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An Interview with Oscar Boruchin

Owner of Licenciados and 8-9-8 Collection cigars.
Marvin R. Shanken
From the Print Edition:
Wayne Gretzky, Mar/Apr 97

(continued from page 7)

CA: What year did you sell the stores?

Boruchin: '64.

CA: How long did you stay with General Cigar?

Boruchin: Until 1981, about 19 years.

CA: Were you successful at General?

Boruchin: I had a tough time at the start. General had a lot of personnel, and I basically washed floors. I was the guy that came last.

CA: You were the bottom of the totem pole?

Boruchin: My immediate boss harassed me all the time. He didn't believe that I was making that many calls, and doing such a good job. He actually told me that I was showing up everybody, and maybe I should slow down. At first, he just didn't believe me, and then he spent some time with me and realized I was doing the job. What was happening was that the factory guy would go home at 2 or 3 in the afternoon, and I, like a jerk, used to work until 5 p.m. I finally had to go to Mr. Casten and complain to him because I was being put in such a difficult situation. I was just showing up the rest of the people. I told him the story and he got very upset. He called a sales meeting and gave me a title--a special projects supervisor. That meant I worked directly for him and didn't answer to anybody else. He started using me in different parts of his region, sending me to Georgia to work on certain accounts, and with certain men.

CA: I would say he made you a troubleshooter.

Boruchin: Yes, but it was a huge break for me. In a second, I was promoted over people who had worked with the company a long time. It put me in a position where they were practically working for me. It created a lot of jealousy.


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