Posts Tagged ‘management’

Credit Card Slap

November 7, 2010

Anyone who knows me, knows how I feel about credit cards. Personally, as a young adult, I was ‘convinced’ to sign-up for one to get a ‘free bag’, hey, “Everyone else was signing up.” Why not? Then, I lost my job, I was struggling to survive, my debt got out of hand, I didn’t know what to do–nor did they actually give you many options–eventually, they wanted it all paid. This was a bill which was a couple hundred, and compounded with their various fees into thousands of dollars. By the time I found a job, I still wasn’t making enough to meet their demands, so they started to call me and my family, demanding to know where I was at all times, and calling me everywhere–and I mean, everywhere I was. They would call the store asking for me daily, and when I wasn’t there, they’d ask for a manager demanding all of my personal information, which my manager told them was illegal and asked them not to call anymore. Asking them not to call my workplace did little good. Eventually, they started to garnish my wages so if I thought I was barely surviving before, well I was in for a new surprise! Eventually, they stopped garnishing me, my paychecks went back to normal, etc., etc. Either way, I have no personal fondness for credit cards, and believe it was created by a crude capitalist society whose only interest is keeping the rich rich and the poor poor. If they were evolving society, they would create a system which empowers people to grow instead of recreating paupers and their new version of enslavement.

All this aside, people also know I’m a good salesperson. One day, I helped build a $900 sale. The next day, alone, I made a $400 sale. In this time, I also got two people to apply for credit cards–it is a job requirement for me, and honestly, I’m always rated ‘down’ because I don’t pursue credit cards enough. Either way, I make $1300 in sales (in just two sales) and I barely get a congratulations, thank you or any sort of recognition. I get two credit cards, and they give me a $5 gift card for coffee. Yes, I got two credit cards and I got a $5 gift card. I make $1300 in sales, and I don’t even get a thank you. Should I go over it again?

I mean, of all things, this was the hugest insult anyone could give me–with my beliefs, my pride, and who I am and how I have been treated by credit cards; with my background in selling and sales management, I was slapped in the face. I went to a manager, throwing it on the ground, telling them to, “Give it to the other guy, he got two credit cards in one hour!” We’re in an economic rut, my coworkers aren’t getting enough hours to feed themselves, and I get congratulations for credit cards? Helping a new breed of people to go into debt? Thanks. Let me know when Retail is about making sales again, I’ll be sleeping.

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My Retail Explosions

October 29, 2010

Through the years, my frustrations have grown exponentially. Retail is not supposed to be a place where common-sense grows, and this doesn’t even count customers, this is entirely within the retail companies. For years, I have suggested, spoken up, and given ideas on how to improve the workplace, improve motivation, communication, output, everything, and for years, I have been met with excuses and reasons why they ‘can’t’ do something. I have seen a store manager disappear, being replaced by a new store manager. Yet, I still see the same holes and issues which existed five, six, seven years ago. What is a retail business? It is a place where you sell product. What is the focus of a retail business? Making money. When actions and reactions work at odds against this principle, yet are expounded by the company as legitimacy, you have huge problems. For the normal ‘minions’, it doesn’t matter. I’ve had to open the eyes of many coworkers, and even people who work in retail, to see and understand there are bigger pictures than just facing the floor and folding.

As selling is the primary goal of any company, I am perplexed without end when people are acknowledge, even encouraged to do things like get credit cards. What? I can make a $900 sale, but I get acknowledged for opening two credit cards? You want to slap me in the face? You already have. I even tell people, if you get credit cards, you can get away with anything, and you’re still untouchable, you’re invincible, invulnerable. Some of the great credit card champions had no sales skills, slacked off whenever they had the opportunity, and had no desirable skills other than getting someone to sign up for a credit card. We are on an island full of tourists, none of them can sign up for our credit card–why is it so important? If there was an actual focus on selling, on making sales and helping the customers, don’t you think we’d be making our budget with surplus every single month?

