Last night I got a decent amount of quality sleep and it really helped. I arrived at work more than half an hour late because I thought I started at 10:30 instead of 10:00, but my boss was cool with it since there hadn't been a single customer in that morning. We were both prepared for a slow day, but it turned out to be halfway decent as far as sales went. While he was at lunch with his family I took several calls, two of the people came in later, and I listened to more of their stories. The first guy lost his phone while he was out walking. His girlfriend had called, he stuck his phone in his pocket, went to call her, and looked back in dismay at the snowblower and driver that were methodically tracing his steps. There's something called a shared upgrade in my world. Essentially you move the payment plan from one line that is ineligible for an upgrade to another that is, and you have to be careful doing this because you never want to upgrade the wrong line. It's amazing to me how our system will let user error dominate it which is what almost happened to me with the woman who was a former employee.

She wasn't in the best mood when she arrived. A naked phone is one without accessories, we make money on service and accessories rather than the phones so there's an incentive to try and sell them apart from me believing that a small glass box might need protection of some sort. At first this woman only wants the phone, she'll get everything else online she tells me. Eventually people will realize that there is no need for people like me, and potentially brick and mortar stores will disappear, but where I normally work is largely populated by an older, wealthier, entitled generation that thinks I'm going to be happy telling them how to figure out their flip phone. They both expect sales people to be miracle workers without wanting to pay for any of that training and expertise. Our company has partnered with another firm to help bridge that gap, we charge for this service, but it is a very minimal charge, and one that is well worth it to me as it saves people time, energy, and gives them access to a much higher level of service than we could ever provide.

Sometimes I do things like tell a customer that if they charge their wireless bill to a certain credit card that's issued by the bank, their phone will have an extra level of coverage. The thing about that is it sounds good, but when you read the fine print you shockingly discover that the bank is also trying to market this as something it may not exactly be in terms of what exactly is covered, and how often. This is an area where I tend to shine because I've worked in finance and insurance before. I may not have the technology advantage, but common sense will tell you that a bank isn't going to replace your phone for free no matter how slick their marketing campaign may be. This woman had an older Samsung phone with a port that had stopped working. She's probably the fourth or fifth older woman I've seen with this problem in the past couple of weeks. Without stereotyping too much, this category of users tends to be easier on their phones than other demographics. One couple left in a huff after I told them that it was probably time for a new phone.

Obviously I have a financial incentive there, but if you have a model 6, they're on 9, you've already replaced the battery once, and your phone refuses to accept a charge no matter what you do, it might also just be time for a new device whether you purchase one from me or not. Sure they could try to replace the battery again, but if the port is the problem, a new battery won't help, and then money that went to a three or four year old device was wasted. Most people are very concerned about their contacts, photos, and messages coming over, which I understand to a certain extent. The funny part to me is that they want me, or us, to become magicians when they come in without a device because theirs was lost or stolen, their screen is no longer functional, their screen is damaged beyond repair, their device went swimming, or they have no idea what any of their passwords are, were, or might be, or have been. The majority of the time a transfer failrs because technology is imperfect, or the customer can't remember a critical piece of the puzzle. Occasionally, but rarely is it an employee issue, but of course that does happen.

If I had one piece of advice for people, it would be to get a game plan together for this type of thing. Back up your data if it is important to you. Pay for extra storage if you need it, recognize that if we can't power on your device, or it won't hold a charge, there's not going to be a lot we can do to recover whatever was on the device independent of the cloud. Also, be nice. I have no problem helping people, but I don't get paid to transfer anything, and nobody cares about your contacts, photos, and data as much as you do. There are times when people are legitimately screwed and I feel bad for them. Sometimes newer phones stop working for mysterious reasons, sometimes old devices last seemingly forever. These are the statistical outliers, and you never can predict who will fall into which category. People can and do surprise me every day.

While I was working with the former employee we informed her that this was an 'all sales are final' type of arrangement since she was trading in her phone. When some of her photos failed to transfer, she asked if she could take her phone back home with her. I knew what the answer would be, but went to ask my boss anyways who said no. The system will let you trade in the same phone twice. This happened to me and another employee, and I never want to lose money that way again. Even if she is very responsible, she could be in a car accident, her phone could be stolen, any number of things could happen, and I am not comfortable with that level of responsibility for a device that is now worth two hundred dollars to the company. When she left we got into a conversation and he said that he was just going to say it rather than keep it bottled up inside. I appreciated that because I had things I wanted to say as well. I told him I needed more praise among other things, and tried to communicate that it was very discouraging to sell as well as I had, and still feel as if that hadn't been enough, and I had fallen short of expectations once again.

Sunday we were about a thousand dollars away from hitting our goal for the month. Yesterday we had a $603 day, and I was the majority of that. While I still have a lot to learn, there are things that I do well, and I want to be recognized for that in addition to getting constructive feedback. Last month someone else won a hundred dollar contest because we were supposed to be making these appointments with the independent third party insurance provider. Because I was good about this, someone else was rewarded. I'm fine with that because it was a team effort, we all had to participate, but I'm making more and saving valuable sales floor time by encouraging people to purchase this piece of the plan. While not everyone needs it, and some people who do refuse to go ahead with it, I'm good at this, and my point was that whether the contest is over, or not, this is a way for our branch to make money even if it is a very tiny amount. Pennies count, and they add up to much larger sums over time, plus I view it as giving people a higher and better level of service than we can provide in the store which can get hectic.

I got an email back on the activation that had to be reversed. We took a home phone number and ported it to a cellular device. Then the customer returned his phone, but I had trouble getting the installments reversed. A very important person in the company said he would try and help with this if he could, this was after my boss told me that he doesn't do this, and then I felt not only stupid, but embarrassed. Today I learned that after I went to the trouble of assembling everything he needed, the installments had been reversed earlier, and what I should have been telling people, or asking, is if we could still port his original number back to a wired line. The things I don't know are staggering, but to be fair to me, there is no way anyone could ever adequately cover every possible what if scenario. I made a mistake by encouraging him to get a smartphone, and I see that now. I will say that I am getting very tired of the lectures that accompany things like this. It's my job to sell, I sold, and I didn't realize how complicated this type of a thing could be in a world of instant communication where getting someone else in the company to do their job could take days.

A friend of mine sent me some very long and encouraging messages. I have a better idea of what I need to be doing to move forward, and it's scary, but I will be okay. I need to stop being angry and annoyed with myself for doing, or not doing things, and start being more proactive and action oriented. I'm proud of the way that I calmly stated what I needed and pushed back a bit at work yesterday. I'm proud of the sales I completed, and have every reason to believe that they will stick. I was able to get to know a woman who works for a big box store nearby better, and feel that my relationship with her will be productive as well as profitable. I tend to minimize who I am and what I do, and I want to be better about that. I left some money on the table yesterday, but I'm also improving in that area, and have plans to ask some other people for help that I need. But my confidence and belief in myself is also a piece of the puzzle. I'm scared so I avoid it, and I'm working hard to overcome that. I've made progress, but that road is long, and often lonely which is why I'm making more plans to meet with people who love and care about me.

All my best,