Monday, February 26, 2007

Hasta La Vista, Baby


I took the job in March 2001. It was a retail job in a furniture store, one of the nicer ones in town. Over the years retail has been good to me. For the longest time I used to joke that it was one way to meet the town one at a time.

Overall the experience has been good and in general people are great. I have found that if I am friendly, fair, and courteous I receive that in kind. On day when I am “up” people seems to want to hand their wallets to me all day long, and on the days when I am “off” or tired I can’t give merchandise away.

I’ve been working in an upscale Sleep Store anow I am leaving. By coincidence it will be March once again though this time it is 2007. I am burned out. I am weary of the travel, 90 miles one way, and of the uneven paychecks. I got over the rejection factor a long time ago (my favorite joke is that I have heard the word NO so many times today that I have to go through the drive thru at McDonald’s and ask the girl working there if she’d like to go out so that I can hear it just one more time) and I try not to take it personally; but after 6 years I do.

So I am getting out of your hair Mrs. and Mr. Shopper. I am saying “bye-bye” for the last time on March 4th. There won’t be any bells or whistles, no brass bands, and no Bon Voyage cake. The truth is that no matter who you are, come tomorrow if you aren’t there, somebody else will be. So, there will be no gifts for me, or praise, or tears. As they say I will leave not with a bang but a whimper.

But I would like to leave you with a gift, dear reader, as you will all be customers of some big ticket item sooner or later. The gift I would like to give you is a simple lesson about how to act towards your salesperson. I know that there will be endless suggestions from others about what I have left out, but these are nearest and dearest to me.

1. Please drop the “Just looking” from your vocabulary. I know why you are here, you know why you are hear. I am only here to help you make an informed decision.
2. Listen carefully to the sales people you meet. After hearing a few talk about the same type product you will become an expert as to figuring out which one of us is full information and which is full of hot air.
3. Don’t get insulted or feel pressured when I try to close the sale. If I have done my job and made a great presentation and have built value into the product I deserve the right to ask for the sale.
4. If you have a problem after the merchandise is delivered please don’t call or stop in screaming at me from the word go. You’ve got a problem and you need a friend to help you out. Treat me like dirt and I can guarantee you won’t be happy with the solution I don’t care how intimidating you try to be.
5. Please keep your kids under control. You wouldn’t let the little darlings jump on your furniture would you? And please write this down, if one of your kids gets hurt you will be at an attorney’s office faster than you can spell N-E-G-L-I-G-E-N-C-E.

So as I ride into the sunset, I say to all of you, “Happy Trails, until me meet again”, or as Arnolds much more succinctly puts it, “Hasta la vista, Baby.”

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