We’re Not Just Sales People-We’re Real People
|Tom Carbonneau at Star Nissan|
When there’s a blazing fire terrorizing the town or an accident to attend to, the last person you’d expect to show up is your car salesman-this is no time for a deal. But, our August employee of the month Tom Carbonneau, hasn’t just been helping people get into the car of their dreams he’s been rescuing people from palpable nightmares for decades.
Putting his life on the line for over 32 years as a firefighter, he worked his way up to Captain of the Chicago Fire Department in recent years. His title appears to be no big deal as he mentions the achievement with a shrug. “I enjoy helping and serving the public,” he says. He talks about his past rescues and career nonchalantly, but all the people he’s helped-the people whose lives he touched-would call him a hero.
“The Paxton Hotel fire, I was the first one there. I believe we lost 7 or 8 people, but we saved many…70, 80 people,” he says pointing to the framed article on his office wall. Decorated with fire memorabilia and old articles, his office at Star Nissan seems to be remote museum for the Chicago Fire Department. A red and black coat hangs from a rack in front of large framed painting of the American Flag which glistens as he recalls 911. “I went to 9ll for 7 days, the day after it happened. 7 days and 7 nights, we slept at ground zero. I was there to help the people there because they needed help,” he says.
What started out as a job referral from a friend eventually turned into a 9-year-strong stint as a car salesman for Berman’s Star Nissan. “These people are very loyal to their employees and are good to work for,” he says when asked why he’s stayed at Star Nissan for so long.
Battling fires as well as long hours at the dealership would be enough to wear any candle at both ends, but Tom doesn’t complain or lose his spark. “Some days I’m tired, but since the company is loyal to you, you have to be loyal to the company and come to work”, he says. And loyal he is; married for 28 years, weather he’s working as a fireman or car-man for the day, his wife and 3 kids are always glad to have him home.
While the stereotype of the shady, un-trusted salesman is hardly a direct connector to the honest, heroic fireman image, Tom is working hard to bridge the reputation gap. He’s even learned the
same lesson from both drastically different jobs: “Treat people with respect and treat people fairly and if you do that people like you.”
If you want to talk to Tom call 847-647-1555 or stop into Star Nissan today!