Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Life at The Shack and Gift Giving

The job situation is complex. I swore up and down I would not be one of those people who complained about their job, but I think that one occasion, it is mandatory for me to have to go back on that promise. I love the premise of my job. Cell phones, cameras, and iPods are all things I love. I was hired because I speak Spanish. In fact, the very first cell phone I sold was to someone who spoke no English. I love that aspect. But at the same time, the job makes me feel like I'm a manipulator and a liar, and that's not something I ever wanted to be.

The problem is this. An essential part of my job is something called attachment. It means I have an obligation to sell people add-ons (for example, if you buy a camera, I am supposed to sell you a case, an SD card, etc.) and also to sell Radio Shack Service Plans (RSSP). It's Sales 101. There are a few problems with this, though. I myself don't ever purchase a service plan. I find it unnecessary. I bought an SD card at work and got an earful from my boss because I didn't buy a service plan. What the heck is going to go wrong with an SD card after the first 30 days? If it doesn't work, I'll bring it back, and you'll replace it. I'm not paying an extra six dollars on my twelve dollar SD card so that I can bring it in two years later and have it replaced. I feel hypocritical asking customers to purchase something that I wouldn't buy. I'm supposed to maintain a 40% rate of RSSP. Any given day, I get between 33% and 50%, which puts me right where I need to be.

As the attachments go, I can get that. But if we really believe what we say (and this is totally true) about our customers being the most educated that they've ever been and knowing exactly what they want, isn't it a little bit stupid to attempt to sell them something that we know that they don't want and/or need? Doesn't that insult their intelligence in the slightest? These are educated consumers! Why should I tell you that you need it when I know that you could get by without it or buy it somewhere else much, much cheaper? I really don't like that. And neither do the customers. They know that they're being taken for a ride and they take it out on the associates that are attempting to get them to spend more money. And that, my friends, is not a good thing.

On the brighter side though, it is a fun job sometimes. I'm working with technology, which I love, and I get to talk to some fun people and actually sold a camera with two attachments to a city council person yesterday. My last day is on January 1, right before I go off to college. I don't know that I'll work at Radio Shack again.

On the other side of things, the holidays are coming up, and the gift giving has begun. I discovered photo gifts this year and went a little crazy. For most of my really close friends, I got little magnets with pictures on them.

 They went over pretty well. For one of my friends, who also has an excellent sense of style, I went to Claire's and raided their hair department for the big bows. I do so love the big bows. She's kind of taken that style and run with it, so I had texted her mom and asked what colors she wanted. I picked out a red clip-in rose and a blue floppy flower headband that I liked so much, I bought myself one of the same. The result of our amazing fashion since and style was the following:

That's right. We got each other the same thing. Great minds think alike.

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