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.
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.
So I sat in one of these cubicles in a classroom series at high noon yesterday. They give you this manila folder and sign a whole bunch of papers that you never see again, nor do they give you the time to read the information in depth. The words are never spoken to us, but you get the impression you’re there to sign, sign, sign, and shut up about what you sign.
They go over this script you use that has so many ifs, ands, whens, and buts in it that it looks like a Chinese puzzle written in English. They want to establish rapport with the caller, to be their temporary buddy.
If the sucker…I mean caller… doesn’t get any cute ideas about just hanging up in the ten minutes or so you have with them, the employee is required to use four rebuttals in a certain order to try an encourage a sale. Once they agree, you hand the call over to a verifier, who might spend another 30-40 minutes talking the caller’s head off.
Now here was another “deal killer” for me: As a employee at National Magazine Exchange, should I fail to do my job properly after a two week grace period, I’m subject to having my pay docked per infraction from $2 to $12 depending on the severity of my transgression, which could be anything from inappropriate conversation to badgering and profanity. While NME may have a Code of Ethics (which, oddly enough, doesn’t include getting a telemarketing license or being licensed), a fine system seems like it could be easily abused without some kind of appeals process for the employee. If such a process exists, it wasn’t mentioned in the first day of training, which leads me to believe it does not exist.
If you’re there to make money, how focused can you be if you have to worry about losing money? Time to regroup and re-evaluate the game plan for me.
I know this is becoming a bit of a bad habit, but completed one day of training of National Magazine Exchange and have already decided not to return. History repeats itself, as this is exactly what happened in 1997, by my choice.
Why couldn’t I commit? While I hate the idea of telemarketing licenses here in Florida, any place who doesn’t offer those is a sitting duck. Think Direct Marketing is one of those places. I could do well there, no doubt in my mind about that, but everything doesn’t matter if the state of Florida decides to bust this place. Not being a licensed established only assures that has a chance of happening. If I get caught selling with no license, as was proven with the Universal Marketing Solutions bust back in March, I would be at risk of being fined or criminally charged.
There are numerous other reasons that I decided this would be a no go that I’ll go into this week in depth. I’ll give you one now though. I was told coming into today that after the first day that I would be coming in to work at 1pm. During the first day of training today, I was told that wasn’t true: that I’d have to come in at 12:45 at the latest.
So why couldn’t they have told me that from the onset? I could get to their offices at Bryan Dairy Road in Largo at 1pm. But the way the buses run in Central Pinellas, 12:45 would be another matter entirely. Seems as if I accepted this moving of the goal posts, it sets the precedent to where I’d have to accept other attempts to tamper with my hours. Unacceptable.
I knew I shouldn’t have answered that call a week ago Monday…
So I’m two days away from my start at National Magazine Exchange, aka Think Direct Marketing Group.
I have no idea whether or not this job will last a day or a decade. Many factors come into play that I can’t control. I’m beginning this job using public transit to get around, with getting my own transportation as my first goal. Other priorities may come into play, however.
Know this: if I lose my job over this blog, so be it. If I am caught or asked about it, I intend to surrender immediately and speak freely when asked. I am taking precautions not to reveal my identity, but anyone who wants to figure it out probably can.
While it may be true that I am “biting the hand the feeds me” in a sense, it may be also true that the hand that feeds me may be biting me by operating illegally or unethically. I ask you all to consider that.
So let me go over what I’m doing come Monday in greater detail.
I will start out as a Subscription Sales Associate at National Magazine Exchange, which is now part of Think Direct Marketing Group.
My first two weeks, I work five consecutive days, Monday thru Friday. After that, I work Monday to Wednesday, get a day off, then work Friday (also payday from the second Friday onward) and Saturday. I get Sunday off, then the week begins anew.
For the first two weeks, I get $8.50 an hour, unless I do well enough to qualify for the other pay programs which would be greater than the hourly wage. I also get issued headsets, for which $50 is deducted from pay at $25 each from the first two checks.
Also, I have to adhere to a dress code which is simplified. Simply, blue jeans can’t be worn unless it is Friday, Saturday, or any day deemed permitted by the powers that be.
So that’s what I know.
It does strike me a little strange that once I get out of training, you don’t get any more than one day off in a row at any given time. But hey, they’re giving me a chance. Why not go for it?