About 20 years ago, when I was still in the military, I had a part time job at an electronics store name RadioShack. This used to be a MASSIVE nationwide chain that prided itself on what it called “98/5” – meaning that they had so many locations that 98% of the US population was within 5 miles of any RadioShack.
We were paid on commission and routinely put through very aggressive sales training courses – they trained us to be SHARKS.
I want iPod!
I remember on one Black Friday, our store was in a shopping center similar to Magnolia. The place was PACKED – you can imagine. A 10 year old kid came in with his grandmother, walked up to me and said “I want iPod”.
I asked how many mp3s he had so we could decide which model he needed but he just repeated “I want iPod!”.
So I tried again to gauge what was best and this time his grandmother asked what an “empithree” actually was.
After explaining it to her she let me know that they didn’t have a computer.
The kid didn’t need an iPod – but my manager stepped in and took over the sale. They left with 2 iPods (one for his little sister too), 2 car chargers, 2 rubber cases, 2 Bluetooth sports headsets, and 2 massively useless 5 year extended warranties on everything (even the rubber cases).
In the back room my manager taped a copy of the receipt with 2 words on it:
I was furious.
Not because my manager took the sale (~$120 in commission), but because she made a short term gain and a long term loss.
She abused their trust by using her position of “expert” to push a basket of shit they couldn’t even use.
The following Monday a man walked in with a plastic bag and all the long receipts attached to the sale. He returned everything and we never saw that family again.
I went to the back room and added one letter to my manager’s post… It read:
I’m telling you this story because I want you to be careful this holiday season.
Don’t get lured into shopping fever, buy a bunch of crap you don’t need for yourself and others, and then feel holiday remorse for the next few months as you eat vifon ramen noodles.
Having said that – and please feel free to call me a hypocrite if you think that’s the case – we are offering a few things on sale this weekend.