WHS Student Makes Over $1,275 in a Day

A WHS senior negotiated a $25,500 sale on his own. He earned $1,275 commission on top of his $10 an hour salary. And he did this after only seven months of working in his life. This student is Staples Easy Tech Expert Evan Pappazisis.

Pappazisis was searching for a job during winter break, 2008. His friend was leaving his post as Easy Tech Expert and told Pappazisis that Staples was looking for a replacement. Pappazisis “applied since I am good with computers.” He was able to apply online without being required to ever set foot in the store, was called in for an interview with the assistant manager, then with the general manager, and finally got the job.

Rather than jumping into his Easy Tech role, Pappazisis began work as a cashier. He underwent “a lot of observation” of other Staples electronics’ employees. He was also able to practice helping customers during this training period. He explained that “opportunities came. Customers asked for help and I helped them.” After his time as a cashier, Pappazisis next worked with office supplies and then moved to the electronics department where he currently works.

As Staples Easy Tech Expert it is Pappazisis’s job to “sell electronic products and repair computers.” He helps customers choose which “computers, printers, software, music…basically any electronic products” to buy. Pappazisis’s repairing responsibilities include running diagnostic tests, removing viruses, installing memory and software, and recovering and transferring data. Most of these involve “running a program and just telling the computer what to do.”

Pappazisis performs data recovery, where “if the hard drive is physically broken, I go into it and repair it to get it working.” Every hard drive has a small fan in it, which cools the various electronics inside so that it can function. When the fan is not operating, the hard drive shuts down. Hard drives usually break because physical damage makes them lose power, causing the fan to stop spinning. Pappazisis goes into the hard drive and starts the fan spinning again, which makes the computer work temporarily. However, there is no way to permanently fix a hard drive and, in fact, he only has about a week before it will break again irreparably. During this time, he transfers the data to an external hard drive, thereby recovering it for the customer.

Pappazisis finds his job interesting because “you have a different kind of customer everyday.” He makes ten dollars an hour, which he explains “is a good amount, especially for a high school kid.” On top of this Pappazisis earns a 5% commission for every sale exceeding $500, meaning that he is paid 5% of the sale value of the products he sells in addition to his hourly wage. When asked if he ever felt pressure to sell a more expensive product in order to make commission, Pappazisis replied that “I never felt like I made a person uncomfortable. There are people who pitch it and people who just talk to the person. I just talk to the person.”

Evan plans to continue working as Staples Easy Tech Expert, with the realization that it is not everyday he earns over $1,275.