“At least I’m not working at Best Buy”

This is a bit of an older entry that I had been planning on writing up for quite some time now, but I just couldn’t make the time to do it.

While I was with an old employer, we had the pleasure of obtaining a few summer interns to help with all of the work that needed to be done during the summer down-time.

While riding in the car to lunch one day, a few days after the intern had started working, a few of my co-workers and this intern got into a discussion regarding previous employment. They had all mentioned that they had started at different points in the field of Information Technology, and how they ended up with that employer.

I was driving the vehicle, so I never joined in the conversation, as the traffic can be a bit thick during lunch hour in town. As I was driving, I heard the intern say “at least I’m not working at Best Buy”. Now, anyone that has seen my linked in page or knows me in person, knows that I started at 17 years old in the Computer department at Best Buy as a salesman. This comment, from someone who was fresh out of High School, and never held a job irked me to say the least.

I mentioned to the intern that I had indeed worked for Best Buy at one point in time and it had taught me quite a bit about the customer service side of our industry and how he shouldn’t devalue a position just because it doesn’t apply directly toward what he would like to do for a living. Not everything you do in your career, once you’ve reached it, will apply toward exactly what it is that you want to do either. The major thing I took away from my employment at Best Buy was, undoubtedly, my customer service abilities and attitude.

We all know that the customer can, at times, be impossible to work with and cause nothing but frustration and disappointment. However, we cannot forget what our job is above and beyond any technological knowledge or engineering abilities. To make sure the customers needs are meet and they are happy with their end product. Even if you’re a direct employee for a company, all of the other employees of that institution are your customers and it is your job to make sure they have a good experience to report back in terms of your support. In the end, if not for all of the frustrating customers that we have, we wouldn’t have a job nor the means to flex our cranial muscles.

I’d always thought it to be mostly generational. Until I had meet this particular intern, and now that I’ve paid more attention to it, it doesn’t seem to be generational at all. People have this 1980’s thought process when it comes to Information Technology, thinking we are just basement dwellers that don’t like dealing with people other than to order our next pizza. All the while planning on sliding the money under the door and asking them to leave the pizza outside. So, having this stigma, people join the industry hoping to have no contact with the outside world, even though it is quite the contrary.

I hope I left a small impact on the intern and at least changed his mind about this one idea, as it is something that could definitely make or break some career opportunities in his life.