Friday, May 21, 2004 ______________________________________________________________________________

Direct Marketing 

So I just got back from the 'Secondary Interview' stage at a promotions company. I didn't get a very good impression of the company to begin with. For one thing the company's name (Abstract Promotions) wasn't on the floor directory next to it suite number. Also, the office was very sparsely furnished and it looked like it could pack up and disappear in an hour. It is a large company, but I cannot find a website for it. Apparently this particular office has been in place for 8 months now, yet it looks like it was set up yesterday.

I don't think it is a scam company at all, I'm just saying that all these things combined is making me wonder if I really want to sign on with them. Basically this place is somewhere that larger companies out source their promotions to. It's huge out east and is only just making its way west. Currently it only has one client: Sprint Canada. What this means is that they have exclusive rights to promotions and marketing for Sprint. This in and of itself is huge. Now my job with this company would be to promote Sprint's services door to door. Previously, the only telephone service provider in BC was Telus. It had no competition and got away with terrible customer service and rather stupid prices. Now that the industry has been de-regulated, Sprint wants in on the BC market. I get paid solely based on the number of people I can get to swtich to Sprint's services. Nothing changes for them. They get to keep their old phone number etc. They just get a lower bill. I also get bonuses for signing them up for package deals (cell phone, internet, land line, long distance). What troubles me is that this company expects me to work 10 hour days. There is no salary, only comission. I have been told that the average sales person makes $100-200 a day. Think about it, that's pretty sweet.

This system is called direct marketing. It's the same system that Mary Kay is based on. It's a very stable business system with unlimited potential. Which now begs the question: why don't I just do Mary Kay? With Mary Kay the average 2 hour class brings in $200, not to mention re-orders. I will shadow one of the top sales reps on Tuesday, but it looks like I probably won't sign on with this company. I'm not much of a sales person and bothering people at home to deliver a sales pitch is not my idea of a great time. Then again, I don't want to judge it before I've seen it in action, which is probably why I will turn up on Tuesday to see 'A Day in the Life of...'

On a lighter note, I have been signed on by a company that manages extras for TV and film productions. Vancouver is a real hot spot when it comes to movies and film (X-files? Minority Report?) and this place says that I could probably get work once or twice a month. It's not something that can be counted on as a steady job, nonetheless, it would be interesting to break up the monotony of every day life/work(?) and go stand next to some famous people and get paid. What better things can you be doing with your spare time anyway?

Meanwhile my job search looks rather promising. I've dropped off my resume at some rather large and established call centres. I have to wait about two weeks before anything will happen apparently but that's alright. I need the time to work on my Linguisitics course anyway. Jim's been a real doll about all this, but I can't help but think of all the stupid financial decisions we made (Fort anyone?). Then again, we can't really be blamed for it, not knowing that I was going to lose my job. Right now I got through these strange periods where I just feel shame and guilt. I feel like a can't nail down a job even though the reasons that I lost my last three jobs had nothing to do with my job performance. In fact, I've exited all three with people clamouring to provide glowing references for me. I still get the 'unemployed loser' feeling though, and after a while, that's hard to shake. Still, like everyone says, you are what you think you are and I think I'm a highly skilled and readily employable young lady. Well, at least I'm trying to convince myself that I am.

I'm starting to shake off the bug that I got at BCYC. At first everyone thought that it was food poisoning, but food poisoning doesn't hang around for this long. I'm still on chicken porridge and my stomach grumbles if I try to deviate from that fare, but I like chicken porridge and I'm not sick of it...yet. Below's a picture of me at BCYC 2004. The guy I'm looking at is the walking Hallmark card Richard Nace and I'm pretty sure he was telling a funny story. The blonde girl in the background is Krista, who went to school with Jim and the bald guy sitting in front of her is Benn Whitwell, who officially saved BCYC 2004 (he was the bass that signed up that harrowing Tuesday night).

posted by Joie! at 1:57 p.m.


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