My professionalism was sound before. No personal information, no personal conversation. Our managers and superiors are thus, to be treated with respect, as much as they act respectable. You are only as strong as those whom follow you. In my old business organization, I had no candor, I was only seriousness, professionalism is a clean cut line between getting the job done and focusing on that aspect. I know the business models, I know the sales principles. Long ago, when people asked why I don’t get crazy, even with the rudest customers–it was because my professionalism had my eyes on the goal. Yet, surrounded by the lack thereof, how can you hope to hold onto such standards? It took a year before I’d stand around talking story with co-workers, two years before I’d talk story with a manager. I never allowed a superior to ask me about my life outside of work, nor would I have contact with them outside of work. They said I had no sense of humor. They said I was serious. But they could never say I lacked professionalism. There are always standards to be kept, and I was once tasked with keeping them.

My life outside of work hasn’t been the greatest thing with failures from career, to life, to love, I have been buckled, blows struck to my legs. There is no greater satisfaction than simplicity. Yet, within this sense, there is a lack of sense. A retail business survives by making money.

I have a vast intelligence, but I can only take so much of this. Thank you, world, I finally went to set up an appointment to see a psychiatrist. You win, world. You win.

Different Priorities

May 12, 2010

Tonight was one of the more surprising moments in my retail career. While discussing a display I set-up to sell more product which didn’t sell at the old spot, but sold far better in my new location, my manager kept saying, “It’s bad.” I tell my manager my primary concern and interest in this store is selling and making money for the store, so my co-workers have more hours to work; to which a co-worker nearby thanked me; to which my manager just looked at me blankly and said nothing. Then, she moved the conversation on to a different topic, while removing my display and hiding the product once again.

If that is not a telling tale of differences of priority and an alarm warning for me that perhaps my views are no longer the same as the store I work at, I don’t know what is.

Intellect and Retail

September 8, 2009

Yes, I’ve wanted to write a book about retail for a while. I think the comic strip is excellent:
Retail Comic Strip
Either that will become a good cartoon one day, or my idea for a book will be a nice cult movie one day–if written well, which is the current sticking point.
Do you know, retail is one of the places where you benefit from stupidity? You can get rewards and perks for being stupid and ignorant. If you go to the airport and bring extra bags, they don’t care if you ‘did not know’ about their baggage policy. You can’t ask to speak to their manager and say you were unaware of these charges, that your bag weighs too much, that you’re stupid–you’ll still have to follow the rules, not ‘well just this one time’.

If you are a bad parent, abusing your children, leaving them alone for long periods unattended, social services won’t arrive and say, “Well, you’re going to earn extra income now, and we’ll help you out.” *smiles* More likely, your kids will be taken away.

Car Insurance doesn’t let your stupidity be an excuse for accidents, it sure won’t stop them from increasing your premium.

In retail, you can get away with saying, “Oh, I didn’t know. I want to speak to your manager.” Where basically whining allows you to benefit and gain rewards undeserving and inexperienced in other parts of life. This is a place where I believe retail and customer service industries have gone wrong. People should be penalized, just like anywhere else for their stupidity and ignorance. In essence, all retail does is encourage it and allow it to envelop the buying culture. It actually encourages you to be an idiot in order to get benefits–I don’t know is far easier than saying I do know.

People walk into a retail store with a thought or ideal that the salespeople working there are less intelligent than they are. Perhaps the only intelligent people are supposed to be management, which also includes a great deal of previous salespeople that have entered the management team–which is the irony of titles because that means they were once dumb and now smart? One time the snotty woman rattled off a list of different requests, wants and needs at the cash register, then arrogantly said, “Did you get all that? Hahaha.” And I looked at her, and said flatly, “I have an IQ of 150, I got it.” I proceeded to do all her various requests and special discounts, gift receipts, etc., then asked, “Is there anything else?” The condescending laughter was gone, when she replied, “No.” What does it say when you work somewhere where intelligence is actually a disappointment for customers?