The Transferred Sales Representative
Harold Burns served as district sales representative for an appliance firm. His district covered the central part of a Midwestern state, and it included about 100 retail outlets. He had been with the company for 20 years and in his present job and location for 5 years. During that time he met his district sales quota each year.
One day Burns learned through local friends that the wife of a sales representative in another district was in town to try to rent a house. She told the real estate agency that her family would be moving there in a few days because her husband was replacing Burns. When Burns heard this news, he refused to believe it.
Two days later, on January 28, he received an express mail letter, postmarked the previous day, from the regional sales manager. The letter read:
Because of personnel vacancies we are requesting that you move to the Gunning district, effective February 1. Mr. George Dowd from the Parsons district will replace you. Will you please see that your inventory and property are properly transferred to him? I know that you will like your new district. Congratulations!
In the same mail he received his 20-year service pin. The accompanying letter from the regional sales manager read:
I am happy to enclose your 20-year service pin. You have a long and excellent record with the company. We are honored to give you this recognition, and I hope you will wear it proudly.
Our company is proud to have many long-service employees. We want you to know that we take a personal interest in your welfare because people like you are the backbone of our company. Sincerely yours,
Harold Burns checked his quarterly sales bulletin and found that sales for the Gunning district were running 10 percent below those in his present district.
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