Life Is Not Always So Simple

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Perfection eludes each of us. I know. I deal with the challenge to live a perfect life on a daily basis.

In all that I do, I try my very best to perform with honesty and integrity.

Even in my day job, I work hard to perform above reproach. As a commissioned salesman in a small retail establishment, the fear of cutthroat sales people is always in the air, especially in this the slowest season of the year. It is not as bad in my job as one might expect since there are only four of us to run the store year around.

All of us have made a commitment to one another to always play above board, and to give credit where credit is due. If a customer is working with one sales person and the customer returns when the sales person is absent, credit for the sale will go to the sales person who had been working with the customer from day one.

We have all agreed that this is the only fair way to work the business. For more than four months, this system has worked fine.

If a customer comes in and asks for someone who is not present, and the customer knows what he or she wants, then the full deal goes to the original sales person. If the customer has not made their mind up as to what they wanted before coming into the store, then we are free to split the deal between the two of us.

The only time we experience problems is when a customer comes in that one of us does not recognize. To combat this problem, we take the time to remind the customer to ask for us when they return to the store. We also make an effort to query the customer to learn whether they had talked to another sales person on a previous visit.

Let me tell you one thing that I have learned in this job. It is not enough to try to do everything right. Sometimes, a situation may arise that prevents the execution of a perfect job.

I now stand accused of breaking the trust we have spent four months building among the crew.

On a busy Sunday afternoon, only two of us were working so that the other two could attend special functions.

Upon completing one transaction, I rushed to the next customer. The customer asked immediately if I could help direct him to a television that would fit into a specific space. I pointed to three televisions that would meet his needs. We were able to work together to narrow the customers interest to one specific television and we closed the deal.

While I was getting a serial number for the set, the customer told the manager on duty that he needed to run to his office and would return shortly. I returned with a serial number and noticed the customer leaving. I asked him if he had changed his mind. He told me that he would return shortly and that I “will still get the sale. "

Upon the customer's return to the store, I was helping another customer with his purchase. So, the store manager assisted the customer in doing the paperwork and loading his purchase into his vehicle.

All was well until two days later. Upon returning from my own day off, I was confronted by one of the other sales people. He told me that HIS customer had stopped by the store on my day off and told him that he - the customer - had asked about the missing sales person while he was in the store on Sunday.

I stood firm in my assertion that the sales persons name had never come up. I still stand firm in that assertion. I made a point to remind my co-worker that I have gone out of my way in times past to assure that he had gotten credit for his work.

Yet my co-worker wanted and still wants to believe I screwed him on the deal. Yes, the deal was made only under my number - it was not split with anyone.

I have reached the conclusion that I will not fret this situation. My co-worker has decided that he wants to believe the worst about me on that day.

Yet, in my heart, I know that I did no one wrong. As such, I refuse to feel guilt for this unfortunate situation. I stand firm in my belief that I have done absolutely nothing wrong, period.

My point in this article is? I don't know. I just needed to get it off of my chest. One would think that my record of honesty and integrity should override any misgivings another might have. Unfortunately, in the real world, it is not always so simple.

Copyright Bill Platt - All Rights Reserved

Bill Platt is the owner of

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