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
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
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
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
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
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
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,
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.