I don’t remember why but I owed my father some money. Not much I’m sure but it was enough that I felt bad about it, so I did what every teenager does and I got a new job. I hadn’t worked in a while and was running low on funds anyway.(I had quit my golf course job 6 months prior. ) I applied to work at my neighborhood RadioShack, It was for the holidays and since the consumer based economy we had was booming at the time, they hired me, a 19 year old boy with no selling and customer service experience. Why? I don’t know.
Did I care? Did I complain? Absolutely not, I was just glad to be making money.
For those of you, who don’t know, let me give you some background on the business model of RadioShack.
You see, RadioShack is like Starbucks in that instead of a cup of coffee it charges 5$ for 4 batteries. Now you’d think that they’d be making a ton of money; WRONG! Maybe if they were the only store selling batteries. Unfortunately they’re not, RadioShack is the store where they sell you other stuff, while you come in to buy a battery for your watch. Other than batteries and cell phones they are really only known for selling Remote control cars at Christmas time.
You see I HATE selling people things. HATE IT. There is an inherent lying that goes on. Not to sound dramatic but I COMPLETELY UNDERSTAND why the German people got sold, and went down the road with Hitler leading the way. If 700+ people can be convinced to kill themselves en masse in the Jonestown massacre, then you can damn well believe that I’m going to sell you insurance on your cell phone.
Maybe one of the reasons why the box stores are so popular now a days, is that we secretly hate it when a smooth talker confronts us about something we need to make our lives better. Although asking for directions in a super Wal-Mart is like playing a real life “Where’s Waldo.”
I digress again.
So there I was selling cell phones and helping people out, I might have lied a couple times too to get the sale (I regret that of course). So I worked the Christmas shift with this old guy and this other old guy, they didn’t like me because I smelled of cologne and not old spice so they sent me packing to another store for the final 3 weeks of the Christmas season at a busy store near a Mormon temple, off of the I-5 near La Jolla California. (In case you were wondering)
I worked at this location until after Christmas, and then it was time for my work review. Lo and behold I got transferred AGAIN. But this time it was to a store with other employees who sucked as much as I did. This new store was pretty much the land of misfit toys. There was a guy named Pete who looked Italian but hated that he was Mexican, there was a guy named Andy who looked exactly like the guy from MAD magazine and had the social skills of a 5 year old, (he had this ridiculous habit of carrying on a conversation with you while his head was completely tilted to the side, weird I know) and the list goes on and on.
We were all trying to sell our souls and make some money. Our manager a guy named Dexter was scamming the hell out of his customers, unbeknownst to me or anyone who worked at RadioShack.
It makes sense, you shuffle through employees so that by the time they start to catch on, they move to another store and you (The manager) make mounds and mounds of money. Little did I know that my contribution to this scam would eventually cost the manager and RadioShack untold thousands of dollars in lawsuits and future business.
To be continued.