The Death of a Salesman

Yeah, although the name is shamelessly pirated, that’s exactly what this is. In the realm of sales, I lived by an alias of a person who no longer exists. I have so much to say, but want to truncate it for fear of simply rambling too much. The best way to organize my thoughts is categorically, so here goes…

The Workplace:

This dingy, dirty, disgusting warehouse that we worked at was located neighboring a cemetery…yeah, really nice view through the windows which would not open in a room with no immediate fire exit, violating safety codes mind you. Anyhow, getting to work was a trip, because there was a very limited amount of transportation that could actually take you there. The best part is these rare and hard to spot enigmas usually ran on no regular schedule…meaning you could easily be late. Showing up so much as a minute late prompted a response from management with a serious and stern look in your direction followed up with a condescending question with no right answer, “What happened?” There is no right answer to this question, have fun with it, say there was a gun fight and you were almost killed. The best part is the rules get more and more ridiculous as time goes on. One mouse or bug is spotted in the workplace, and we have mandatory face to face meetings with management urging us that we can’t eat at our desks. A week earlier, we are told we can’t take lunch unless it is at a specific time. Forget about eating if you get hungry, because you can’t leave your desk and you can’t eat at it. Starve, and do a good job. Better yet, when it’s busy, work an extra day. If it’s really slow, screw you, sit at your desk and make no money. As salesmen, we work on commission, which brings me to our next topic, customers.


My God, how I wanted to say this so many times to the general population of customers out there: FUCK YOU! Yeah, that’s right. If you have ever called a call center, spoken to a salesmen in a store, or ever bothered anyone in your life, a waiter, attendant, paper boy…you should rot in hell. So many times I dealt with someone who had no intention of buying, and acted like I owed it to them to do their bidding. “The customer is always right” bullshit has got to stop. Let me give you people a nice piece of information, if you have ever done the following, you’re regarded as an idiot: Asked a representative a question twice, asked a question twice in a different way, asked for a break on price, acted like you knew how the system worked, acted like you could make no mistakes, asked for a price-match (more on those later), referred yourself as a good customer, answered any questions no one asked, put a rep. on hold for more than 1 minute, asked questions that you really aren’t listening to answers about, pretended you were going to buy to get more help, called to complain about a representative that really didn’t do anything wrong, asked for a better price and were not even going to buy, …you know I could go on forever.

As far as the price matching or price breaks go, when you work on commission, if you discount anything, it’s money out of your pocket. All you people who have wanted your “fair price” are cheats. You should have bad karma, and if anything bad happened to you around the time you did that and you asked God why…now you know why. The worst part about being a salesman at this place was that you couldn’t even tell customers you’re on commission. If someone calls up and is wasting your time, you can’t even get rid of them. You people (some of you) are maggots and should be stomped out of existence accordingly. I hope you know who you are and maybe knock it off starting right now.


These fucking guys … what a joke. They have secured a half-way decent job and cover their asses by looking to pick you off at the first sign of slipping on anything. Their job was to threaten you and keep you scared. You’d pretty much discover that they were all bipolar or schizophrenic. You never knew which of the manager’s personalities you were going to speak to. Each month, we were rated based on a number of categories…like a million of them. If your numbers slipped on one of them, it was a huge deal. We would actually receive write-ups (you know, like in High School) about these “slips.” Being that we get numerous calls of all sorts, you would think one would accept that this isn’t a science, and can’t be treated as such. They would play number games, generating percentages and holding it against you, of course if you made a mistake once, they didn’t weigh percentages then, they chewed you out. If you didn’t perform to their standards, which were completely subjective on a person to person basis, you would be threatened with being pushed down to a lower shift, suspensions, even terminations…yes, you could be fired for not selling enough warranties. Think about that next time you buy a TV or something and you’re offered a warranty. If you can afford it, just fucking buy it. You haven’t the slightest idea how hard you’re making a salesman’s life. This is why salesman try so hard to get you to buy shit that you usually don’t want. If they don’t move enough merchandise, they find themselves leaving a dirty warehouse in the middle of nowhere at 9 PM on a Sunday night every week. Ultimately if they didn’t like you, usually they couldn’t fire you unless you committed some outlandish behavior. They would just make your life hell until you quit.

My Co-workers:

You bond with your mates very fast because you all feel like a team being treated like garbage. A few salesmen will stab you in the back, but for the most part everyone sympathizes with you. You’re one of the gang. The first time you get written-up, usually the gang will greet you with smiles and refer to your cherry-popping. People there are over-worked and under-appreciated. The people that are there for a long time are taken for granted. Many people there are just stuck there, and the company knows this, so they push you and threaten you and constantly make you feel like you’re nothing without them and they are doing you a huge favor by forcing you to come in 6 days a week, 9 hours a day. You would think that management would feel some pity, never. They all cower and the beckon call of the mighty owner, making a zillion times more money than the rest of the staff combined. As time goes on, benefits disappear. Insurance plans get worse, match 401K out the window because the company “isn’t doing so well,” and then you have to listen to the owners spew out that they’re having the greatest year ever!

I really could rant about this forever, but I’ll stop here and spare you all. The bottom line about a place like this is pretty basic: After a while, you look around and realize there is no room for growth. My life was frozen virtually while I was there. I progressed zero in all that time. I found myself 3 years older and just angrier. Maybe work universally sucks, most people will agree, but work can suck Monday through Friday 9-5, not 9 hours on weekends, nights, and holidays, thank you.

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