A Blast From The Past – 1997

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“Describe your very first job and what you learned from it.”

Ah I have to go all the way back to the age of 21 and a summer part time / freelance job I did for just a couple of months for a small marketing company that focused on computer & accessories sales in the city of Cochin. Man that was almost 16years ago. Like I said I only did it for 2 months or so, no commitment of any sort. The small agency, run by a middle aged woman, who ran it out of one of the two houses she owned with her husband, was launched a dealership with US Robotic to sell their then models of dial up modems in Cochin. This would be around 1997!

I had heard, from my sister who had met this lady, that they wanted to hire one or two young freshers who would go about to some companies and market the modems to them. I went and met the staff at the office and she agreed to hire me. Pay would be based solely on sales and I would get a good cut per modem sold. The next day I went in for a couple of days of introduction to the internet – my first time on the net ever as we had just started getting it over here! I even remember the first 3 websites that I had visited – Wimbledon’s official website, CNN.com and Joe Satriani.com! I still remember that cause I blogged about it somewhere in one of my old blogs I guess. Anyways they gave a run down on the modem and how to connect the dial up to the system, phone etc etc. About a week after I joined them, I pinpointed a few companies in the city, close by to each other, that I would hit one afternoon. I spent 3 hours that day going to each of them after my diploma in computer science classes ended and met a few people in each company and asking them to sign on for a demonstration of the modem for internet connectivity.

I didn’t have much luck the first few days but through a family friend of mine I got a couple of contacts in some companies that wanted to check them out. So I arranged for them to have a demonstration sent and when they agreed I went back to the office and gave the address & contact numbers/names of the interested parties. A couple of days later I went in again and found out that one company had already purchased a modem based on the demo. But I didn’t get  my commission because the lady said she had already spoken to them previously. I was dissapointed but said ok. Next was another company but again the same thing happened. She said that one of her regular staff had already gone there to arrange a meeting and hence the sale should be his! I got annoyed at this point and didn’t go to the office or for marketing for a couple of weeks.

Then I decided to catch her at her lies. My friend wanted a modem and so I arranged a demo at his office for his boss. Once the sale happened, she tried the same thing again but I called her on her lies. I then told her that my close friend works there and she could call his boss in front of me and that the two of them would confirm that they had only met with me and have made the purchase only because of me! She was visibly angry and called in her assistant who was told to give me the cash in an envelope. Then she said “Oh you have only made one sale till now (it was almost 2 months), I think I will have to stop this arrangement.” I smiled and repied that I was tired of this place and wasn’t going to freelance for them anyways. I took my money and went way.

What I learned? Snakes can walk on two feet! And the world is full of bastards & bitches who will try to cheat you so beware!

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