By Quintin Guinn
Getting Fired Led Me to My Best Employer
I had been relocated by my company to a new city, half way across the earth….well, Okay, half-way across the U.S. Within weeks of this expensive upheaval in my life, the company I was working for folded. I found myself unemployed in a strange new place—no contacts, no familiarity, no family, no job.
I needed work quickly. I made the fastest, easiest choice available–selling used cars. I could start immediately. My new employer was guilty of every negative stereotype attached to the used car industry. In no time, my boss asked me to sell a car that had been wrecked and written off by an insurance company, repaired and offered for sale–knowing full well I was expected to hide the problem from the customer.
This was in direct conflict to my principles of treating others as I want to be treated. I made a decision right there to follow my principles over policy. When I was in the private salesroom with the customers, I told them honestly, “This car has a reconditioned title and if I were you, I wouldn’t buy it.” They didn’t.
Nor did my boss buy my principled choice. In fact, unbeknownst to me, he was right outside the room and heard the entire conversation. I was fired on the spot.
I went home, wondering what to do next. Within hours, the phone rang. I was in strange city and knew no one. Who could be calling me? The voice on the other end said, “I heard you are a man of integrity. Would you like a job?” News travels fast in the speedway of any industry and this one was no different.
The dishonest dealer had been telling the story of my decision and complaining about me. An honest car dealer heard about it and knew I was the kind of salesman he wanted in his business. Again, I was hired immediately, but this one lasted over six years and I even became a sales manager.
When I went to work for Crown Motor Company I had no idea that the owner, Ruben, would become a mentor to me, teaching me how to properly conduct business by honoring the customer through honesty and hard work. I have spent the rest of my life in the area of sales, making a good living with integrity aiming for decisions that are based on a “win-win” philosophy. Though it cost me dearly in initially, because I stuck to my principles, I attracted exactly the right kind of job and employer.