Behind the Recognition pt 2

On January 8th of 2020, I was recognized for my performance in December of 2019. I was nationally ranked in the Top 10 out of 861 employees in my role, which puts me in the Top 1% in my role.

Then I realized that I was being recognized for accelerating on KPIs, but my peers listening may not realize that as of December 16th I wasn’t even pacing to hit 100% of my quota. They did not know what I had to do to over perform. They didn’t know that while many were taking days off from December 16th to December 31st, I was working 11–12 days and only took December 25th off because the company was closed and December 26th off to try to recover from the flu. They didn’t know what was behind the recognition.

As a first generation American, we often see our parents sacrifice their dreams to ensure we have clothes on our backs, a roof over our heads, and food in our stomaches. Growing up conversations about careers, hopes, and dreams weren’t discussed with me. The conversation was about getting a good job and working hard. The conversation was about survival.

After I graduated High School, I searched for a “good job” and worked hard. At age 18, what that looked like for me was putting in 60 hours a week at a call center job. If I kept this up, I would take home $24,000 in 2007. But I didn’t feel like I was living up to my full potential, and I didn’t feel valued by my employer. So it was easy for me to be recruited.

In August of 2007, as I was walking through the mall a cell phone kiosk guy flagged me down. Lucky for me, I already had the carrier he was hustling. And also lucky for me, he asked me the following question “What do you do for work?”… After getting enough information, he dialed his recruiter on the spot and setup an interview, two weeks later I became a cell phone kiosk guy. When I told my family that I had taken a sales job that paid me minimum wage ($5.15 in 2007) vs. commission they reminded me that I needed to get a good job and work hard. But it was mi Tia, my aunt, Maria who showed me that I was worth more than minimum wage, and I was worth more than $24,000/yearly.

When I was in 5th grade, in the 90’s, mi Tia was trying all sorts of things. She did the Richard Simmons program and I did a few of the workouts with her on the VHS tapes. She did Herbalife, she did Weightwatchers, and Avon. What I saw was mi Tia trying to develop, become better, because she believed/believes she can be better. But it was Avon that made me believe that I could do well as a cell phone kiosk guy.

I saw mi Tia hand the Avon magazines, follow up with clients, and then would have me help fullfill orders. She would hand me the lotions, perfumes, etc. and I would make sure that they went into the correct bag.

My elders may have not been able to take risks because they had us to provide for, but mi Tia planted a seed and I decided to take a risk of making either minimum wage or commission.

I am happy I took that risk, because 6 months into the role I became nationally ranked in the top 1% of the company. That was February 2007, and was then promoted in April 2007 to a manager. That same month my location was nationally ranked as the number 1 location in the company.

That year, I doubled my income over 2006. Today I continue to be recognized at a national level, and it all started with a Young Carp fulfilling Avon orders for his Tia.

Today mi Tia continues to focus on development, she is taking control of her health, and is learning about and respecting the ever changing world. She also takes a hands on role of helping me develop. She planted a seed in the late 90s that I don’t have to be satisfied with the status quo, that I could develop, and to continue moving forward regardless of what people thought of me.

My recognition goes to Maria, mi Tia. Thank you, I love you.