Thursday, November 05, 2009


Well, it looks like my days of being a car salesman in Alhambra are coming to an end unless an amendment is made pretty quickly here. Now I realize that mistakes can be made, but when a downright lie has been told to you, then it's time to leave. When my friend Tim first sent me the Craig's list ad lead for the Alhambra Nissan job, I was pretty excited and I applied. Now since Craig's list has a bad reputation for credibility in the first place, one thinks twice about answering an ad of any kind. But hey, I needed a job-- my unemployment was running out. Of course this very day the president extended unemployment benefits in California by twenty weeks. But who knew that then-- not me! So off I went back to the city of Alhambra one of the two cities that I had grown up in and met Mr. Al Bennett, a really nice guy that I assumed was the hiring manager for Alhambra Nissan, himself. Now, he never once said that he was running his own automotive consulting business and from every move that he made, one would have assumed that he was indeed the hiring manager. Well, I passed his interview and his psychological test with flying colors and was told that I was hired and that training began the next day at 9:30am. I had to cancel a doctor's appointment at the last moment and that cost me $100 to do so. Okay, I reasoned, I needed a job. So I am right on time the next morning and there are a total of twelve people there who I assumed were all "hired" like me. No, dear friends, there are twelve people still trying to get hired and they must get through their training. Some were pretty experienced, but only ONE in actual car sales. The others were guys like Joel (who had been in construction) and Ron (who had sold comfort beds) and Habid who actually had sold Honda cars. The rest were so green around the ears that you could smell it. There was a 41 year old comedian who wanted to have a steady job besides "standup comedy' . And there was three students still going to school and one young magician who wrote rap tunes and songs but needed a permanent gig. Well, the training was pretty interesting that first day and I came back for more the very next day at the same time. Well, here was reality day. Not only were we NOT getting paid for these days of training, but we were going to have to fork over $400.00 for the training. We had to we were told that we had to "pay our dues" to get into a new industry. Now trust me when I tell you, dear readers that absolutely never in my entire working career have I ever had to "PAY" for any kind of employment training. But then we were told that the dealership would reimburse us of this $400.00 at the end of six months. Well, I reasoned-- that wasn't too bad. And when I told the trainer (good old Al Bennett) that I couldn't come up with $400.00 all at once he agreed to let me pay a down payment of $150.00 and make the rest of the payments in $50,00 twice monthly deductions from my check. Well, reasoned optimistic me, that sounded fair especially if the dealership was going to reimburse the money. Well that was another mis-representation-- the dealership doesn't do that. Al also claimed that the dealership would pay $1600.00 a month for salary plus would pay 22.5% commission of the PROFIT from any new car or used car sales. If you split a commission with another salesman that would be 11.25% each. Well today I received my first paycheck at 4pm and guess what? It was not $10.00 an hour. It was not $9.00 an hour. It was $8.00 an hour minus taxes. I checked with the others hired with me. was this simply something I had misinterpreted. No, it was not. They had all been told the same as I. The other thing not mentioned in those classes was the necessity and expense of a special DMV licence required to sell careers. That was $51.00. And then I had to pay for fingerprints and a background check and that was $58.50. So with the doctor, the $150.00 down and the DMV licence and fingerprinting we are up to $358.50-- or more than 58% of my weekly unemployment check. Holy Toledo! When I called good old Al, he almost tap danced over the telephone. So I wait for my Disneyland job to start which I almost gave up for this position. We had been warned in Al's classes never to misrepresent the facts of any car feature or detail or that we could be personally sued for as well as the dealership. Well, I have been corn walled good and I am very unhappy about it. Well, it came too easy and it had only been the fourth e mail in a year and a half that had ever actually been answered on a Craig's list ad. Oh well, too bad. Al is a sweet man and has many many endearing qualities about him. And his young son Michael is incredibly bright and multi-talented. But Al needs to as my father used to say "Say what you mean and mean what you say, or else credibility just flutters away." And guess what, you can NEVER get your credibility back-- it's like trying to regain your reputation. Six days as a car salesman has opened my eyes a lot. Now I head for the best job of all. The one in Walt Disney's Magic Kingdom for a lot more money an hour.

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