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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Sorry for being away...

It's not like I'm slacking off, I'm forgetting to set future posts. As of now I'm working on time-management and managing everything between my job and my leisure.

I'll let you guys in on my job. The company I work for is called Vector. It's often been regarded as a "scam" and illegal and Evil. I've heard some call it soul-stealers. Here's what Vector is. It's a marketing corporation. A company that helps market Cutco products. Vector is a company to make money and what I am is a sales representative. The salesman. I don't go door to door nor do I make cold calls. My commission rises as I sell more but I also have a guaranteed pay of $18.50 per appointment. No, this doesn't reimburse my transportation. I'm to file a 1099 tax report as an individual contractor. Who am I? Someone who's trying to take this company in the most neutral light as possible.

It is not a scam nor is it a quick way to make money. It's a hard job that's rewarding if done well but has the chance of being a let down. Yes, there's a chance you can lose money. That's how sales works. It's a risk, but at least you get a guaranteed pay. How am I doing so far? I've received my first promotion and am now paid 15% on what I sell. How is my work ethic? Horrible actually, which I why I took this job. My work ethic was something I wanted to improve, not only that I took a ridiculous amount of flak for taking this job from my parents. Instead of getting pissed, I'm taking that to work harder and prove to my parents and to myself that I can pull this off. My friend's sister did the same thing and was able to fund her own study program to South Africa. That's not jealousy in my writing, that's inspired awe. That has just made me want to work harder.

How's it going for me? Poor actually. I may have lost more than I've made (though that single sale probably helped supply me for a while.) but overall I don't really regret taking this job. Call me brainwashed but I understand that it takes a ridiculous amount of work to do but I also need to adapt quickly. It's been about a month, but I'm STILL working on my calling approach as well as my presentation. This isn't a get rich quick scheme and I understood that. I also understood that going to the office also takes a good amount of time and what I'd have to do is learn to manage my schedule very well. This kind of job isn't for everyone. I'll say that. For those who think they can just make a couple calls, get appointment and watch the money fall is an idiot. It's a hard job and takes effort. I want to do well and I want to try and beat my friend's sister.

I'll also say this. All the branches are DIFFERENT. Since people are different every manager will have a similar approach but personalities could be different. Every state, country, town, office has someone different and LOCATION actually MATTERS. The company is based in Olean, New York meaning you're more likely to get better service the closer you are to the East Coast. The top ranked states happen to be the tri-state area because the products that we sell are expensive and closest to New York. However, rank seems to have a giant impact on the offices as well. Here's the thing.

My manager isn't pushy, manipulative, nor does he have "devil horns" hiding in his hair. He actually listens to me, tries to work alternatives with what he can (he told me to start working with recommendations even though it's only my second week) and tries to push me to be the best I can do for the company. Yes. He's hired to make money, but he also CHOOSES to be a manager. He decided 4 years ago to want to be a manger and went through extra training. He made the investment (of $2500) to open up an office and try his best. He drinks a ton of red bull everyday, loves watching movies, and loves to joke. He has 80 thousand in career sales and is regarded to be really good at phone approaches by the division leader. We play snaps at Team-night out and the occasional eating contest where the loser pays for the winner's food (we take the receipts and write it off on our taxes so it's fine). What's more? There's a handful of managers who are just as laid back as he is and willing to listen to our problems. To me, he's a cool guy and even if I didn't work for him, if I just met him while touring a campus, we'd be friends (if we weren't already).

I understand that not everyone's like that and there are bound to be branches that don't do as well. I've also heard reports that some sales reps neglect to mention some facts and some managers are very pushy. My entire school is wary of reps like me because last year some graduate was extremely aggressive and if not pushy, stoned out of his mind DURING appointments. How has that left me? Not in a good situation. I get (quite) angry responses and I need to commute about an hour everyday but honestly, it's worth it. I'm spending the summer in a manner that I honestly feel would help me out in the long run. If I'm not selling, I'm just talking to parents and conversing about college. This has also made me fight my fears and my extreme shyness. Despite how I am on paper or with friends, I'm actually a very anti-social person in public. This job forces me to talk to people, and in the end (even if I don't do well) I feel like there will be benefits.

To me, those benefits are greater than the cost (and if I get lucky, I could offset the costs with my paycheck). Yes, it's time consuming, hard, and I've actually cried from stress on one occasion and from lack of success, but you know what? I didn't let that stop me. I knew that I wasn't doing my best. I was still slacking off, I was afraid to call some people, I wanted to skateboard but I've made a firm resolution to work. I'll probably flat line but I'm actually fine with that. So to those who are looking into Vector, good luck. It's hard and you need to dedicate a large amount since it's NOT an hourly pay, but think. Make a firm resolution if you will and don't be afraid to say no and look for other jobs.

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