It's true what they say – you never forget your first.
It's 2007 and I'm working at Future Shop as a retail sales associate in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada up by Conestoga Mall. I've been assigned to sell in the home theater department alongside some veteran TV-pushers and I'm in wayyyy over my head. I'm trying to learn about things like HDMI gold plating and 720p vs 1080p…or was it 1080i? Shit. I dunno. Read the tiny sticker at the bottom and act like you know some stuff. Gesture at the screen and crank that volume on the audio until their ears bleed. That's the ticket.
I'm doing my very best just to keep up but it's obvious that I'm just maybe a little too nice to be in sales. I won't sell hundreds of dollars of add-ons that a family man doesn't really need. I'm not going to push the product service plan (PSP…that word still makes me shudder) if I know that it's pretty much useless. My manager, an Indian dude with a silver tongue and an impeccable sales record, is being kind but really…he's regretting putting me in the highest commission department so soon.
But then in walks sweatpants-guy.
He looks pretty much like every other dude that cruises the aisles and asks a tonne of questions that lead nowhere. He's got an old stained shirt and some grey stretched-out sweatpants on. I have zero reason to give this guy the time of day. Nobody else bothers. My slick sales colleagues look through him and past him.
But I grew up poor. I know clothes don't make the man. So I strike up a conversation. Why? Because let's be honest, my sales are non-existent today and I need to have a chat with a real goddamn human being without awkwardly trying to steer the conversation towards buying some techno trash he doesn't really need.
I talk to sweatpants guy for like 20 minutes. About anything and everything that isn't TVs. About my aspirations to become an airline pilot, how tough an industry it is and how broke I am. About living with my parents again.
My colleagues walk by shaking their heads. Waste. Of. Time.
Then we both realize the time and sweatpants guy tells me why he's really here. He's the a tech director for Research in Motion and he needs "…just like twenty really good TVs for a few boardrooms…like bigger ones".
I try to contain my excitement and point him towards a Samsung 48in or something like that. I give him the speech, on some level subconsciously apologizing for being so awkward. He sizes it up and says "Huh. Okay looks good. I'll go for it.'
It's all I can do not to cry.
I ring in the sale and for the first time in a very long time, I start to feel the slightest bit like my life is starting to turn around.
The next month when I get my paycheck, I walk over to Rogers mobile and put all my cash down on a BB Curve 8320. And mannn is it sexy. Buttons that click juuuust right. Remember those? Mmm yep. Track ball?? Wtf is this magic?? I was in love.
Oh. And a few weeks later, I quit my job at Future Shop (because let's face it, I was terrible) and started my new chapter as a BB factory worker. The rest you guys already know from my last post.
That guy was just one of many BB managers who exemplified why I loved that company. A down to earth guy in sweatpants wielding crazy amounts of money, and choosing to back the little guy.
Still gets me choked up a bit.
Still holding BB on a Friday morning.
TLDR; BB manager gives broke shitty salesman a shot
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