I’ve been meaning to update this blog for awhile now. I don’t know… every time I sit down in front of the computer, typing about myself or doing a movie review, I just don’t feel like it. And yet, I keep saying that I will. I’ve been promising myself that, even if no one reads this, I need to do this. Not only to keep my writing sharp, but to also just put myself out there more. (Okay, that’s a lie. My writing has never been sharp… but hell, even a dull knife cuts through a bagel when you work on it long enough).
So, anyway… I know I tend to play things close to the vest. Most of the people I consider my friends probably don’t really know much about me at all. Sure, they could probably predict that I won’t kill someone (or won’t I? Hmmm…), but most folk don’t know me on a deeper level. If I keep this up, hopefully you’ll understand me a little bit more.
But enough about that…
I’ve been four weeks out on the field with my new job as Retail Representative for Sony Playstation. I know… fucking cool, right? I work for Playstation! Of course, you’re probably wondering what exactly I do for them. At the simplest, I make sure that Sony Playstation is represented well throughout various retailers that we deal with. It involve making sure that the sections are merchandised well, that I put up marketing to highlight Playstation product, and I have to make sure that the employees are educated enough with the product to be able to do basic selling.
The job involves a lot of driving… working from my car… and dealing with stores where the employees just sometimes don’t give a shit about what they’re selling.
I’ll admit, this has been a different experience. If I seem a little “blah” about the job when I talk about it, please don’t mistake that for me not liking my job. It’s just… different.
After working almost 20 years in retail, this job has been a breath of fresh air. It’s still full-time so I still work 40-ish hours and I get benefits. But then I get most weekends off. Mind blown! In almost 20 years working, the only time I ever really got a weekend off was when I requested it or used vacation time. And because the way the job works, it’s up to me to make sure I get my stores visited in my 40 hrs. So, if I work a little bit over on a day, by Friday, I might only have to make up 4 hrs. so I have a shortened day. As long as I get to my stores by the end of the month and as long as I don’t go over 40 hrs, I’m good. Crazy!
Now, of course, there are some drawbacks. There’s a lot of driving. A lot! Just this past week, I racked up over 400 miles on my car. The good thing, though, is that they at least pay for mileage. And considering what they pay, and considering my car gets good mileage, I’m making out like a bandit on this deal! Oh, and my garage has been overtaken by an abundance of Sony propaganda… posters, boxes, clings, controllers... Yeah, my garage isn’t for cars anymore.
I do miss interacting with customers, though. Not surprising since I’ve done it for 20 years. But there’s something about helping people find what they’re looking for that I find fulfilling. Yeah, it’s only helping them find a game, or a CD, or a movie, but I like the idea that I made their day a little brighter by finding them their product. And I’ve got way too much video game information floating in my head that, except for that small portion that’s dedicated to Sony product, it’s now going to waste. And, what can I say, I was good at my job… you’ll have to forgive me for missing it.
I guess that’s why it’s so frustrating going into a Wal-Mart or Target (and to a lesser extent, Best Buy) and I’m dealing with employees who don’t give a fuck about what they’re selling. They’re just there because they have to or they’re just collecting a paycheck. Fuck that! If it were me, I’d make sure to be the best damn sales person out there… even if it was for a lousy $7.50/hr. My job requires me to give the employee product knowledge to help them become better sales people. I give them the info they need to sell. But I’m greeted with so many blank stares and “I’m just covering so-and-so’s shift” excuses that it’s no wonder so many people bypass brick-and-mortar stores and just order straight from the internet.
And I hate to admit it, but I miss my GameStop people. Not only the regular customers, but also my employees and my fellow managers. Sure, some of them were insufferable, but we were a family. A dysfunctional family… but a family nonetheless.
I know I’m only 4 weeks in, but I still can’t help feeling like I’m flailing about. Flapping my wings and hoping that I don’t fall from the sky. I’m trying to get my timing down so that I’m not at a store too long that will prevent me from visiting my planned stores for the week. And I always feel like I’m forgetting to do something… or I should be doing something more. Maybe it’s because, when you sit down and think about it, this job is really, really easy. Maybe I’m psyching myself out and making this more complicated than I need to. I’m filled with such uncertainty when I walk into a store because I’m not used to being on the other side of the counter. I’m usually the one doing the selling.
I guess, the bright side is that one of my “co-workers”, the lead rep in my district, recently visited and travelled with me to some of my stores. She seems to feel that I’ve acclimated myself well. I hope so. I’ll be visited by my district manager next month…so we’ll see then. My DM says that she’s not expecting perfection right off the bat… in fact, because of the weird time that joined the team, she’s not expecting me to feel fully comfortable with my job for at least 6 months. I guess I just expect more from myself.
Anyway, I do like the job. And with the Playstation 4 launching soon, this will be some exciting times.
Hope you’ll stay with me for this ride.