Lice v lice - Macedonia 25 February 2013
“Selling on the street was a bit embarrassing for me at first, so I used to speak to customers in a low voice. They didn’t hear me, they didn’t even stop for a moment, so I realized I was going nowhere. Now I know that this is a good and decent job and I had to put much effort into “Lice v lice” so that both the magazine and I would succeed,” says Erdzan solemnly as if telling the story of the job of his life. (951 Words) - By Maja Nedelkovska
Name: Erdzan Sadik
Street Paper: Lice v Lice
"The most important thing is to smile and look people in the eye. I speak to them loud and clearly, and it's easier for me now, because I'm not a rookie anymore," says our seller Erdzan Sadik, unveiling the tricks for successful sale of the "Lice v Lice" magazine. And indeed, it's unusual to see a smile on the face of somebody who is a part of a socially endangered family and spends his life mostly on the street.
He is just an everyday 19-year-old boy from the Skopje municipality Shuto Orizari who listens to Roma music. He says that his biggest wish is to sell 600 magazines by the end of this year. If you happen to often pass through Debar Maalo or the Skopje City Square, you must have noticed him. Short and small in build, very smart, unobtrusive and with a pleasant expression. Erdzan is the most successful seller of the magazine. He says that he realized from the beginning how to approach people and that was the reason why he was able to sell more than his colleagues.
"Selling on the street was a bit embarrassing for me at first, so I spoke to customers in a low voice. They didn't hear me, they didn't even stop for a moment, so I realized I was going nowhere. Now I know that this is a good and decent job and I had to put much effort into "Lice v Lice" so that both the magazine and I would succeed," says Erdzan solemnly as if telling the story of the job of his life.
He tells us that he can assess from afar whether someone is interested in buying the magazine or not. "It's obvious who wants to help and who doesn't care. I know that I shouldn't persuade people, and not everyone has the time to stop and hear me out," he says.
Erdzan says that selling "Lice v Lice" around Debar Maalo feels quite enjoyable. He says that the waiters in the surrounding restaurants don't drive him out, on the contrary, they greet him and some of them are his customers.
"My smile sells the magazine"
"They know me now; every time I go there we greet each other. The last time I was there they reminded me to bring them a copy of the second issue when it comes out," the young man explains.
He told us about a recent event that made him very happy. After addressing a customer and explaining why he should buy the magazine, Erdzan received an unusual reaction: "He told me he worked in Germany and that he came here very rarely. He encouraged me by commending me on my approach, he told me to stick to this job and not even think about begging or rummaging through garbage cans. He bought two magazines and wished me luck and success," Erdzan recounts.
Modest, generous and a great friend
Erdzan knows how to share his success, so he is constantly and selflessly instructing his colleagues. New sellers have joined recently. Erzdan knows them, they are from the same neighbourhood, so without being asked to, he offered his help to them: "I will come with you to the first few places - it will be easier for you. The important thing is to smile and show them the magazine cover," he says to the new sellers.
Driven by Erdzan's success, his little brother Armando and his father are now part of the magazine sellers team too. "When they saw that I leave the house clean and that I come back clean, that I am neither tired, nor upset, and I even had money left, they wanted to do this job too," he says.
Erdzan often works together with his colleague and friend Armando - not his brother Armando, but Armando who wants to become a hairdresser. He says that they are not each other's competition - they are cooperating.
At the communication skills improvement trainings, Erdzan, the two Armandos, Ace and other team members had the opportunity to hear about the various experiences of Marina Anchevska from the "Ksantika" agency. With various tasks and questions, Anchevska managed to instigate our sellers even to think about furthering their own education. Erdzan has finished fifth grade in primary school. The trainings not only taught him 'tricks' for selling the magazine, they also encouraged him to continue his education. "I know that I have to study and I can promise that I will do everything I can to make that happen," he says.
He also told us he avoids fights, which are an often occurrence in his neighbourhood, but he added that if it is for the sake of defending his family or friends, he just has no choice but to take part. He says that justice is not on his side, but he doesn't want to complain.
"That's all I've got to say. Do you want to ask me something else?" he says. "Yes, one more thing," I say, smiling, "when are you going to get married?" "Eh, who knows, maybe even tomorrow? What I do know is that today I have to sell at least 20 magazines," he answers - as always- with a smile.
Translated by: Zorica Petkoska