Apart from Cingular, one party that continuously gets the short end of the stick from BlackBerry-lovers are the wireless clerks that sell us our devices. Back in January, I tried my best to shed some light on the situation, but I figured what better way than to go to the source itself.
So, I slapped on my coat and head out into the bright lights of the non-office world and set out with a task – interview an employee who wants my commission. Luckily I’ve still got some old contacts still working for a former employer, so tying one down wasn’t that difficult. The end result probably won’t make you like these kids any more, unfortunately.
After talking with management at (specific Canadian wireless retailer), they set me up with one of their mid-level employees – not one of the dumbest and definitely not one of the brightest. He seemed uneasy at first, but at his age, he does what his superiors tell him to do. Frankly, I felt sorry for the kid. For his safety, we’ll keep his name anonymous. Actually, let’s call him Gary. I like that name.
So, how old are you, pal?
And you’ve been working for this company for how long?
Just over a year.
Is this your full-time job?
I’m at college part-time and do this as much as possible to pay for it.
And why did you choose to work for (specific Canadian wireless carrier)?
I thought it’d be a cool place to work. I used to come in all the time to rent movies and everyone seemed to be having a good time.
What about the cell phones (specific Canadian wireless carrier) sells? Were they enticing?
Not really. But I’ve been learning a lot about them and actually like selling them now.
And what about the BlackBerry devices?
They’re a little confusing, but pretty cool.
What about them is confusing?
The fact that they take a voice and a data plan and all of their uses. Having to learn about all that on top of the other cell phones was pretty hard.
But now you’re comfortable selling a BlackBerry to any customer that walks through the doors?
What kind of training did you get?
Well, there’s the general employee training that everyone gets. There’s also two-day training courses that we were all forced to take for cell phone training. On top of that there’s online tutorials that we need to pass to become certified sales associates.
So before you pass that, you can’t sell a phone or BlackBerry?
No, we can.
So what’s the point to getting certified?
Well, it shows management that you care about your job and it does help you sell the products better. We had to do it on our own time, which sucked, but I think it helped.