of brain worms so debilitating they say things like, "key milestones must be met throughout the relationship to ensure a Closed Won status at the end." And I definitely am not alone in this sentiment.


Then there's the "pricing" section of Shankman's weird analogy. "After demoing and, ideally, getting their hands on the product, your prospect is ready to buy," it reads. "This is where the crucial step of pricing comes in. Know your worth, and don't discount to close the sale. Keep your integrity and present pricing firmly."

I beg your finest pardon? Who is the prospect, and who is the buyer in this scenario? That's my first question! Pricing? Product? "Ready to buy" after "getting their hands on the product"? "The product"???

Sir, with all due respect it's giving "world's oldest profession" vibes and I would consider revising this before your wife-to-be sees you talking about her like this and never wants anything to do with your "product" [retches into nearest wastebasket] ever again!


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People online were astonished by the weirdness of this post and what it said about some people's obsession with their jobs.

Now to be charitable, it seems like Shankman's post may have been a gag. I think. Sort of. He's definitely been light-hearted in the comments, and satire often goes over people's heads.

But if he was joking, it didn't seem to land. Because when even people on LinkedIn β€” the weirdest platform on the internet β€” are aghast at your bizarre post? You have reached new levels of "dude seriously, touch grass."

"Congratulations. Quick question, though: bro, why did you post this?" one man wrote, speaking for all of us.Β 


Another came up with a mocking alternate version of his post: "My wife divorced me this week; here's what it taught me about navigating corporate restructuring," β€” which is ironically a far more sensical analogy than Shankman's by several degrees.

But on Twitter is where the absurdity of Shankman's post shone brightest. "LinkedIn cannot be real," a student wrote on the platform, along with a screenshot of the post, which instantly went viral

Before long, it spawned a farcical meme of its own, my personal favorite of which leveraged, of all things, everyone AP English teacher's favorite novel about waking up transformed into a beetle, Franz Kafka's "Metamorphosis."


Personally, I have gone back and forth 400 times about whether or not Shankman's post was satire. But even if it is β€” please, please, dear God β€” the fact that it felt plausible to so many people says absolutely everything.

So many of us are so swallowed whole by our careers, by profit motives, by a need to survive in our punishing economy that it becomes our entire identities. Nowadays the stakes are so high that a post like this feels less like satire and more like the natural by-product of America's uniquely insane work culture.


This is a long-winded way of saying that our lack of security and work-life balance has broken a lot of brains, and LinkedIn is rapidly becoming a repository of cases in point.

Or as a Twitter user put it far more eloquently: "LinkedIn incentivizes a form of sociopathy that asks you to find corporate synergy between the happiest moment of your life." Yeah no thanks. Unsubscribe!

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John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice, and human interest topics.