28 September 2006

Not Getting Paid

Any person in the working world knows that for any work you do for a company, there must be some compensation for the work performed. In the case of most individuals, its a regular paycheck. For some in retail and sales, this is either augmented or replaced with a commission check. Well, when I started working for Pacifica Wireless, Ltd., I was promised a regular paycheck AND a commission check. For a while when I first got hired, the hourly pay and the commission was very nice, and when I became a store manager, it was even better. But back in February, all this took a turn for the worse. Due to financial difficulties in the company, managers, like myself, made almost half as much as we did before, and in the last 3 or 4 months, lost our commissions without warning (we were never paid the commissions owed to us).
When things got bad, most employees left: my regional manager left, the general manager left, several stores closed (including the one I originally started as a manager for). But, looking for the brighter side of things, I took an offer to keep my job and stay employed as a store manager at another store where the manager there was fired. Hanging on to what pennies and nickels I could earn (heck, my pay was reduced to $8/hr + $100 differential for every 40 hours - equivalent to $10.50 per hour on a 40 hour work week), I found that as time went on, things went from bad to worse. They reopened the store I originally became a manager in (having it open only 3 days a week - Thursday, Friday, & Saturday), but had me manage both stores using the same staff I already had - no gains in employees. From that point on, the level of stress rose to new heights every day - and I was given no extra compensation for it!
Well, things turned bad for every employee of Pacifica, as our commission checks never came, and our payroll paychecks would come late. As a manager of 3 other employees, I found myself fielding a lot of heated questions about where their pay was, and all I could say was that I was in the same boat. What made things worse was that months went by and the problems continued - and we never did get our commissions. Except for once. Before long we all came to terms with the inevitable: we weren't going to get them. Pretty soon, we were not as motivated to sell as much product (heck, the company couldn't even pay for the product, so we had almost no product to sell at all!), and even when we did sell, we would do so halfheartedly.
Fortunately, Bobby Burns, the owner of Pacifica Wireless, finally woke up and cut his losses and sold the company to Prime Communications. Apparently, our stores here in California were the first Prime would ever have in the big C.A., so they would be stocking us with everything we wanted to sell but never could because we never had it in stock nor could ever get it in stock. Come October 1st, exactly 1 month shy of my anniversary of being a sales manager for Pacifica, Prime will officially own us. Sad thing is, though, is that I won't have the same position or pay structure I had before since I will be resigning my position to go back down to a part-time sales associate so I could focus on school and stress less overall. Will this be a good thing? I don't know, but we'll just have to see.

1 comment:

John said...

I was wondering if you could contact me. My son was an employee of Pacifica Wireless and NEVER received his commision checks. Unfortunately, he was salesman of the quarter during a very busy period (during the xmas season). Not only did he never receive his commission checks, we are now trying to file his income taxes and never received a W2 so that we can properly file.

I would dearly like to make it one of my ambitions to go after these guys. I know a lot of young, eager, unfortunates that worked hard and were cheated. Basically, had they been robbed at gunpoint I would have considered it more reasonable then how they've been treated.

Any assistance you can give me would be greatly appreciated. Who knows what might come out of it.

My email address is jcortenbach@gmail.com - please make the subject matter PACIFICA WIRELESS so that I don't inadvertently delete it.

I'm sorry to read about your hard luck - I know there are lots of people who were cheated and lied to. I hate to see it.

Thanks for any and all assistance -

Sincerely,

John Cortenbach
on behalf of Justin Cortenbach