Thursday, October 23

"Take this job and shove it"

Well, that was interesting.
I went to my "interview" this morning. I had a horrible feeling about it, and considered it on par with the math-test editorial interview I went to in Houston. (Remember that stinker?) I knew I wouldn't get anything out of it, as I mentioned in last night's post, and I'm happy to say that my instincts on this were spot on.
The interview was at an insurance company. They provide insurance for union workers. (This is where my optimism would say that maybe they wanted me for public relations or corporate communications.) The building is in downtown Phoenix, so I had a bit of a drive ahead of me, but thankfully no traffic at that time of morning. I arrived right on time, at 10:30 a.m.
The office lobby was packed full of applicants filling out information. The receptionist gave me my paper to fill out, and I did. The form was then set to the side, on the pile, and divvied out to the "interviewers." My particular interviewer, Ramon, called Ruby, who sat next to me, and myself into an office.
Ramon: "What about this company made you want to come here?"
Me: "Actually, Patricia called me. I don't know anything about you. I'm a magazine editor by trade, so I'm just curious about what you think I can do here."
Whether he expected that or not is anyone's guess, since he quickly moved on to Ruby. After hearing a little bit about her, Ramon escorted us into the conference room.
In the conference room, we were handed a questionnaire, and offered coffee or water. I sat down, knowing full-well that I should just be leaving. Was it the curiosity or the manners that insisted I stay? The questionnaire was more like a personality test, asking about my motivations, wants, needs, weaknesses, and traits. I answered the questions, then sat back in hesitant anti-anticipation.
Did you all see The Wolf of Wall Street? Because I swear that Jordan Belfort walked into that room and started his push. These jobs? These positions? They're little more than insurance sales positions thinly veiling a pyramid scheme of sorts. ... Get the people to sign their name and write a check; get them to refer more people; get them to call those people and tell them that you're heading their way; get paid for this for the rest of your life.
"Belfort" carried on for about 45 minutes. He pushed the sales. He told us how easy it would be. He told us how much money we would make. He told us about his 2014 Lamborghini and his Dodge Viper because he makes so much money now. He swore that this was going to be the job that would turn our lives around, if we let it. He dared us to be the best people we could be, by selling the best insurance, and by making the numbers.
Honestly, I was super done before this joker walked into the room, so the Herculean effort I put forth to not roll my eyes, or make snarky comments, or leave, or break out my phone and live tweet the shit was A.MA.ZING.
Once Belfort was done, he basically dropped the mic and left the room. His lackey who looked like a greasy John C. Reilly then wanted us to each stand up, and sell ourselves to him for about 15 seconds. I was not at all interested in saying anything that would make them want to hire me, so I quickly slunk down in my seat and plotted my polite refusal. Luckily, my strategy was undermined by the first candidate who was called, Robert.
Robert said, in all awesomeness, "You know, I don't think this is for me, so I'm going to go."
Greasy John C. Reilly was a bit taken aback, and said, "Okay. That's fine. If any of the rest of you feel the same, and don't think we should continue with you, you are certainly free to go, and have a great day."
The mass exodus out of that room was fantastic. I was among the first to stand and beat a hasty retreat. Ruby was right behind me. I think, of the 20 people in the room, that maybe five or six of them stayed? I'm not sure. I didn't even look back.
The elevator car was packed full of people who had been in the room with me. We were appalled that we had just wasted an entire morning on this. We were disgusted by the way they tried to recruit us. And we were disillusioned by the hope and potential dressed up pretty, and then basically shown as a dust bunny.
Ugh. At least it's a good blog post, and my instincts are still on point.

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