Friday, June 08, 2012

Two Weeks Notice


I went to turn in my resignation this morning and found it was a lot harder than expected. Before I could speak with Matt, Brendan pulled me aside and had me sign a form to recognize my commitment to the company after three months by making me Senior Sales Rep. Brendan explained that I would be receiving intermittent manager responsibilities as well as increased responsibility overall. After signing I went over to Matt to turn in my resignation. He asked what he could help me with and as I brought my letter into the light he pointed and said, "that worries me."

I hesitated and continued to explain that I was taking things in a new direction. Matt gave me a sad look and told me that he was devastated. He had me go get Brendan and as I explained my plans they got very distressed. I told them it was nothing personal and they seemed to relax a bit. We discussed me sticking around for quarterly cup to drive since this would make things less difficult for the company. Matt went on to explain how he had plans for me moving forward in the company but that he understood and would be a great reference for me in the future... It wasn't easy but I just couldn't continue working myself 57 hours a week during what's supposed to be a holiday!

On turf I had a guy who complained about my pitch saying that he hadn't complained and asked how we receive these complaints. I told him we don't receive the complaints, there is just general complaining about rising rates... so he asked to see proof. I showed him the recent article on rising rates causing "electric shock" and he argued that I could have typed it up myself. He then continued to complain that I hadn't stated his right to tell me to leave and that I was in violation of door knocking code. I told him of course I have to leave if you ask, that's a given. He continued to ask if I had a code of conduct on me and if I had read it. He went on looking for anything he could get me on so I finally just told him that I'm not a lawyer but I'm definitely not in breach of any laws. I gave him an EAL brochure, pointed out the ombudsman's number for legal advice and left. I told Matt about this and he told corporate to keep an eye out for the wanker in case he actually called to complain.

I ended on two sales today. The first one was to an Indian lady who worked for Woolies in the financial department as an accountant. She advised me to get someone on the inside to refer me if I want a job there. She also told me about other interesting options including taxi driving for $1400/week. She had just moved in so she didn't have a bill. She also lived in an apartment complex and didn't have access to the meter either so I used a trick from yesterday and had the vero rep do a property search with MSTATS.

My second sale was later on but very interesting. I spoke to a guy who worked for ETSA and he didn't seem to mind the conversation so I covered everything. His daughter happened to be listening and got really excited about everything I was telling him so, while he didn't want to get his bill for me, she eventually went and found it while we were talking. After I outlined his savings she was outraged that he still wouldn't go for it so she drove home, got her bill, and came back with it so I could sign her up. It was raining during all of this so I didn't mind waiting in their warm house doing prefills while I waited for her to return.

After work we all went out for drinks and bid Arika farewell then I headed back to the hostel for work... more bleaching.


Today I continued training the guy from yesterday and a bit later, after I sent him off on his own, I went to an apartment complex with over 50 apartments. There I made a sale to a retired professional boxer. He showed me a newspaper clipping from his glory days and told me about his trainer who never touched a drop of alcohol in his life.
He even showed me pictures of his family and friends from way back in the way back days. The next door was almost a sale but the guy got cold and gave up halfway through the vero call. The next guy I spoke to was an Italian guy who was already with us but had a lot to talk about nonetheless. I also spoke to a lady who was using her pension to pay everything automatically since she couldn't get to the post office. She was quite proud of her little arrangement and continued to tell me about her family. At this point it was getting late but I figured I'd give a few more doors a try. Unfortunately the next guy, while interested in signing up, was Greek and couldn't really understand well enough to go through with it. Short on time, I headed back into the streets hoping to find quicker, more reliable sales but only managed to get drenched by the pouring rain. I pulled out my umbrella for the first bit but in the last half hour I dropped my umbrella in a bin since it was busted. It was about ten minutes before I was running back in the rain to get my umbrella back.

