First of all, allow me to offer up my thanks to Lordaych for not only giving me the information I needed to make an educated decision, but also introducing me the forum to help Lordaych educate others as to the sham passed forth by this nifty little multi-level marketing scam allowed to remain in business by procuring simple items like smoke detectors and fire extinguishers.
So, here I am, a Network Engineer and Telecommunications Manager that has been roughed up and thrown in the alley by the current state of the market. Like friends of mine in the same industry, I'm looking for a job that will enable me to maintain the lifestyle I've grown accustomed to.
Then I find it in the newspaper:
"Office Managers $4000/MO No exp req, will train Call (123) 456-7890 or Call (098) 765-4321" (Phone numbers have been changed to protect the not so innocent).
Sounds like a great opportunity. I mean, after all, I should be a guaranteed employee with almost 5 years of management experience. And the pay! It's nearly what I was making before. Let's give it a shot!
If this node should be stumbled upon by Lordaych, he will appreciate it, as the processes he identified are IDENTICAL to what I experienced.
I call one of the numbers, and a cheery receptionist answers the phone as "Priority One Safety, how may I assist you?" I let her know I'm contacting her regarding the listing in the paper. She lets me know that they have an interview taking place in an hour and a half and it's the only one available for that day and week. Nice sales technique here. Good front, good urgency, and GREAT close. I rush around my apartment to throw on my suit and grab my portfolio (which I later discovered was not even necessary). When ushered to the 'interview' I discover a few other people sitting in the room waiting for the mis-information to start. We fill out the cheesy application containing the absurd questions mentioned by Lordaych (believe it or not, he was absolutely correct even quoting the questions verbatim)
The current "Office Manager" arrives in a less than adequate suit that would be expected of a manager level position. Should have been the first red flag, as how on earth is it I show up for the interview dressed better than the "manager" doing the interview?? Even at 40k a year, I wasn't buying suits at Target or Kmart (do they even sell suits?)
The 'group interview' starts off with a brief explanation of what the 'company' does. Followed by a 5-7 minute video on how fire destroys people’s homes and lives. Next, out comes the visual evidence of a strip of paper coated with the patented flame retardant. Yup, just like Lordaych described. Damn. Why couldn't I have found this article before I went in? Oh, yeah. Their Front and Close technique didn't allow for time to do the research.
After the video, the 'manager' states that offices are going to open all over the entire United States in the next few years, so it's up to us to pick our location to manage. Again, with the great sales technique - "your office" and "your employees" are mentioned quite frequently building pride within the people hoping for a better life sitting in this room.
"Well, the decision was tough." he states, "But we've decided to bring you on board assuming that everything you've stated to us was true." He offers his hand with a stern, "Congratulations! And how did you want to pay for the background check and administrative fees?"
This should have been a HUGE red flag. I've worked for some of the fastest growing companies in my state and have NEVER had to PAY to work. Seems a little backward, but having been enticed by working again, I fell for it. 60 bucks exchanged hands and an appointment for the training was promptly set including a description to 'dress professionally' and 'bring a pencil and notepad'. Unfortunately, it was all at my loss.
I'm going to skip the rest of the process as Lordaych has done an impeccable job explaining it. My reason for this post is to 'come out' as it were amid my own embarrassment in the hopes of education even one person about this "management scam" and help them to avoid it.
I wanted to post my experiences in this incident with the hopes of bringing others out and thereby furthering the education presented to those who are in the same situation as in being without a job, and looking for something that may just be too good to be true. I'm living experience (and if Lordaych doesn't mind) he is also living experience through this scam that if it sounds too good to be true, it most likely is. I never thought "Caveat Emptor" would apply to a job interview, but when the employer asks for money in the interview, that's what I have to offer: Let the buyer beware.