Eating Where You Once Crapped

Looking back at what I’ve done in my telemarketing career, such as it has been, my one regret is this: going back to companies where I worked previously, thinking a second chance there would work out when the first chance didn’t.

Now, this does work for some people, I know.  My main problem with a lot of the Tampa Bay boiler rooms are the work conditions.  They put ads in the paper (now a days its Craiglist) where they tell you A,B, and C.  When you fill the employment application, they don’t tell you anything different.  But when you train there, A becomes X, B becomes Y, C becomes Z.  In other words, what you’ve been told to get you in the door isn’t what actually takes place.

So if you ever find yourself in that position, going to work for a telemarketer you didn’t originally like the first time, ask yourself that question.  What is so different now as opposed to what was happening then?  It may save yourself some employment heartache.

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What Part Of No Do You Fail To Understand?

You all want to hear a good one?

I got a call from a telemarketing company I used to work for today. The Think Direct Marketing Group called just after 3:30, wanting to rehire me.

Mind you, I only lasted a day with them back in November.  Mentioned so on this very blog back in the early part of that month.  Are they that stupid, or that desperate?

Just for the record, I would work for them under two conditions; each of which would have be met before I’d even consider it.  One, they have a “work from home” program that has opening, so doing that would be the first condition.  The second condition is that the fine system they have there would have to be abolished.

So Think Direct Marketing, if you are out there monitoring this blog, and you can meet those two conditions, give me a call.  Otherwise, my time is being wasted.

Bait And Switch

I’ve been reading on Craigslist here in Pinellas County that US Direct, another company that hawks magazines here in Pinellas County, is looking for employees.

I worked for US Direct in 2007, and lasted one day.  But I had cause.

What US Direct didn’t tell me was not only did they have the magazine program there, but another program on top of it.  Some kind of “Life Alert” kind of spiel.  So one summer day six years ago, I go in and get hired on a Wednesday, thinking I was going to sell magazines, applying to an ad in the then-St. Petersburg Times for their magazine program.

Turns out that when into training on Monday, I wasn’t going to sell magazines, but this “Life Alert” crap, or whatever it was.  I sat through the first part of their training, and when the first break came, I got the hell out of there.  If they were going to pull this bait and switch routine with employees, it didn’t bode well for what they did to their customers, I supposed.

They had another draconian rule there.  If you took an unscheduled day off, the only way you could not have your hourly pay rate reduced is if you had a doctor’s note.  If you had no note, the only way you made more dough is if you sold enough to make commission.

A bunch of heartless people over there, currently at 4950 Park Boulevard in Pinellas Park.  I may “infiltrate” them soon.  Would make a good story, wouldn’t it?

The “Don’t You Record Me” Stratagem

A few weeks ago, I was mentioning some strategies in how to deal with telemarketers, and whether or not they work.

The next time you have to deal with one, try this strategy out.

If the telemarketer tells you they are recording you, for quality assurance purposes or otherwise, hang up.

There are plenty of variations of this strategy.  You can tell them “no” or “no chance” or even “no way” when they mention this.  You can set the phone down somewhere and grab a bottle of water, rearrange your sock drawer, break wind over the phone, or just refuse to say anything until they hang up.  That’s one I use a lot.  Liars give you too much information.  Sit back and wait to pounce.  Think of yourself as a baseball hitter waiting for that right pitch to hit a home run off of.

If you really want to put a telemarketer on his or her heels, tell them that you are recording them.  If they object, you could point out their hypocrisy.

They may call you back a week, a month, or a few months from now.  When they do, keep doing the same thing.  But sooner or later, they’ll realize continuing to call you is a stalemate at best, and they will give up.  Make them submit to your will.  Don’t submit to theirs.

A Strategy That Doesn’t Always Work…

So there’s this video on YouTube about how you can terrorize telemarketers with one word: saying “yes” over and over.

This strategy doesn’t always work.

If you’re saying yes repeatedly to someone who wants to clean your carpet, or check your air conditioning unit, saying yes will only get them to knock on your do, saying you gave your consent for their invasion of your home.

When dealing with that kind of situation, it might not be a bad idea to mix in the word “no” when the appointment setting moment arrives.

Then again, you can always deny that you set up the appointment to begin with, provided they didn’t record the conversation.

Mr. Or Mrs. Blow Me

Back in the 2000’s, I briefly worked at a appointment setting travel office that was on East Bay Drive and Keene Road in Largo, Florida.  It wasn’t too far from where I lived at the time, so I figured why not give it a try?  Didn’t say there long, the supervisor was a bit of a dick, but I digress.

They had a computerized system to handle the calls.  So I’m working through them on a Wednesday night, and I’m hearing this woman with an Asian accent going “Hello” at me.  I was speechless.

I looked at the computerized screen and couldn’t stop laughing.  If the information on the screen was correct, her first name was Blow and her last name was Me.  Now, there’s no way in hell I could address this woman as Miss or Mrs. Blow Me.  So I just bust out laughing.  But by the time I recompose myself, she was long gone, whoever she was.

So if it was a joke, and even if it wasn’t, well played.  The first and only time to date I have cracked up on the phones.

A Fair Exchange Of Information

Trolling the Craigslist ads, December 7, 2012.
Trolling the Craigslist ads, December 7, 2012.

As I mentioned back on November 10th, a lot of the telemarketing job openings in central Pinellas have simply gone away, and are not advertising job openings nor have they since the Presidential elections. My guess is a lot of these companies now see a second term for a President Obama as confirmation that his health care system will take effect, and have decided not to hire any more help.

I continue to see a lot of companies that still do hire in Pinellas County put up what I call “weasel ads” on Craigslist.  They will put up an ad, and not put up a phone number as to who to call and where to go, just the “reply to this ad” button in the upper left of the job page.  Some company who hides behind an E-mail won’t talk to you if they don’t want to, which defeats the whole purpose of hiring to begin with, doesn’t it?  A company with an address or a phone number would be a lot less likely to play a shell game on somebody looking for a job.

And would not a perspective hire think twice about replying to such an ad?  If they (the advertiser of a job) have something to hide now, it’s probably for a reason that will be discovered later.  Maybe it’s not a licensed place.  Maybe it’s a place where you are a “1099” independent contractor employee, where the company you do business with does not take out taxes.

So if you see one of those “weasel ads” on Craigslist, avoid it like the plague.  It’s usually not worth the headaches it will cost you later.