Back at the office we all got into the drinks and, as usual, the German girl Mona was first to break out dancing. In the meeting room I tried learning to shuffle with one of the new girls and a bit later I grabbed the Nerf gun but put it back after accidentally shooting Mona in the eye. Heading out of the office we piled into a van with Matt driving... only slightly intoxicated. Many were distressed as we barrelled into near death situations but knowing there's was nothing to be done I just buckled up, sat back and enjoyed the ride. Later we must have gained a reputation because one of the bars had received instructions not to let us in so Matt got into an argument with the bouncer - allowing me to slip passed undetected. After a while nobody else made it in so I decided to regroup with the others - only I was denied access to the bar they were at. Explaining that my friends were inside I tried walking passed one of the bouncers but they quickly grabbed me by the collar and threw me away from the bar. I gave them a look then texted Jon who came out, gave me some food and tried talking to the bouncers. He informed me that unfortunately they don't let you in after you try to sneak passed and then asked where his food was. I gave him $2 and apologized for eating the Maccas dollar menu burger - wasn't sure why he would hand me food if not to eat! I headed back for the hostel... or in the direction which I figured would bring me to the hostel. I ended up stopping at a quick stop and talking with an Aussie bloke who was buying a subway sandwich. It looked good so I bought the same sandwich then walked with him for a bit before he decided to hail me a cab for the city - turns out I had walked a fair distance in the wrong direction.


Today Rugby was in Port Adelaide so I did some stuff and went to Luke's house. After the meeting we had some treats - wafers, chocolate and mango/apple juice. Finally we went back to the meeting hall and ate $2 whoppers that we bought using photocopied coupons.


Today we had Chinese noodle soup for brekky. After church some of us went for lunch in China town where we got big platters and shared then I worked for James and stopped at Hungry Jacks for a $2 whopper on the way back to the city. At Alma Tavern I met up with work mates, ate some chips (french fries) and talked with Lucy and Amber. At one point Matt got into an argument with some guys who took a couple chairs from our table and we began to leave. After pulling Matt away from the conflict we loaded my pushbike into the van and drove back to the city. Back at the hostel I made some homemade chips which turned out surprisingly well.


Today started out nice - I made two sales by 1:30p and things were looking up. The first sale was to a guy who worked for Woolies and didn't really ask any questions, a bit unusual but nice. The next sale was to a Chinese international student who also pretty much just went along with everything. At first I figured it was probably because he didn't really understand and I was just waiting for him to hand back the phone shaking his head in confusion but he agreed to and acknowledged everything we were doing. After that Matt and Brendan got excited and I think jinxed my day because after that everything just went downhill. At around 3p I saw Joanne and she wasn't having any luck either.


At about 3p today I made a sale to a couple girls who, at first, were indifferent and wanted nothing to do with it but I saw a bit of curiosity and played on that with the addition of some rapport building and got them to sign. Vero was down so I didn't have to subject them to that which is probably why they didn't back out. The next sale wasn't for a while but I found a nice lady who works at the mines as a cleaner for $35/hour two weeks on, one week off. She told me how she took eight years to find a way into her job and recommended a contact for me to get my foot in the door. At this point I was pretty happy - two sales and an awesome job prospect. During appointments I found a buyer but we got put on hold for a bit so by the time we got through and found that she had bad credit there was no time for me to go to another.


Today Ben, Joanne and I made no sales. I actually found a couple people who wanted to sign but one had footy and the other, who owned lots of properties, just didn't have time...


Today we did a road trip to Murray Bridge and I still made no sales. Murray Bridge is supposed to be gold turf and, while I did get 14 bills, I didn't close any of them successfully. One guy had an interesting situation - the street light meter was in his meter box and the previous owner had accidentally signed that meter up with us. This guy started getting credit bills from Lumo for the public street lights which just doesn't make any sense. Another guy was ready to sign but vero overemphasized the contract so much that he backed out. Another bloke wanted to do research, right then his friend showed up and vouched for Lumo saying he was happy with us and that another one of their friends was as well. I looked at him and gestured as to say "there's your research buddy!" He still wouldn't go for it. 

As if my day wasn't rough enough I also found myself close to being eaten by rabid guard dogs on more than one occasion. One dog had a particularly terrifying growl/bark but was behind a fence. When I went back later the owners were there and as I spoke to them the dog came running. I figured the fence would do its thing again but this time as the dog jumped on the gate it began to open. The dog dropped down and I quickly drop kicked the gate shut before the dog could come after me.

