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July 19, 2002

You may already have a job...

So I posted my resume on Monster last week. I had two responses immediately: One was from a "consulting" company, clearly a recruiter looking to enlarge his resume pile.

The other was a little stranger.

It started out innocuously enough:

My name is (redacted) a Regional Vice President with (large financial services company), a member of (gigantic multinational), Marietta, Atlanta.

Your resume was very interesting and I would like to personally extend and invitation to attend our company overview which is the first step to our interview process. We are offering a Career Opty.

The overview is designed to answer any questions you might have and give you a chance to acquire more information about our company and what we have to offer.

For more information go to our website @ www.(gigantic multinational).com and follow the link to (large financial services company) or you could just email me at (redacted)@mindspring.com

The date, time and directions to the overview will follow you response.

Thank You and I Look forward to hearing from you in the near future.

(Redacted)

I replied that I was available to attend an overview, but something already seemed strange. Why was the e-mail from a Mindspring address? There were 4 weekly sessions to choose from, and when I scouted out the location, it was in a nondescript building in an aging office park. When my wife had interviewed with the large financial services company, it had been on a corporate campus on the other side of town.

My greatest fear was that I would be pitched to sell Amway.

I arrived a little early and went in. The only seats available were in the corner diagonally opposite the door, where it would be hardest to escape. The "overview" was in a room smaller than an average classroom, with a boom box, two external speakers, and a 27" TV. Everyone was provided with the same brochure about the company -- all 90s buzzwords and growth, growth, growth.

The presentation was all about money, sometimes in the guise of "making your dreams come true." Our presenter, a pleasant and evangelical black woman, asked the 30 or so people jammed in the room and overflowing into the anteroom who had a dream. One person said they wanted to work for Pixar. "Pixar?" she asked. "What's that?" When he explained that it was an animation studio she said, "How would you like to own Pixar?" Hmmmmm.

We finally started to get glimpses of what this woman actually did when she wasn't giving overviews: She "helps people achieve their dreams" by "letting their money work for them." Okay.

Finally, about 60 minutes in, she introduced the person who had sent me the e-mail, the Regional Vice President. She explained that she had worked in restaurants for 18 years, 13 of those for McDonald's, but had been given the opportunity to work with large financial services company in 1996, and had made the most of it. She told us what she had made the last 5 years (close to $100,000 last year) and that she already had pulled down $68,000 through June. "Are any of you with the IRS?"

It turns out that large financial services company has adopted the McDonald's method. They need the financial services equivalent of fry cooks to work their formula (they call it a "financial needs analysis") and sell insurance policies, mortgages, and securities, all under the umbrella (oops) of their parent company.

Regional Vice President runs an office for large financial services company, one of about 75 in Atlanta, and has employees at 4 or 5 levels, each earning a slightly higher percentage of instruments they write or (better) making a percentage on instruments written by their subordinates.

I wasn't that amazed that financial services have been de-skilled (I read The Electronic Sweatshop), but I was somewhat amazed that franchisees were allowed (possibly encouraged) to literally bring people off the street (and the presentation suggested we could be working in a matter of days) to sell policies.

July 19, 2002 | Permalink

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Comments

> all under the umbrella (oops) of their parent

Oops, indeed. I'll take that as a hint as to the identity of this outfit.

sad to think this is where we're going. I had hopes of the The Electronic Sweatshop being The Electronic Village, harking back to the days of hand-crafted things, rather than mass-produced ones. BTW, The Electronic Sweatshop has no reviews at Amazon: why don't you fill that gap?

Posted by: paul at Jul 19, 2002 5:06:14 PM

If I can dig it up, I might. I think it was one of my 4 books, 4 bucks promotional books (along with Paul Hawken's Growing a Business) from Book-of-the-Month club many years ago. It's not in my office library, so it may be in the basement. If I can find it before I leave for vacation, maybe I'll read it again....

Posted by: Frank at Jul 20, 2002 1:07:46 AM

Hey, Man!

Well, I'd hire you in a heartbeat. I still think that you, Ron, and I will end up working together one day.

Anyway, I'm still here in lovely Cleveland, OH...and still unemployed. FWIW, Craig Burns and I might be teaming up on some freelance gigs soon.

Hope all is well, and go Lance!

Sean

P.S. Maybe I'll start my own blog soon.

Posted by: Sean Mills at Jul 26, 2002 11:51:36 PM