It was early December, 1993. I was sitting in my room doing my homework when the phone rang. It was my older cousin, Tom, calling me from his place of work - a computer store. The management needed someone to work in the store during the busy Christmas season. Since I was interested in computers and looking for a job, I decided to give it a shot. That Friday night was my interview with the manager of PC Warehouse. Much to my surprise, he hired me on the spot. Soon I found myself logging in 28 hours a week. My boss told me, "After the first few months, you will know more about computers than all of your friends. After a year, you will know more than your whole class. When you are a senior, you will know more about computers than anyone in your school." I felt as if my future with PC Warehouse would be quite rewarding.
The first few days began with sorting papers, pricing items, and performing various chores around the store. Soon I began answering the phone and was taught the basic steps to assemble a computer. From there, I started helping customers with questions, making sales, and performing repairs and upgrades on computers. I learned more and more with each work day.
Eventually, I was able to perform most tasks on my own. I began selling computer systems and hardware. A short time later, a commission bonus was added to my check each month. This grew as my selling skills increased. I was persuaded to sell because the more profit the store made, the more money would be in my paycheck. Interacting with the customers and listening to their concerns gave me a better understanding of how to deal with people.
Going to work is something I look forward to. Sharing a laugh with my co-workers is common. "Co-workers" is a general term, which is why I prefer to call them my friends. Everyone, including my manager, is easy to talk to and fun to be around. Since there are only ten of us, we all know each other well. Together, we form a team, and working together makes this job a pleasure.
I began to apply my knowledge acquired at PC Warehouse in many ways. Friends, relatives, and even teachers would call on me for computer advice. Recently, I was able to help my church vestry in evaluating their computer needs by providing them with information to help them make their decision. I have built computers for relatives, friends, and customers. I have also upgraded computers at school.
My job has provided me with more than just money. It has given me knowledge of computers, enhanced my organizational skills, and helped me budget my time between school, work, sports, and my family. Each year, all of the employees celebrate the holidays with a party at which we receive gifts from our owner. It is a gathering we all look forward to because of the great time we have together. Last year, I received a watch which has been on my wrist ever since.
It has been two years since I received that call from my cousin. My boss was right when he predicted that my future would be with computers. Thanks to the wonderful experience that PC Warehouse has provided me, I am now certain of the career I would like to pursue. n
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.