Back at the van the managers weren't happy with me - one even gave me a jab by noting that she didn't think anyone had ever gotten a zero on this turf before. I still managed to relax and enjoy the ride back with a couple drinks and chatting with the others but Brendan was clearly not happy about this - he prefers people on low scores to be silent all the way back.. At the office we all headed over to the pub for a couple drinks and I played some pool with Brendan who was a bit more relaxed now that the day is over.


Today we went to Gawler and the people were tense. One guy told me how he has gotten into the habit of hiding in his office and waiting for doorknockers to leave. Another lady told me she was under the impression that her bill wasn't high enough for the reduction. My first contact of the day was my only real prospect and she ran off to work before we could finish. The only other near sale was a 63 year old gamer who had changed 12 times and couldn't afford the cancellation fee that he would have to pay to switch to us. His current contract wasn't missing anything that I could see so there wasn't any way to get out of it. After work Brendan tried to get me to be silent for the whole hour and half drive back but people asked me things and it wasn't long before I totally gave up trying. On the way to the hostel I went through the park and saw two eyes staring at me from a tree. I used the flash on my phone camera but I just couldn't seem to get a good photo of it.


Today while I was working for the hostel something unusual happened... a guy pissed in the kitchen bin. Some girls saw it and told me and, having just passed by an odd bloke in his boxers, I asked where the guy was and, of course, they pointed to the odd dude. I got his attention saying, "mate, you know there are toilets for that."

As I motioned towards the toilets he gently patted me on the arm and headed upstairs. I brought this up with the front desk and Amit told me to bring the guy back. I went up to him but he was as unresponsive as before so Amit came up and we escorted him back to his room. After I took the piss bag out to the bin, Amit gave me a free soft drink ask thanks. I then got ready for Rugby and ended up bringing Ralph with me. We had to stop at the free bike place (city bikes) to get him one so he could keep up but we still arrived in time to get in on a game. It was second grade (junior varsity) so I had to sit out after a bit because I still wasn't really clear on everything just yet. Ralph on the other hand, having played Rugby back in France, had himself a good run for about half the game. When the game ended we grabbed a drink at the club pub and watched first grade (varsity) for a bit.


Today we had eggs, bacon, toast and some cereal for brekky and met at the hall. After church I headed up to the CBD to meet with James for my sunglasses, payment for my work, and to help support the preservation of an ancient heritage site in WA called the Burrup.


Today I got some new pants to replace the ones that were literally falling apart at the seems

After my team all arrived I drove us to Murray Bridge where it rained all day long. I managed one sale at about 2p to a Kiwi and another right after to a lady from Indonesia. I left my number with the Indonesian lady because she said she wanted to have me explain it to her husband. When her husband got home she started texting me about how angry he was and that I needed to cancel it for her. I explained that I don't have the authority to cancel her contract but that she can easily call and cancel. At my last appointment a couple who I had spoken to at the beginning of the day were keen and even gave me a glass of wine while I explained some things. It turns out they had already done some research including talking to an executive friend who was already happily with Lumo. They had then gone out driving around looking for me on the street so that I could sign them up. As I began the paperwork they asked if they could sign up another property as well! I called Brendan to make sure it was alright to sign up the other property without a meter number in hand and he gave me the go ahead. I then signed up both properties while talking to them about their upcoming trip to Europe. Near the end Brendan tried texting me but before I could read his messages my phone died. I went to meet up with him at the van but the van was gone. At first I tried asking a random lady if I could charge my phone at her place real quick but she was paranoid and thought I might have a gun. I pointed out the absurdity of this judgment and she told me to "keep walking". I explained that I had nowhere to walk to but then decided to just walk down the road a bit so she would leave me alone. I thought about it though and figured it best to just wait for Brendan to return. After a bit I saw some brights shining in my direction and I guessed that it was the van, but I was wrong - it was a police car. The officer stopped and told me to hop in so I caught a ride with him to the van. Apparently Brendan had called the police in a panic and this officer had been assigned the task of locating me. Back at the van Brendan was still visibly shaken but clearly a bit relieved as well.


