I Am My Best Boss!
I have found out over many years that I work best for myself. I have worked for companies big and small, new and old, and I can never seem to do things the way the company wants.
Usually, the company wants me to do something, and it is either contrary to good, common sense, or contrary to decent folk ethics, or just plain stupid, time-wasting general crapola.
Many times, I would go to work for a company, and find out what they told me was just plain untrue, regarding many aspects of the job. Mostly the pay they would tell me was just plain unattainable. (I have been in sales for over 40 years in one form or another). I can smell a rat.
The usual come-on in the help wanted ads is, “Make $100,000 easy!” Some also say, “six-figure income for go-getters”, or some other exciting nonsense.
You will find that there was one person or two that actually did what they advertise, but they won’t tell you they were the owner’s or manager’s son, daughter-in-law, brother, etc. They fed all the sales leads that came in to the “chosen one” them, helped close the sale for them, or discounted the price to get the customer to buy, etc., etc., ….
Normal, working people can’t possibly find number of the leads, have the “Hunter” mentality and do all the closing, pricing, etc.
I worked for a car dealer once, and every month, a guy, (we will call him Bob, so I don’t get sued), would be the used car salesperson of the month. EVERY MONTH! There were eight salespeople in the “bullpen”. Most of the salespeople were hard-working, diligent folks, and not one of us could figure out why we couldn’t beat “Bob”.
Well, come to find out, the owner and the general manager were telling the sales managers to feed him ALL the internet leads, and they did. No one else ever got those web leads. No wonder he was the leader.
I actually beat him one month, it was a fluke, but I did win, fair and square. He was PISSED! He couldn’t understand how I did it, and he didn’t get the bonus for the used car salesperson of the month, I did. It was only $150.00, but it really frosted him. He barely spoke to me for months. Not to mention, the sales managers who fed him got talked to. I still to this day don’t know what “Bob” had on these people, but he had something he was using to get all the leads. All the other salespeople complained over and over, but it never changed until “Bob” left the company. It made a few people quit, as they thought the practice was unfair. Many companies still do this or something similar to it. They lose good hard-working people over cronyism.
Some other things that lost good people are telling you what the job description is, then switching up what they expect. I went to work for a company that wanted me to answer customer service calls, and fix electronic products.
They failed to tell me that the previous person was an alcoholic idiot who had the whole thing so screwed up that no one including the owner knew what was broken, fixed, or in between, what parts were in stock, what was ordered, what was needed, and what to ship back to customers or what still needed to be fixed. It was a total breakdown that they expected me to fix with no experience in the arena they worked in, no experience in working with the product, it was a HUGE mess.
Then they shorted my first paycheck by $ 2.00 per hour! What a load of stuff.
I actually waded, literally through the mobile office they gave me, and after about a month, I had a system set up for them, a flow of work to be done and shipped. I even started working on social media promotions for them.
Then they decided since sales were down, (yet another alcoholic idiot) they would give my job, since I had it fixed, and running smoothly, to the production manager since they saw him sitting around reading magazines and newspapers all day, he needed more to do. Maybe they should have given me the production manager’s job since all he did was read, smoke, and criticize all day. Nothing constructive, just complaining and demeaning the staff all day.
As it turned out the owner owed the production manager money. There goes Dean’s job, and the company’s productivity and customer service.
Then there was the insurance company. I was told I would get a small salary of $2000.00 for two years to get my agency up and running. They wanted me to work in one office for a BIG producer, to learn the way they worked, build my book of business, etc.
I was talking with one of the other agents who had been there for a while, and he told me that the “salary” was actually a loan that I had to pay back after the two years….. can you say, indentured servant??
The company also charged me for postage, leads, and office space! None of this was explained properly or even talked about at all. It cost me $83.00 just to quit! I had to pay for the leads I bought from them, (not one worked out), postage I used, and my remaining office rent…. total nonsense. Now I know how the big producer made his money, on the backs of the new people. They got the leads, and when they quit, those leads went to him and his cronies for free, not to mention the rent! That was a racket.
Most of the sales jobs I have taken over the years have done ok until the company decides the stockholders or ownership needs to make more money.
They then set out to find a way to either change the pay structure, to make them pay the staff less, or reduce or remove bonuses, perks, insurance, etc.
I worked at another car dealer, BIG company, when sales slacked off, not due to salespeople, but the car company had a large scandal, and folks stayed away like it was poison, management decided that we (sales) should just work longer, bell to bell hours.
SOOO, instead of a 50ish hour work week, we got bumped up to around 65 hours, depending on the days you were working. They lost 4 good hardworking salespeople, but replaced them with people who were newbies who didn’t know the difference in hours, and would break their backs just to get the chance to “MAKE $100,000 selling cars”.
It will probably take the newbies months to learn how to sell cars, and follow the cockamamie sales program they set up to “Capture” more sales. (That regimen just made customers angry). So, the company shot itself in the foot but covered it by taking away two of the small monthly bonuses, (spiffs). It amounted to covering the losses on the backs of the salespeople.
It may seem that I am bitter, angry, etc. I guess I am, but it seems that I have a good reason. I suppose I shouldn’t be upset over changes to pay plans, hours, or just plain lies, as it is someone else’s risk and not mine.
As you can see, either I run into all the crap sales jobs, (probably), or every company has quirks, dishonest staff or management, etc. Now in my ever- so-positive outlook, I keep trying to find a great job where they don’t lie, or have cronyism, etc.
So, I had started a couple of small businesses, the one that breaks my heart was a small, used car dealership. I thought i knew enough to make a go of it before I worked for even one other car dealer. Boy, was I delusional! I knew very little, except for buying wholesale and selling retail. It was also during the economic crash of the early 2000s. Mistake #2.
All in all, I really was awful at running the business, BUT I did love it. I had ups and downs with the business, (more downs), but the overall work was good for me. It was mine to win or lose, I didn’t have to answer to someone who I didn’t respect. There was a feeling of freedom, even though I had to answer to the customers, it was still me doing my best, even though I failed, I loved it.
I also owned a small pest control business back in the late 80s. In the first year, I made right at $10,000 after expenses. The second-year projected was $44,000. Then my wife got transferred to Phoenix. There were very few jobs in her field in our area, so I sold my business, (dang), even though it was building, we couldn’t count on it as a sole source of income as it was built. That business was great, but I did get very Ill for about six weeks, with a condition called Sarcoidosis. My wife thought it was surely the chemicals I worked with, but the doctors I saw said they couldn’t say absolutely. I really enjoyed the pest business, I was looking forward to not using chemicals, but just selling as I grew the business. But timing didn’t work, as my wife got transferred to Phoenix with her job, and we needed the income, so to Phoenix we went, and I did sell that business for a profit overall.
I have found over the years, and many different companies that I enjoy working for myself the best, but it can’t always work. I would probably go back into the car business as a small retailer, but the rules have changed, and small car lots are struggling against the technology of a big retail giants like Carmax and Carvana. I would still try if I had time and money.
Now I just write articles for Medium, sell new and used cars, I am also a radio personality on a digital radio station.
I am looking forward to being a full-time writer, D.J., and let’s face facts, I just don’t want a boss, I am truly an entrepreneur at heart. I LOVE working for me!!!
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