The Done Deal

As promised, I went to National Magazine Exchange off of the heavily constructed Bryan Dairy Road in Largo.

All I can say is mission accomplished. Nice to have a day where everything goes right. And this, finally, was one of those days.

If you’re in the Tampa Bay area and you’re looking for work, and have a gift of gab, you’d be well advised to go here. This outfit has really grown up.

They also offer benefits, namely medical, dental, and life insurance. Not too many organizations in this area offer that, honestly.

My training starts Monday.


The Aptitude Test

One of things I’ll be doing on my visit at National Magazine Exchange is taking some kind of aptitude test.

I have a little trepidation about such a test because I took one at Consumer Sales Solutions back in 2009 and didn’t get hired subsequently.  Now in fairness, I did try to get employment there twice previously, once in 2000, once in 2004.

CSS is a electric sales boiler room on Douglas Avenue in Dunedin that is own lock, stock, and barrel by Scientologists.  Say you don’t like that particular operation for whatever reason you have.  Then you go hunting through the Tampa Bay Times (formerly the St. Petersburg Times), or now a days, Craigslist. Say you find a place on Cleveland Street and Missouri Avenue called Consumer Energy Solutions.

Yep.  They too are owned by Scientologists!  I can’t honestly say that they try to convert you over to their “religion” while you smile and dial, because I was never there all that long.  I’m just curious as to why the Scientologists need two energy boiler rooms in two different connecting cities to carry out their business enterprises.

Back to the aptitude test I took back in June of 2009.  I know I aced that test because it was a bunch of math, spelling, and logistical questions.  Basic math was never a problem for me when I was in school.  It was algebra and trigonometry that I sucked at, because I didn’t see the every day use for it in my life, thus I wasn’t motivated to be a good student at it.  I turned in my test, never got a call back as when I could start at CSS to this day, three years and change later.

While National Magazine Exchange looks like a done deal, I’m still wary of a last-second kick out here, that the chances that I won’t get hired are still there. Maybe these tests are not there to weed out the unintelligent, but to do the reverse.

The Longshot Comes In

As I watch what’s happening up on the coast of the northeast United States with Hurricane Sandy, a storm system that appears that it will defeat the odds and defy conventional wisdom as to what a tropical system is supposed to do, another long shot has come in.

National Magazine Exchange did indeed get the application I put in on October 25th, and that they wish to re-hire me.  I have a 1pm appointment with them on Wednesday, October 31st.

Yes, I said some things about them in my last post that might come back and bite me on the ass.  But this blog is about my experiences, and experiences are somewhat based on perceptions and what appears real.  And those were my perceptions at the time.  Time will tell if those perceptions are reality or if they were something else.

I’m wondering through my house this Monday morning saying: what the f*** just happened, and how in the world did it happen?!?  For now, it is a good thing. But understand that it could wind up being another dead end.

National Magazine Exchange

Believe it or not, I lasted more than one day at Special Data Processing, now known as National Magazine Exchange.  I lasted two days there back in 1997.

Every telemarketing place has a wrinkle, and SDP/NME is no different.  Their wrinkle is they treat everyone the same, employees and callers alike: like crap.  They also have a policy that if you leave the company on bad terms or just leave, they put you through a committee you’re not allowed to take part in.  Most former employees aren’t welcomed back, no matter when you were hired.

For instance, I was hired in 1997.  As I’m writing this blog entry, I am filling out an online application at NME, just to demonstrate that even 15 years later, I can’t get hired there.  Of course, when I took the training class, they don’t tell you that they blacklist you for life.  You find that out after the fact.

As I go to question 19 on the first page of the application, they ask me:

“Do you agree to abide by all Company Policies and Expectations, including Attendance & Dress Code?”

Now, I haven’t seen the policies and expectations as of yet, so how can I agree to policies and expectations without having any idea what they are?  So I click no.  Remarkably, the application doesn’t kick me out.  After completing the application, it sends me to a page called “Application For Rehire.”

I’m asked why I left, and why I should be rehired. They don’t leave me enough text to answer the questions in full.  When I get to the question about why I should be rehired, I answered: you’ll do what you want regardless of how I answer this question.

What, like I’m going to tell them I’m blogging about them?

And of course, when I go to submit my Rehire App, I get some kind of HTTP error.  Ironic that a waste of a place just wasted several minutes of my time.

Well, You Lasted One Day

In 1994, I went over to east Hillsborough County to learn how to sell vacuum cleaners from a guy with a New York accent that looked like Klaus Kinski.  I lasted one day.  The sales techniques they were lecturing me on seemed very aggressive even for that era.

A few years ago, this company off of US 19 (one building in particular, 14001 63rd Way North in Clearwater gets traded around by telemarketing companies so frequently, you’d think it was a Monopoly property) was selling Verizon products and I went in to train for them.  They took my ID, and didn’t return it for several hours.  When I asked about it, this older lady asked me if I was quitting on them.  I said no, so she said mind your business.  Finally, I get my ID back at 2:40pm, ten minutes after the training ended.

I think she made it a point to detain me a little bit.  I made it a point never to come back.  I lasted one day.

Then there was the time I worked for Suntasia Marketing in 2004, applying for a position to specifically to sell one thing they were advertising in the then St. Petersburg Times (now the Tampa Bay Times), but told I will be selling something else entirely.  At the training session (which I had to play dress up for), I was told that if someone next to me said something obscene to a caller, and it got heard with a call I was dealing on, not only would the utterer of the obscenity get fired, so would I.

Don’t play games with my job, folks.  When the next break was taken, I got the hell out of there.  I lasted one day.  And in that particular instance, that was a bit of prophecy.  They got busted some three years later, sending a whole bunch of honest employees to the unemployment line.  Fortunately, I wasn’t one of them.

Why Do I Do This?

Again, my apologies for the “stutter step” on Tuesday with the ADT job.  But in a way, I feel it was good for me and for all of you readers out there to see my thought process on these little “field trips” I go on to find work.  In the end, it made no sense to work at a place that seems too good to be true.  These kind of places are usually the first ones busted by the state (for not licensing their employees) or the federal goverment (such as Suntasia/Strategia Marketing, busted in 2007).

Why do I do this?

I think it’s important to show you what goes on from the inside, if you will.  I think everyone benefits from a little diary such as this.  The telemarketing companies not as much.  But what can they do other than fire me?  Unless they have ties to the Mafia, not so much.  A few years ago a few of the boiler rooms here in Tampa Bay may have been mobbed up.  You don’t hear about that all so much these days.

I have another “field trip” geared up for tomorrow.  Talk to you then.