My wife and I had finally realized a dream. We had been married for a few years and had always wanted to adopt a child, we wanted to start a family. It finally happened! A birth mother had chosen us to be the parents of her unborn child. From that day, we fell in love with our daughter who hadn’t even been born yet.
The day had finally come… the birth mother went into labor! Our beautiful daughter, Peyton was born and came home from the hospital with us a couple days later. By law, we had to wait a certain period of time for the birth mother and her parents to sign a consent letter giving us the absolute and irrevocable right to adopt Peyton and become a real family. The birth mothers’ parents were involved as she was underage.
We were excited beyond explanation. But this waiting period had started to become something of a distraction for me. I lived in a constant state of dread. Even while I was ecstatic about this little miracle that had come into my life, I feared the worse, I feared that the birth mother father wouldn’t sign the consent. The days came and went, I was in a depression, and my sales production had dropped for 45 days. The two months prior, I was in the top 5 for sales. I worked at a car dealership, my employer.
Sitting in the Monday sales meeting, the General Sales Manager of the car dealership was reading a transcript from one of the leading car salesperson training newsletters. These newsletters are geared towards driving more sales out of the salespeople at the dealership. I have nothing against it; I’ve learned many great skills from this newsletter as old school as it is. However, on this particular day, the manager was reading an article about being to work on time, not calling in late to work because your child is sick, things of this ilk.
Previously, a couple sales people had done just that, called in to let management know they would be a bit late because something arose with their family that would keep them from getting to work on time. Of them was a 26 year veteran who had been with the dealership the entire 26 years.
Here’s the quote: “Stop acting like your own time and family are more important than getting to work on time and being with us.”
“Being with us?” The managers who are the consummate pros, right? I had never seen a manager in a car dealership that was a successful salesperson. When a dealership is all about sales, why would you take someone off of the sales floor that sells a lot of cars and stick them behind a desk pushing paper? Maybe, but that doesn’t make a good manager. Let’s say that they were great sales people, does that make them great managers? – That’s a topic we’ll have to address at another time.
OK, back to the quote…
My first thought… My family will always be more important than “you”, MUCH more important. I remember looking around at the other sales people in the meeting and thinking, “Are you buying this?”
It was a room full of men and the majority of them were husbands and fathers. But everyone was just nodding their heads, in what looked like they were agreeing with the guy. In reality, I think everyone was shocked at what they just heard and had been verbally beaten up so many times before and threatened with having their employment terminated that they were just appeasing the guy so they wouldn’t get singled out. Many times before, I had seen that manager tear into someone if they didn’t show some sign of agreeing with them.
As usual, after the meeting all the sales people huddled around outside and bitched about the meeting. The general topic was, “This place sucks!”, and “My family wins every time.” So my thoughts were proven right. I wasn’t worried really; I had gotten to know these sales people quite well over the year and a half I was there.
A couple weeks later, my sales production had started to increase again. I started to get into the groove again. Why? That damned consent letter had finally been signed! My depression over, it had disappeared!
Something else had been bothering me, something weird. During my “slump”, one of the other “lower” managers seemed to understand my struggle and in their own car sales manager way, kinda went to bat for me. He knew I had a better record of production than I had been showing. This “support” or “understanding” prompted one of the most unforgettable moments in my life, a break through.
One day, this “supportive” manager had a situation. He was having a medical emergency. His chest was causing him great pain while he was at his desk and the worse was feared. Here’s where it gets weird…
I had experienced Atrial Fibrillation a few years earlier and found myself immediately and surprisingly, to me anyways, concerned. I found him a bottle of water and some aspirin while the Director of Sales, (glorified title of dealership narcissist) proceeded to suggest that should the ailing manager give him oral sex, he would be fine. – That’s the weird part, but typical behavior for this guy.
Thankfully, the ailing manager went to get checked out by a doctor.
But later that afternoon, while passing by the Director of Sales, (same guy who suggested… you know, weird.) something happened. He said to me, “How does it feel to have your “protector” in the hospital?”
At that moment, I realized my impending fate at that dealership and my future mindset. Oh, I had felt this before but on that day, at that moment, it became so obvious and it burned in me.
Family vs Employer
NEVER, will there be a competition between my family and an employer. My family WILL ALWAYS COME FIRST!
I WILL, be there for my family when they need me and WITHOUT delay because I will no longer have to report to a boss that does not value me or my family.
MY family’s security will NEVER be achieved by trading my time for dollars from an employer who at their whim can terminate my family’s security.
Too many people are experiencing the same; here is how I am going about changing it.
Join me if you will…
Secure your own future, not your bosses’ future.
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