So the other day I go on this job interview, right? It was up in Des Plaines and I, for those of you who don’t know, live near Midway Airport. Great, eh? Thank God for music. Anyway, so I go up there for this interview that lasts like 10 minutes. Right off the bat, I should have known that there was something sketchy about this company. Well, not sketchy, but just not anything that I’d ever be interested in.
See, I’m the type of person who grew up in the community. I was taught to always look at where you came from and being underrepresented in the community, I came to the conclusion that being that representation and possibly even a stepping stone would benefit more people including myself. I guess you can say I’m somewhat of a humanitarian, but that depends on situations. ANYWAY! I digress. But yes, community. I worked at my church rectory while in high school and had to speak English and Spanish to communicate with our parishioners; I would volunteer at citizenship workshops; I tutored kids all throughout my own educational years; I worked in a team of deputy registrars and now I work for a Latino lifestyle media company. There’s a pattern, you know?
So even when I looked at this job opportunity, I thought, “Man, going into it for myself feels not so right.” That went to say the least. So they call me back after that first 10 minute round, right? Because they saw I had potential for their managerial position. Now, I’m going to tell you what I told this manager sales chick: “I can do anything. It’s wanting that’s the issue.” At the end of the day, this job turned out to be worse than the telemarketing job I had in college. At least that was for the University that I and my fellow colleagues were attending and went to somewhat of a bigger cause. This… this… no. Just no.
Let’s run through this. The place is called Vision Marketing, because apparently this is a long-term vision for the best marketing tactics out there: ambush, apparently was the tactic. I shadowed this chick named Cassie and she was this little 5-foot-tall, fake blonde with a full set of breasts and a muffin top around the mid-section. Her clothes didn’t match, her belly showed and her eyeliner was all over the lids of her eyes. And honestly, she looked like a hot mess. She smoked Marlboro reds like it was part of the job, as did the other girls in the car.
On the way to Rockford, yeah, Rockford, the Carol Stream native smoked and talked about how this was professional and I couldn’t go any further without her recommendation. She says, “OK, no swearing because this is professional. I’m going to be telling you a lot, asking you questions to get to know you and at the end of the day, if I give you my recommendation you take a test.” All right, fine. I guess.
On these types of things, I’m quiet. I’m not as obnoxious, rambunctious or as charismatic as I can be. I only speak when spoken to and giving away all my secrets is not my idea of a good first impression. Not even five minutes later, this chick is swearing up a storm. I have her telling me about her three boyfriends (two in this state and one in Florida) and how she has a “liquid diet” on the weekends. Right. Professional.
So we drop the other two girls off at their selling territory also known as “strip malls” and we go to ours for the day– an industrial park. Guess what we’re selling. Go ahead. Spa packages. Yes! Amazing spa packages!
This is how it went. Cassie barges into the place of work and says, “Hi! I’m just here to let you know that we’re one of your new business neighbors! We work for *blank* Spa located at the corner of *insert address here* and we’ve come to invite 40 of our local neighbors to get pampered by us. We brought you some invitations!” Here is where you get these people, usually receptionists all riled up and ready to look at the thin piece of cardboard she shoves into your hand, making small talk about it all.
“Now, with this package you get your choice of hair color, hi-lights or low-lights. You know how we women are, always have to have choices! Then you get a pedicure to get your toes already for spring, along with a foot and lower leg massage. Next is my favorite, a full body massage, just in case you have any stress in your life…” Here is where she made them laugh or smile and if they don’t get the joke she says, “Yeah, because you don’t have any stress in your life, do you?” The she goes into the last item “our most popular service, the facial. Have you ever gotten one? Great, isn’t it?” That’s if she were talking to a woman. If she were talking to a man, she’d say, “You also get an added neck, head and shoulder massage. You can’t get that at home.” Or, she’d really show you she knows her stuff. “You know how after you shave, you’re still left with the rough patches on your nose and forehead, well that’s because you don’t shave there and you don’t exfoliate. If you get a facial, you can get that all evened out.”
What’s funny, is that as I write this I remember her saying, “You’re going to have to put your phone away because you have to pay attention to me if you want to pass this test.” Umm… I think I did that. I put my phone away because it was unprofessional but as you read this, please realize that I didn’t take any notes whatsoever. This is all from memory.
Every time we would get in or out of the car she would ask, “Now, why did I say this? Why did I say that? Why do you think she said no? What did her body language say?” Yes, I get it. That’s marketing.
So we basically went door to door barging in on people’s work days to try to sell them this “$400 package and we’re giving it to you today for only $55. Isn’t that great?” And you got like three bucks a card for each package you sell. It was all working off commission. It’s a great job for people like her. I mean, she kept referring to herself as a cute girl and once she said, “I think he bought it because he liked me.” And if they didn’t buy, forget it, she criticized up the rear about the people who rejected her. One women yelled at us for just storming in there. OK, well didn’t yell or speak loudly; more like, spoke sternly? (C’mon! We were in Rockford!) “You don’t just storm in here when people are trying to work. Next time come to the window to talk to someone.” I would have said the same damn thing. This is what Cassie says walking to the car: “Don’t storm in there… That place is mine until I leave, lady. I can walk in where ever I want.” She pointed out mishaps in other people, especially women and tried to justify their saying no. I mean, how could anyone say no to cute little Cassie?
When we got back in the car to pick up the other girls, she talked about the sales and about the weird people who bought from her and the other girls, and when I said that I didn’t want to do this, she said, “I agree,” meaning she didn’t think I either could or wanted to, I didn’t clear that up. I could, but I don’t like bothering people. She said she needed to know if I wanted to go on because she couldn’t give her recommendation if I didn’t want it or else that would put her job on the line. Honesty, I give her that much. I obviously told her no, with good reason that she obviously didn’t want to hear. When Erin, another sales girl said, “Should we test her, Cassie?” in a chipper voice, Cassie just said, “Nope” and took another drag of that nasty little red. I pretended like I didn’t hear anything.
I wonder what she said about me to the other two girls. No, wait, you’re right. I don’t.
The way she talked and acted went totally against everything she was saying to me. She talked about leading by example, yet couldn’t keep from swearing after she told me not to. I don’t like smoke in my face, I don’t like door-to-door salespeople and I feel like I’m doing something worthwhile just by saying no. I would’ve felt better selling chocolates. At 24, Cassie seemed like an adult. She definitely talked like one, but she still had a college girl mentality, something that I couldn’t bear to work with. I wanted something more professional than being out at stores all day asking people to buy something and getting rejected.
This company wanted to come across as being a marketing and advertising company but they were all sales. At least what they wanted me to do. It doesn’t matter. It just clears up my mind a little bit more about what I will and will not do. Cassie was going to open up a subsidiary branch in St. Louis this coming year and made $62,000 last year. I give her props because she can hustle. Hopefully she can find herself boyfriend number four and eventually quit smoking those reds. At least she felt she bonded with me by saying she loves guacamole and empanadas. Suerte, chica.