Weekend Reflection

This week has been crazy. I started a job with a marketing firm and had no idea what I was getting myself into. The company is called Smart Circle. Basically what we were doing was cold calling at businesses. They call it direct marketing. The only reason why I took the job was because I am very curious about marketing and the guy that hired me was very cool. But like I said before I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

I had to sign this contract which stated that I am an independent distributor. I had to be at the office at 7am and I didn’t get home until 8pm. Some nights I was in tears because my kids were in bed when I left and in bed again when I got home.

My days at this job went like this: I would arrive at the office around 7 am then we would have these meetings (they called it atmosphere) where we would learn how to sell their products. They called it learning the system and practice pitching. We did this for about two hours. After that we took off in teams of 2-3 people and went to an area of the city to do our direct marketing. Training was fun because I got to walk around with someone and I got paid well.

After my first week of training I was on my own. I was trying to sell these entertainment coupon books for DARE. The concept was great but I am not a sales person. The book is $20 and the proceeds benefit DARE. We were taught to tell the customers that if they use just one or two coupons that would pay for the book. That sounded good and some people fell for that. But when I was on my own the paid training stopped and I made $6 for every book that I sold.

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I was expected to talk to as many people as I could. They encouraged me to talk to people on the street, talk to people sitting in their cars in parking lots, walk through back doors of businesses and just walk through offices to find people to talk to. They said it is a numbers game and if I talked to enough people I could make $100 a day or more. Of course with my families financial situation I fell for it.

My first day on my own I talked to about 100 people and sold 2 books. The second day on my own I talked to 200 people and sold 5 books. My total commission for those two days was $42. I made $42 after putting in 24 hours of work. That is $1.75 an hour. I sacrificed a lot of time away from my beautiful children and made next to nothing.

They were trying to sell me the business. Do not fall for these business schemes they are a waste of time or money. With this one I didn’t waste much money, just the money for gas to get out to the office and money for lunches. But I wasted a lot of time. My time is more valuable than that. Of course they gave me the line, “if you learn the system you can get promoted within 6 months and run your own office. If your office sells 1000 pieces a week you will make $400,000 a year.” Sure that sounds great. But you know what else I learned? Some of the guys that get to that point have worked many days where they did not sell a thing. I can’t afford to do that.

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So here I am back with my family again searching for a better job. I need to work part time so I can take care of my kids. My husband is also searching for a job and hasn’t found anything yet. The economy just is not very good right now. A lot of people are out of work. We have tough competition. You would think with my husbands experience in retail and management along with his education (he has an MBA) he would find something. But the job market just is not very good right now.

Meanwhile I will count my blessings, Courtney age 11, Ciara age 2 and Conan age 8 months. And pray that we will find something before our savings run out.

Don’t forget to leave your comments about your week and links.

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