The owners of the store I work in have been on the rampage lately, firing people that they felt haven’t been pulling their weight around the store. Most of the people in the crosshairs are salesmen. These salesmen have been working at the store for quite a while, in some cases over fifteen years.
Some of these “senior” salesmen haven’t been making many sales as of late, hence the reason they are in the boss’s crosshairs. But the way I see it, it’s not entirely their fault. Every once in a while a new sales rep will get hired at the store, a young dynamic person who is full of energy and willing to do what it takes to make the sale.
Whether he gets hired to be on the floor or for corporate sales, the story is quite repetitive with these young guys. They will drop prices as low as possible as long as the store is still making a profit. If a customer is uncertain of a product, they will take the product to the customer’s house, set it up and test in the client’s home. In some cases they will even offer free delivery and installation (which screws me over because apart from my salary, I get commission on delivery and installation charges). But by far the worst tactic I’ve seen them employ to get a sale is to “steal” another rep’s client.
What irks me about this practice is that the newbies don’t steal each other’s clients. They will take the sale from one of the older sales reps. Why does it bother me so much? Because of the fact that while the new guys are earning a salary AND commission, the old sales reps are strictly on commission. Not only does the sales rep make less money for his bills and rent or whatever expenses he might have, he also finds himself in the situation that they are finding themselves in as of late. They’re not making enough sales, so the owner wants to sack them.
A perfect example of this would be Ziggy, our resident pot-head at the store; he is also one of the salesmen that have been there the longest. He hasn’t been making many sales lately, and whenever the opportunity arises, one of the younger salesmen comes along and takes the sale from under his nose.
Last week he was asked to give in his two weeks’ notice. Of course he was infuriated by this and didn’t give it in. He knows they want him out, but other than the fact that his sales have diminished, they can’t fire him. They have nothing else to go on that would give them reason enough to fire him. Then you also have to consider that the sales he makes are usually really big sales.
So Ziggy comes into work today, and realizes his desk is no longer there. Everything is gone, the desk, the chair, his computer, all of it. His desk is usually behind the receptionists’ desk on the main floor. One of his clients was there waiting for him when he got in. “They told me you quit.” Says the client.
Clearly they are trying to squeeze him out. I have experienced having to fire people when I was at my previous job and I don’t feel that this is the right way to do so. Is it just me?
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