Before I get started on my dreadful job-searching extravaganza on this absolutely gorgeous afternoon in Chicago (I can’t complain, I was at the beach all day yesterday). I felt like I needed to let go of the traumatic episode, which took place last week.
I ended up applying for a full-time, entry-level position that I found through careerbuilder. The position was for Public Relation and Marketing. I received a call, the next day from a cheery secretary who asked a few minor questions and scheduled an interview for me to come in the next day. So far, so good…
Then the next morning, I put my favorite Express suit on and scurried to my job interview. Literally 5 minutes after I left my house, I receive a call from Miss Bubbly Secretary herself explaining they lost power and that someone will be calling at 10 am for a phone interview. Well the storm was pretty horrific last night… Oh jeez…
So while I waited for the phone interview to begin back at my house, I take this time to write down questions that I have (including the peculiar blank Facebook page). Time starts going by and before I know it, it’s 10:45 am. Where’s my phone call?? I decided to call Miss Bubbly Secretary and now she sounds panicked. “I’M SORRY SHANNON, WE ARE A LITTLE BACKED UP RIGHT NOW BECAUSE OF THE NO ELECTRICITY DEAL. SOMEONE WILL BE CALLING SOON!” She shouts. 10 minutes after my call to Miss Bubbly, the so-called CEO of the company finally calls.
She sounds a bit edgy, young, strict, and a bit obnoxious as she screams on the top her voice about what her company does and what type of people they are looking for. She makes the company sound a lot like Groupon, which I stated to make sure I understood her. She agrees, but then states we don’t use email….what?? Then I ask her a bunch of questions (which looking back at this whole ordeal, this seems like the only thing I did right as a job-seeker). I told her that I love blogging and have strong experience in Social Media, I ask about her Facebook and how come her company isn’t on LinkedIn. I wish I could tell you exactly what her response was, but unfortunately I can’t because the only thing that sticks in my mind was when she stated, “I don’t want my clients to harass me…” What does that mean?!
The next day at 8:30 am, I head to the so-called 2nd interview. The company was based out of Westmont, which is a half hour drive for me. The building looked much like a medical office and was right off a main road. The outside didn’t seem too sketchy at all, so I take a deep breath and I head on in.
This is where things just get bad…real bad. Before I know it, I find myself in a small room painted a horrible red/orange/I have no idea how to describe it color and my eyes can’t be taken away from a horrible stain on the “matching the wall color” carpet. True story.
I’m not the only one who is in this The Shining-like red room. I find myself sitting in this god-awful office with 4 other people, then 8, then 11 as time flies by. Being dressed professionally means a lot! The other candidates didn’t seem to understand how to dress for a job interview. Finally, another girl that seemed to be around my age walks in, dressed extremely nice, looking as petrified as I did. The funny thing is, the other candidates ended up being dress appropriately since an employer walks out of a very depressing looking [I guess you would call it] boardroom in FLIP FLOPS. I’m sorry, but major turnoff. Even though I’m the new girl in a business world, flip flops should never be worn to work, especially with stained carpet like this!
Young, VERY young guys and gals come marching out of the “boardroom” and started calling names. A guy who didn’t fit the rest of the crowd of smurfs called my name as well as the other professionally dressed candidate. The guy was at least 10 years older than the rest of them. Peculiar? Yes. I was just thankful I wasn’t being put in a room by myself with him.
Papa Smurf started talking to us about how Loud-Mouthed CEO is only 24, a millionaire, just bought her 2nd BMW in cash, yada yada yada. Unprofessional? I think so. Plus…if she’s so young and successful…how come I can’t find her last name anywhere and why is she not top news on Forbes?
He asked us to follow him in our cars to a town over to discuss things at a McDonalds. Scared shitless, I decided to ask the protégé of nightmare if she’d like to ride with me. We follow him 15 minutes out of our way, get to a McDonalds and head straight to a table (thanks for not asking, I didn’t want a coffee anyway). He shows us these major league baseball coupon brochures. I applied for what was stated, entry-level pay, but the way he explained things, it was for sure sales commission. I was being pulled in by the Sales tornado and I wanted out!
The moment that is drilled in my head and makes me extremely nauseous is the point when Papa Smurf mentioned, “there’s even a girl on our team who came to work in black hooker boots. I thought man, what are you a hooker now? But that’s how she plays the game, that’s how she sells these things. She would wrap her boot around the wall when she’d visit a client to rouse up the men and it worked!”
[Insert Scream Now]
He then wraps up the meeting from hell and mentions we’re going to go see some of our “clients.” We walk next store to a fast
food joint, that’s when I knew I needed out. I’m in heels walking down a busy street and this is not what I signed up for. He tries to sell the baseball packages by stating he works for the baseball league and not once mentions the company he works for. He is trying to sells these brochures with them stuffed in his pockets. I even asked if he wanted me to put them in my black tote. He refused. Fine Papa Smurf, feel free to look like an eejit!
We then walk next store to a Kinko’s and that’s when I looked at my professional protégé and motioned that we’re done with following the yellow brick road. We clicked our heels together and headed back to my car.
What did I learn from all this? There was a bunch of warning signs I chose to ignore. Always listen to your gut feeling. If a job seems sketchy, then you are probably right. Let Google and LinkedIn be your partner in crime while job searching. I went home that day and tried everything to get the dirt on this company. Couldn’t find one thing…