I would never recommend my position to anyone who could have done better.
Customer Service/Sales (Former Employee), Houston, TX – June 14, 2013
Pros: great pay, great commissions, travel, great benefits if you could afford them.
Cons: travel, daily last minute changes to work location, no time off even during time off, harassment, exposure to weather, job made unnecessarily difficult by meddling general manager.
My coworkers were lovely for the most part, except for a few backstabbers. Due to the nature of the job, we were generally unsupervised and sent to seemingly random locations throughout the bay area to conduct sales of the Vonage service on laptops, which may have given off a relaxed feel except that the general manager genuinely distrusted her subordinates – more... to the point of regularly accusing them of not acting properly on the job, even when they had customers as witnesses who told her that they were doing their jobs. General manager often lost her temper at her subordinates in front of customer and acted shady in general, making the work environment even more insufferable, and did not understand the meaning of the words "Clocked out." General manager called subordinates in their time off on a daily basis demanding we do things tied directly to our work, wanting us to do them from home without pay despite the level of involvement related to the task. The hardest part of the job may have been the environment: we were constantly exposed to the elements. One week we had hundred degree weather, and the next two weeks would be rain and hail. The only consistent thing was our exposure to it-full force. Everyone got sick at some point, and I came down with bronchitis because the General Manager didn't like even my most professional looking jackets and insisted I work uncovered on rainy days. General Manager tried to get me not to send her a doctor's note - going so far as acting emotional, trying to guilt trip me by saying I must not trust her because I wanted to send her a doctor's note - generally acting very unprofessionally when I had to take four days off in order to recover from my bronchitis treatment. The next hardest part was just working with that General Manager. She was supposed to work from a long distance away while keeping up a communication. She spent more time stalking her subordinates and hoping they would mess up than she probably should have, and created an atmosphere of mistrust and unnecessarily high stress on top of the necessity to meet our sales quota. It was the best paying job I ever had at nine dollars an hour for a forty hour week, and the first full time job I ever had, but the stress is not something I would wish for ever again as it took a huge toll on my health and I wasn't the only one: One of my direct managers came down with a stomach ulcer, being the most severe case. Toward the end of my employment with the company, the General Manager was looking for excuses to fire me and made up several nonsense reasons to write me up. This came after I blew the whistle on her for calling me on my days off threatening me if I didn't perform essential job functions off the clock on my days off. Her behavior came after she was reprimanded by her own manager. The breaking point came two weeks before I gave my two week notice when she wanted to write me up for my involvement in a karaoke event while I was on break near my work station for the day, saying it was incredibly unprofessional. My coworkers pleas that I was on break and my behavior wasn't negative so it shouldn't have negatively impacted our work didn't matter to the General Manager. During that conversation, I gave my two weeks notice because I couldn't stand the harassment anymore and I was intending to move away soon anyway. I don't know how I did it, but I held that job for roughly six months. The most enjoyable thing about this job was the excuse to see so many parts and people of the bay area and of California in general. I had to learn how various highways intersected with each other between Concord, San Jose, and Sunnyvale, through Hayward. The travel and exposure to sunlight on mild days and people from different cultures and faiths was a pleasant and refreshing experience as well as personally educational. I also got to be privy to many large scale cultural festivals throughout the bay area, which was exciting. I was privileged to take glimpses into how the corporate world works behind the scenes. Although the job was unduly difficult, I learned much about the California work laws-specifically how many laws this company or perhaps just the General Manager broke on a day to day basis, and insisted her subordinates must break as well, which made me feel profoundly uncomfortable. I learned how to become more professional and how to treat people professionally, including the necessity behind the sending of doctor's notes when taking time off for your health which was not something I'd needed to do in the past for other jobs. I learned that Sales jobs and Customer Service positions are not the same, that I am an excellent Customer Service person, but that I am an awful Sales person and I would rather never again take up a sales job in the future if it were possible to avoid it. My coworkers were grade A, some of the best I've ever seen and I was proud to work beside these deeply talented individuals, but I'll admit we faced hell shoulder to shoulder. I wish nothing but the best for those talented people I was fortunate to work beside, as I respected each and every one of them. We were just blind-sided by the unexpected pit falls, including the first three weeks being expected to front the gas to attend each random work location because it took them that long to process your employment, as opposed to your standard first two weeks without pay. The additional stress of not having a regular work place or guarantee you were allowed to conduct business at the location the General Manager specified was unnecessary and made fronting the cost of gas even worse, especially as having a personal vehicle was a requirement because they didn't have storage sites from which you received your product each day-you were expected to store it personally in your car or in your home. Honestly, it was an insane experience and while highly educational and character building, I would not recommend this position to anyone. The pain was not worth that admittedly excellent pay, unless you are a silver-tongued devil and can make the commission to make that stress bearable. But when even the top sales people were jumping ship, I think that should say enough about this position. It may have just been my personal experience due to my general manager as well as my own failings as a sales person, but I know my coworkers were unduly stressed going through a lot of the same things I was, since we all had to deal with the rapid weather changes, exposure to the elements, dealing with the General Manager, and not knowing until the last hour before we were due to arrive where our location of the day would be, even though it was supposed to be scheduled a week ahead of time. This is unfair: I feel like I only have terrible things to say about this company, but it really may have just been due to that General Manager. – less