Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Interview (or so I thought)

Ad on Classified Jobs - "NEED ASST IN presentations & customer svc. $50-$200 per assignment basis. sms 9#######." Looking at the ad what would first come into your mind? Probably go sell some products or do presentations and one go at it will fetch a sum of $50 to $200. Or so I thought....
Went for several interviews today and my last one was the one that left a deep impression on me. Ok so first was the sending of messages and speaking to the person on the other line. It was a rather weird first impression via the phone because her voice was young and she refused to tell me the exact address of her firm or company so she basically just told me to alight at Eunos MRT Station and to give her a call again. Sounds awfully mysterious and exciting haha. Luckily I was in the mood to play with her so I agreed.
So there I was at Eunos MRT Station. I called her up and she told me the directions to reach her company. The route was rather simple just get out of the station and keep walking straight. As I walk across the carpark just outside the MRT Station, I saw a lot of car instructors with their heavily advertised cars. Cool sight, enlarged L plates with contact numbers all super imposed on the ads.
As I stood infront of the building, I gave her another call to announce my presence and within 5 minutes there she was opening the front door with her other female colleague. Ok how should I describe both of them, she looked really young like those just out of secondary school types and her colleague, well looked kind of seasoned and had smoker's eyes. We took the lift to the fourth floor I think and exchanged some general questions. She told me that the cafe on the first floor belongs to her company and many levels of the building belong to her company. We reached fourth floor and her colleague explained her smoker's eyes were results of exhaustion but declined to explain further. Her colleague then introduced the products that were put on display. Mainly health care products and water purification systems. Wow pretty cool huh, health care business but that doesn't really relate to the ad on classified jobs. Her colleague also briefly informed me that the company is under ISO and WHO approval and certification. Ok I mean isn't that a norm for any health care product business nowadays. Both of them then told me that I was rather early and escorted me to basement one for a talk. The three alphabets were beginning to creep into my mind. MLM.
I hit basement one and was really alarmed with the age limit of the people filling the floor. They all looked so young just like her and I was like wow cool youth environment. Now there were two kinds of people involved. One would be those wearing really formal like those cheap G2000 long sleeves and pants while the other kind would be in plain tees and jeans. A group of five or four would be sitting around a table and busy with some discussions that I do not really understand. Later on, she asked me to proceed to sit at this corner with lots of chairs and I thought this was some talk conducted by some really big shot. I ended up waiting for half an hour to an hour for the presenter to do his stuff because according to her, there were some people who were late. At this point of time, I felt kind of uneasy and sleepy. Finally the first presenter came to deliver his speech and she told me that he is some manager who is currently earning a few thousands. What made me stood up was his age, he was only 18. I'm calling him small J.
Small J did his speech in a very recital manner and showed us some sort of science experiment demonstration that the water the company is promoting is good stuff. Energy drink. Anti-ageing. Alkaline. Lights up a bulb. What else oh and the water was milky. Small J explained that it was because the water was added with high concentration of the company's calcium tablets and the real purified water would be crystal clear. I was like Ok who's ever going to drink that before he actually gulped down one small glass of the water in which he tested with iodine. Hm circus show or fear factor I thought and small J said that he has been drinking the water since he joined the company. Next he asked about my age and the others. I was shocked that there were only two who were 21 and waiting to enter University while the rest were like 17 or 18 and were either in ITE or Polytechnic, no offense here totally. Her other colleagues were also the same too. Either 17, 18 or 20 and mostly from Polytechnic or ITE. End of Part One.
Part Two was the introduction of big J, apparently he's small J's senior or so called the one who pulled him into this. To be honest, his speech was pretty impressive and I guess he really gone through some serious training. He basically gave the floor a lecture on the company's business plan and let out a hint of multi-level marketing being involved. Oh by the way, he's only 19, currently at Ngee Ann Poly and earning close to 3K a month. He kept talking about economy prospects of Singapore in the next 5 years and threw questions to the floor about our agenda and all. Reverse psychology was his secret weapon I guess and he mentioned that he's fighting for his car, an incentive the company gives to its employees and he's busy getting his license. Hm a tinge of deja vu here with the car park I went across just now. So the truth was out, the main deal of this company is partly to sell their so called health care products but their main agenda is to recruit more people to join and to earn off those dumb asses. The basic structure of Multi-Level Marketing.
After the two speeches, she brought me to see her manager to sort of confirm my participation in this murky business. I declined of course but in a very nice way saying that I still needed some evaluation before making my final decision, actually it was just an excuse to leave the building as soon as possible. She was rather dejected and showed me the exit. Before I bid goodbye to her, I gave her a word of advice: "Go get another job will ya?" Something I left out was that she couldn't even spell properties and ageing correctly while she was preparing the setup for the two speeches. I mean oh my, you are here claiming that you are dealing with millions of dollars but you can't even spell simple English words. How am I suppose to work beside or under you? The speeches should have been conducted by the president of the company but oh I guess he's probably relaxing on his yacht and earning his money off all these dumb asses. Can see that the two presenters did their very best but they weren't convincing at all, they looked like Ah Bengs in formal wears. On top of that, if this business was really genuine, the ad on classified jobs should have been clearer and not so ambiguous. Presentations and customer service shouldn't be about asking more people to join in this shit hole so that the ones above can earn more money. Well I've always heard about MLM but never came face to face with it before. Now I have and it was truly one hell of an experience.

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