Sunday, March 29, 2009

Yes. I do still exist

Wow, it's been almost a full two months since I last blogged. Not much has changed, and yet so much has changed. On the “not much has changed” front, I still play World of Warcraft religiously and have switched to playing on a lower population PvP server and have also switched to playing a toon of the Horde faction (see my previous post “Ding of Dings” for details on what all that means). On the “so much has changed” front, I am now unemployed. Yep, I've become a statistic in the current “economic crisis” here in the United States. Lemme 'splain... no no, that take-a too long, lemme summup.

You see, my former employer, RadioShack, pays it's sales people hourly plus “commissions” (I put commissions in quotes because they don't call them that, but I won't bore you with all that; it's just easier to say commissions because everyone understands that concept). The big money maker for RadioShack (so the claim) is wireless (aka cellphones) and service plans. Simple really, when they sell a cellphone the get the retail cost of the phone (even if the customer paid less than retail under the whole “with 2yr agreement” pricing) plus other kickbacks and bonuses from the carrier based on what type of minute/text/data/etc plan the customer signs up for; all that equals tons of profit without much pay out for product. Service plans are pure profit because it's like getting the customer to pay for a sort of extended warranty on a product that they'll likely never file a claim on. So, if John Doe buys a LCD TV for $400 on sale RadioShack makes maybe a 10-20% profit because the markup on TV's is pretty low. But if you can get Mr. Doe to also buy a 2yr in home repair plan for an additional $130, then that service plan is pure profit because there's only any overhead on it if Mr. Doe actually has any issues with the TV and RadioShack has to have the TV repaired or replaced under the service plan (which doesn't happen that terribly often, because most people just plain forget the bought the service plan or just don't want to go through the hassle of making the phone call to file a claim against the service plan they bought, so RadioShack, Sears, BestBuy or whatever retail chain the whole thing was purchased at, never loses anything on the service plan).

So, I said all that to say this... I was fired for not selling enough wireless and/or service plans. Forget the fact that I was there for three years, never missed a day of work in all that time, had customers who asked for me personally because my customer service skills were that damn good, and the fact that even though I wasn't selling very many cellphones or service plans, I was regularly meeting or exceeding the $75 per hour sales quota to qualify for other “spiffs” and commissions. Nope, none of that shit mattered. Neither did the fact that I was, and I realize my touch of arrogance in this comment, one of the few truly competent employees in the entire district. Nope, the fact that I couldn't get people to spend extra cash on service plans (many of which were pointless) or get them to buy a cellphone other than the not so profitable prepaid variety is what got me fired. The only thing I'll miss about RadioShack is that Anna was the best damn manager I had ever worked for, and it sucked that she had to fire me when it wasn't her decision.

So now what, you ask? Simple. I'm going to go take classes in Networking and/or other various computer related certifications so I can get a job worthy of my intelligence level and ability to deal with technology and trouble shooting. Roxanne and I had already planned our vacation for the last week in April and the room in Myrtle Beach has already bee booked and essentially paid for, so I'm going to relax and enjoy life for awhile before hitting the grind of work again. There are online classes and work from home jobs I can do. Hell, if I get really squirrelly I may even look into government grant programs to start small businesses and work for my damn self for a change. Who knows? All I know is, I'm not that upset about losing my job at RadioShack. In fact, I feel like I've been set free! Hey, maybe I'll have more time to write for those of you who, for some odd reason, like reading my blog *grin*.

~ Carlisle

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