The last panicked batch of resumes I sent got two responses, both from marketing companies. I ignored them initially: two separate companies, both “with new offices in Cincinnati”, that each sent emails with “sorry we contacted you and no one answered” half an hour before they actually called. That’s a little.. weird. But hey, maybe that’s a new corporate trend or something?
They both called again, and one actually left a voicemail. So I called them back and we set up an interview. Here’s how that shitshow went down.
The girl I talked to told me to look up their site and be familiar with the company and the position. It’s here, but I’ll save you the trouble and tell you that what little is there is generic corporatespeak- nothing specific, no actual listed positions, no client listings. I left for the interview feeling unprepared. I barely caught the bus on time; the route is almost 3 dollar’s fare and an hour long trip each way, so when the driver had to detour three times to get around railroad work (on what should’ve been a one-road, straight shot to the place) I called and said I might have to reschedule.
I got there on time thanks to the driver being a badass lady, but I was even more out of sorts when I went in. The office building looked like reformatted apartments, and the office itself was pretty close to broom closet-size. I met with a “Terrance”, who was nice. He explained the site was intentionally vague “in case our client went under, we’d likely go under as well”, which is a nice sidestep. But wouldn’t that happen whether they were listed on your site or not? The interview went fine otherwise; he told me they do non-traditional marketing: demo events at product-appropriate locations (which, historically, is about as traditional as it gets, but whatever). He explained they were looking for entry level people to train into supervisors (in a month’s time) and later move to managers and take over their own branch.
That’s where it really didn’t add up. From what was explained to me, this is a SanFransisco-based company’s new Cinci office, with no others specifically listed. Agressively expanding, opening branches in “New York, Texas, Florida” within the year.
They have one client account with a single product.
That seemed a little rash to me, but again- I’ve seen companies do weird shit before, and I have zero experience with marketing companies, so maybe that’s normal. Either way, I didn’t expect a call back. I got one, later than I was told. They wanted me to interview with their training manager the next day, at 9:00 AM. So.. yeah. Fun. I understand that most of the world operates on banker’s hours, but still. I’m not a morning person anyway, and it takes me a while to establish an early routine. I did the whole thing all over again, exhausted and short on my usual pot of coffee, and here’s where it went downhill.
One adjascent room in the office had super-loud dubstep happening. Terrance and a couple other guys were back and forth between there and the interview room, and my first thought was “how much coke did you all do?”. Me and some miserable looking guy were sitting in the main room with the secretary for 20 minutes or so, and I was called in to talk to “Kevin” (or something with a ‘K’). He told me again what they were looking to do with the candidates. He asked a couple of questions. He showed me a brochure with the usual corporate training BS; five whatevers that every employee should abide, some nonsense sales philosophy, whatever. He literally turned the pages, pointed at those things and told me what they were, and kept flipping. He showed me the “employee focus” section, you know, with “Bob and Sally who started where you are and now make 500k a year”. He asked how I felt about relocating. At this point, my bullshit needle was firmly in the red. After about 10 minutes, he sent me back out to fill out a questionaire.
I was sitting on an absurdly low couch, staring at a sheet of questions that would have required me to have a photographic memory of that brochure to answer. The secretary had shitty pop radio competing with the dubstep room (still going, btw), which also had acquired a few people who were yelling some sort of vocal sales excercise. I stared at the page for a few minutes, handed it to the girl, and told her I didn’t think it would be a good fit. I left and went to the Wendy’s nearby, had a nice chat with the staff while they made coffee, and decided that seemed like a much better place to work.
I’m not 100% sure the thing was a scam, but am 100% sure that none of that was anything I wanted to do. Frankly, if I ever get a day job that gives me 500k a year, rest assured I wouldn’t be doing that job for any longer than it would take to save for a few years of freelancing again.