Thursday, November 1, 2012

Bad Aftertaste

I took a job at AIC. 
Visitor Sales Associate. 
What a dream to work in such a beautiful and historic landmark!
Especially one that I keep close to my heart, right? 
That's what I thought...

My first day was monday;
I worked Info desk and memberships - great! 
I enjoyed people watching, daydreaming about 'the good ol'days' and 
chuckled with the old women who volunteer. 
To make a long story short, AIC has changed - a lot. 
And not for the Better. 
This is what I learned: (tip of the iceberg)  
Three months ago they had a full blown change in the Sales department -
Their VS now had to meet a monthly quota. 
If you make your quota you get 10% bonus. If you don't 
 sell "x" amount of dollars you're put on probation, monitored, and counseled. 
This Shocked me.
I thought I was just going to sell tickets, greet visitors, chit chat about art,
and share my general excitement for the museum. 
Apparently Not.
"it's a disservice to our visitors"
if we don't convince each passing person to empty their wallets 
city passes, memberships, tours, pamphlets, audio guides, etc.etc. 

Day two: 
Day long Sales Seminar. 
I can't tell you how distraught I was after this sales peptalk. 
Brainwashing us to think that manupulating people, using sly sales tackticts,
is Good Business. 
That this equals Success. 
That manipulating people is a GOOD thing. 
I sat there squirming in my chair, sick to my stomach that this is what I HAD to do in order to keep my job. 
I get it. 
Big business is business.
Big Money is needed. We have to make them big money.  
But that's NOT FOR ME! 

AIC used to be simple.
You had the choice to buy a ticket, become a member, or donate, and that was it.
There was no shoving promotions, add-ons, tickets, and crap on people.
No bank of america, walgreens, macy's, yada yada advertisements....
far from feeling free, roaming an educational oasis. 

I don't care how crazy people think I am for leaving... 
I CANNOT be that Sales person. 
I will NEVER be that Sales person.
I cannot support these strategies
within their
"Big Money Business" 
Yes, I could have made myself Sell-sell-then sell harder.
Find that extra "5 dollars" and add add add.
I don't have those skills.
I don't think I want those skills.
And if that's what people think 'Success' is
then I'll always be Unsuccessful. 
since they threaten your job anyway if you don't meet your quotas...
It's all the same!
So, F'em. 

I'm for Art. For History. For Community.
For Donations. For Memberships.
For Education. For Free Days.

It's a damn shame because I really needed this job.
I'm broke in every sense of the word,
but I won't allow money to rob me of my spirit.  

Blowing off steam, 

No comments: