Day 0: Wait, How Did I Wind Up Back Here Again?

I feel like an alcoholic being back here again, three years and change after my last piece. But on this date of June 5, 2018 – I accepted another telemarketing job, and I start it tomorrow.

My voice sings the siren song of optimism, but we’ll see how long that lasts before it is ripped away. My goal is to last as long as possible, but if that’s really the goal, what am I doing here?

My office is an electric company on a busy north-south highway/road in the middle of Pinellas County. My starting wages are said to be $10/hour. I will have to apply for a telemarketers license through this company – something I’ve never had to have held before as a work condition.

I’d love to say a lot more, but hey – I DO want to try and keep this job a bit, so I’ll just call this firm “Company X” for now. That should be anonymous enough to keep the heat off.

It’ll be interesting – I never thought I’d be a blogger here again.


Work At Your Own Risk

It hasn’t escaped my attention that I may be beating a dead horse here, but after doing a little Internet browsing this morning, I’m discovering yet another reason why not continuing on with National Magazine Exchange was a fortuitous move on my part.

It gets back to the whole licensing issue yet again.  According to a page I’m reading on Ehow this morning, it is illegal for a company to state a preference as to how to pay for a good or service.

That’s exactly what NME does, or so I’m led to believe by what I saw and heard Monday.  They do not give employees any other option but to ask for payment of magazines by a credit card.  If NME offered other options, they did not reveal that to me as an employee on Monday.  And since the business they do originates from Florida, that’s a violation of state law.  It’d be a violation of state law even if they were in another state and called Florida residents.

Also, all sales scripts have to be submitted to the state of Florida for their review and approval.  I had no idea prior to this morning that this was a requirement, nor do I know if NME does this.  Since they’re violating state regulations in one area, I would doubt they would comply in another area.

I don’t wish any of the long time employees at NME any ill will.  But they should know that if the Florida Department of Argiculture and Consumer Services can crack down once, as they did in March of this year, they very well will crack down again.

If you’re an employee there (or anywhere else) and you’re reading this blog, get out while you can.  YOU can be charged or fined for continuing to work under these conditions.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Legalized Extortion

Another problem with being a telemarketer in Florida is what the state is doing with this whole licensing business.

First off, let me state clearly that there are scumbags running these call centers.  But they are not ALL scumbags.  Not only do they attempt to bleed the people dry on the otther end of the phone, they do likewise to their own employees.

In the middle of the 2000’s decade, the state of Florida decided that if you’re going to be a telemarketer in the state, you’re going to have to shell out 50 bucks or so to be licensed.  When I first ran into this at Suntasia Marketing in 2004 (where I thought the rules were so predatory against employees I left training after about an hour and never came back), I thought it was a joke.  It wasn’t.  I started running into more and more firms that starting kissing the state’s collective ass.

You may think that licensing telemarketers is a good thing.  On the surface, this would be true.  But licensing does not protect the customers from fraud, nor the employees from being fleeced by their own bosses.  Nor does it improve working conditions at these boiler rooms or other such offices.

To get a license to be a telemarketer in Florida, you have to tell them everywhere you’ve worked, plus every telemarketing firm, office, or boiler room you’ve worked in the past three years.  So this appears to be nothing more than information gathering.  Every telemarketer has probably been a few other places, because of the high turnover rate the business seems to have.  So the state gets that information and can check who is licensed and who is not.

In the spring of 2012, the state busted some firms in central Pinellas County, such as United Marketing Solutions, where I was once employed in 2004 when they were United Marketing.  If you’re licensed, you’re good.  If you’re not, you’re deemed illegal.

My mission on Monday: to apply at a place where a telemarketing license is advertised as not being required.  Seems to be a good place to begin.