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My Soul-Sucking Experience Working at The Container Store (Update 1)

Updated from 8:39 a.m. Friday, Nov. 1, to include opening morning stock price as well as further comments on long-term investment case for the stock. See Page Four.

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- While I can't possibly match the beauty strewn through Dan Freed of TheStreet's nostalgic look back at his days working at recent IPO, Potbelly (PBPB), I can relay details of my days-gone-by experience being employed by Friday's big market debut, The Container Store (TCS).

Sometime during the summer of 1999, I decided to end my career in radio after roughly 11 years officially working in the business and about 20 being obsessed with it and unofficially interning at my little hometown station in Niagara Falls, New York.

Baby, if you've ever wondered, wondered whatever became of me ..., I left Las Vegas for San Francisco in September of '99. I promptly took a job selling sports hospitality packages to Fortune 500 companies and, somewhat germane to this story, the flood of cash-rich, recently public companies emerging across Silicon Valley.

It was great timing for that gig. I was making good money selling $50,000-to-$100,000 packages for events such as The Masters to the VPs of Sales at companies such as Foundry Networks and the event planners at once-strong firms like Nokia (NOK). Easiest "sale" of my life.

Those days are gone. Minions at Nokia likely no longer have the authority to approve $109,000 (plus a 21% "service charge") expenditures to "entertain" 10 clients over four days at the Super Bowl. And I doubt VPs at IPOs in the Valley pull out their personal credit cards to expense excursions to events such as the baseball all-star game. You're not making bank cold calling, strong-arming and closing executives at Potbelly or The Container Store in 2013. Because, seriously, we're no longer living in a bubble.

I decided to leave that gig and enter college shortly after September 11th. The September 11th. Given what some of my colleagues at TheStreet and others who live in and around, were in or around and/or know people who were in or around went through in Manhattan that day, I cringe when I state a) I was terrified that morning and b) it changed my life. Given the obvious material and psychological differences of experiencing that event on the West Coast vs. the East Coast, I always feel the need to qualify my feelings. It would be like me telling my wife I felt her pain during childbirth. There are no words. No comparisons. It was what it was for each of us.

Stock quotes in this article: TCS, PBPB, MCD, SBUX 

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