Today I sold to a Chinese girl named Tingting. Her whole family had moved to Australia and she was the only one who spoke enough English to apply with Lumo. Down the road I was desperate for a toilet so I slipped behind some bushes in someones front yard and, as I was finishing, they pulled up in their car. I quickly hopped the fence and ran down the road thinking, "great, this will be the second day in a row that I get picked up by the police."

Later on Vero was down again so I went to a lady who seemed a likely bad credit and signed her up. She had five children, an overdue bill and lots of cats. As I left the cats followed me until one ran under my foot to trip me and got stepped on.


Today I noticed a sign "Stop Creeping."

It's an odd sign but I recently saw a commercial on unsafe driving depicting bad drivers as creepy. On turf today I trained another rep and with one lady I showed her how to have fun with people. The lady was complaining about America's apathetic attitude towards health care and, being that we had been talking about apathy towards electricity rates, I made the comparison thus revealing her hypocrisy. This got a good laugh after which the lady, finding herself at the butt of the joke, decided she'd had enough. I eventually made a sale later on to an Aboriginal painter who directed me to country schools for authentic aboriginal art.


Today I made a sale at the first door in front of my trainee to a guy who operates cranes for ETSA.. that was the last sale I made for Lumo. Later on I found a little old lady named Agnes. Agnes was with Lumo but getting the SA Electricity 29 cent rates and overall high charges with no discount. I was about to explain our current promo when she got a call from a TRU Energy sales guy who was just confirming her concession details for the sale he had just made to her. Upon realizing I was there the rep asked to speak with me then asserted that he was sorting her out with a good deal and that I should just leave her be. I acknowledged that he was bettering her situation but decided to see what I could do for her. I had to call our retention department for her since she wasn't really all there. It took a while but we finally got through and, not knowing that he was on speaker phone, the rep began to quote our loyal Lumo customer on, not our standard 24 cent rates, but ridiculous rates just slightly lower than what she was currently paying. I began to point out our standard rates to the greedy blood sucker but then got a call from Brendan. I told Brendan about the situation and he just told me it wasn't my problem and to get the heck out of there. It was at that point that the retention rep wanted to speak with me and Brendan hung up. The rep congratulated me on a job well done and continued to bribe me with a reward that he said would be sent to my manager... of course he didn't know I was quiting the next day and regardless I wasn't about to let him get away with ripping off a little old lady. After hanging up I continued to explain our rates to Agnes, wrote a note for her son then called him and explained it to him. He pointed out that Agnes had been told not to change her retailer but I explained that she was a victim of crafty sales technique and that she was being taken advantage of by, not just the TRU guy, but her own retailer as well.

Apparently Murray Bridge has a bit of a reputation. As I continued walking down the street a guy in a black car yelled at me and I asked some random passersby about it, they simply replied, "it's Murray Bridge."

I walked up to a house after going through some really high gates and said, "quite a fortress you have here."
The lady that lived there responded angrily that she would call the cops if I didn't leave immediately. I left in a hurry and went down the road where I met a nice old guy who let me in to warm up a bit and told me about the area's history of drug related violence. It all makes sense now.


Today Matt decided to do another training, this one mostly on body language. Many times he focused the examples on me but at no time did he mention it being my last day. After training we raced to get out first and I barely pushed ahead of the other van securing the win for my team. For lunch Ben and I had Avocado Chicken Schnitzel Burgers which were amazing then we headed off to Victor Harbour where my friend Deani lives and works. I called Deani and she offered to come pick me up for a quick coffee and to catch up. Then I got a call from Ben, saw him, and walked over. He was demotivated so we decided he would join me to go see Deani. We walked over to her work asked where she was to an attendant as Deani walked in. Deani made Ben and I a couple coffees then we decided to grab a couple drinks. We went outside since Deani was busy working and we watched the waves and dolphins jumping while talking about travel. Four hours later we went back in and talked to Deani for half an hour before heading back to work for the final half hour. At six I finished a second walk sheet then sat up on top of a hill with Ben looking out over the harbour. Next we went to van, complained about nobody being home and drove to Hungry Jacks where I bought everyone $2 whoppers using my photocopied vouchers from church.

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