"What I’d like to tell my customers is this: thank you for stopping by and for your support. Thank you for the smiles, waves, and hellos, and for the good conversation."
Meet Eric, a familiar face on Commercial Drive
“It was in the fall of 2010 when I started selling Hope in Shadows calendars, the 2011 ones. I’d seen the posters at the Carnegie and thought I’d give it a try. I was looking for some work at that time, some income.
“And that whole thing went really well. It was a learning experience because I’d never done anything like that before.
“The good thing about the calendars is they sell quite well. They have a certain amount of automatic appeal because they’re fairly well-known in the city. So it was nice to start with that. I knew nothing about Megaphone at that time.
“Then I recall the calendar sales slowing down in the New Year. And I started with Megaphone in February 2011. That was definitely a little more difficult to get sales and to find a spot to sell at. But I’m patient and I was able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I started getting to know people on Commercial Drive. Grandview is a wonderful neighbourhood. It’s a nice mix of the older style of city and some of the new. People just enjoy getting out and spending time on the streets out there.
“In the beginning, there were several spots I was trying to sell at. But I’ve mainly been selling on Commercial Drive. There’s a greater variety of people there. It’s very diverse. Different groups of people mix together and get along well and enjoy the area.
“Selling Megaphone definitely leads to a connection with the community. Most of my jobs have been on my own or working with groups. This is a whole different thing, on my own working right in the middle of a community. For me, it has required different skills, people skills in public that I didn’t use in other jobs.
“My last job had some similarities. I was serving quite a few customers. I was a contractor. That gave me some of the customer service skills I use to sell Megaphone. But prior to that, I was working with small crews in the field and in office settings.
“Some of the delivery work I was doing before had very tight time constraints. It wasn’t nearly as flexible as Megaphone. That was very stressful. It had an effect on me, for sure, aftera number of years. But I always appreciated my customers.
“One activity I really enjoy is riding my bike. It’s basically a feeling of freedom to me. It does something specialfor a lot of cyclists. You often see the joy in them.
“Twice now I’ve ridden from Alberta down to the Coast. Camped along the way. The last time was the summer of 2013, when I came back. I was back there for over a year to helpmy mother out and then I cycled back down here again.
“What keeps me going selling Megaphone is I enjoy it. I enjoy the neighbourhood. Every day I look forward to meeting up with my customers, their families, and their acquaintances.
“What I’d like to tell my customers is this: thank you for stopping by and for your support. Thank you for the smiles, waves, and hellos, and for the good conversation.
“I’d like to thank them for their generosity and their care and their concern for me. For everything.
Eric sells Megaphone at Commercial and 1st in Vancouver.