Friday, January 12, 2007


"We're closing the store NOW," he said, "...and we're letting you both go." I was surprised and I wasn't. Part of it hadn't registered yet. We both just nodded as we started to collect our things. While I had been joking about both the RVP and the Regional Manager coming down because I suspected they wanted to "fire" us, I didn't actually think they were going to lay off my manager too, who has been with the company for over two years! As I have been saying, business had been slow which is why they misleadingly told us all they were moving us to another store (in a better consumer area) but because there wasn't actually a lease for another store and since they weren't actually planning to get another lease for several months, they had to make this strictly "business decision" and see us off.

It's a shock when a job comes to an end without notice. At least I got some severance to give me time until the end of the month to look for something new. I say to myself: "Sir Barrett, you are a 'Communications Consultant' or cell phone salesman no more. You're back to square one, just as jobless as we all start out."

Just yesterday morning while walking to work I had a teenager stop me on the street and ask: "Do you remember me? How do you set up voicemail?" I explained how and then he ran off. I have seen others donning the earphones I sold them while boarding the city bus, holding up their mp3 phones and shouting 'Thank You!' through the din of urban chatter. It is heart-warming.

However, the not-so-pleasant thing is that those extra moments helping customers didn't seem to translate to the higher-ups and I am envious of those who are rewarded for profit though they lack basic manners and integrity. There are times spent explaining a customer's options and consoling them after their phone has been tragically run over by an SUV when no money is generated. But they can't measure these good customer interactions because all they calculate is the dollar value of profit...which is why they transferred and kept my one coworker...because he made lots of profit. Nevermind that he often told customers things that I clearly understood to be untrue or that he would make promises to them that would only be broken after they had been charged their first bill. I had heard customers refer to him as the "used car salesmen of phones" and other names I will not repeat. I realized that if that is what competition means, I do not want to run in that kind of rat race.

So, I was about to write a blog about how the new Apple iPhone isn't so revolutionary other than that the touch screen technology that has been around for a long time now includes the keypad when this happened. I was going to explain that the BlackBerry Pearl already has most of the features the iPhone is being praised for and how it's all just media hoopla causing people not to be able to wait to get their hands on Jonathan Ive's sweetest design but I'm far too busy going to placement agencies and looking through the paper in the Employment section. I was also going to suggest that the reason RIM's shares have been dropping this past week isn't because most business people will adopt the iPhone over the BlackBerry but because a predicted partnership between the two companies to make an 'AppleBerry' never went through. However, I don't talk economics. Lastly, I was going to sadistically cackle about how Steve Jobs (the man behind Apple) will have fun dealing with injunction battles and legal disputes, just like Jim Balsalie (RIM CEO) did, now that Cisco Communications has sued Apple over the iPhone name, but of course I try not to spread negative energy and I hardly read the news so I won't talk about it at all.

Maybe I'm just upset because I don't have a job.

"Most people don't plan to fail, they fail to plan"

On the bright side, I suppose I don't even need to fill out my vacation request, it's already been approved.



Anonymous Adorable Girlfriend said...

Geez. That stinks! Sorry to hear about your news. Keep your chin up! You're bright and you'll find something.

3:19 p.m.  
Blogger Prmod Bafna said...

Awww! very sorry to hear really! But i'm confident that you will land something definitely better!! I so love the saying "Every end is a new beginning" cos infact it always materialises into that positively! :)

2:08 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, if your former customers remember you it means you were either a great salesman or you live in a small hamlet.

I think its the former.

Good luck with work in future.

Unless one's name is Willy Wonka, work is never 100% what we want is it?

Today I had my first fight with my new news editor. It was quite horrific...for him. I still feel bad for him & I must go back there tomorrow:(

3:16 p.m.  
Blogger sophie said...

dear mr brightside you will
shine even brighter soon:)

yah! for vancations!

6:58 p.m.  
Blogger Phronk said...

I've always believed that being polite and moral pays off in the long run, both personally and financially. If I buy a phone and later found out that the salesdude lied to me about a feature, I'll never go back to that place. If someone is polite and honest, even if I don't buy a phone right away, I'll go there when I do need one. And I'll go back when I need another. And tell my friends about it. That means more money for Rogers and more happiness for me.

Too bad there's no way to measure these benefits directly - a limitation that you seem to have been the victim of.

1:51 p.m.  
Blogger Udge said...

Damn, sorry to hear about the job. Comfort yourself with the thought that a company that only values turnover will not survive.

2:28 p.m.  

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