Receptionist for VEctor (cutco)

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Tonya86 in Richmond Hill, Ontario

18 months ago

I formerly worked for Vector as a receptionist and I can testify that we are given a script when calling applicants. This script is strategically vague and we are given strategically evasive scripted responses to common questions e.g. about the travelling and the pay: "That's a great question! You should definitely jot that down and ask the manager when you come in. Something I do know is that s/he spends about 45min going through the job position in detail with the applicants.". The script specifically says that it is a "'base' pay of______" (the pay varies by location), rather than an "hourly" pay- this way they avoid litigation. Receptionists at Vector were also constantly pressured to schedule same-day interviews (same day as calling the applicant). While the manager never explicitly said the reason, it was obvious that the more time there was between now and the interview, the greater the chance of the applicant doing research about the company, and thus becoming dissuaded from coming in. We would employ various lines to create that sense of urgency, e.g. "Oh, the manager happens to be in the office this afternoon! Can you make that work?" or "I realize this is last minute but s/he is looking to fill the positions quickly." We would also routinely call applicants and leave messages, up to about 7 times. I often wondered about the applicant's impression of us after seeing how many times we tried to contact them. How desperate do we look and certainly, I don't think we endeared ourselves to them by harassing them repeatedly. One of the most desperate practices is calling the interview and training no-shows. I mean, if they didn't show up, how clearer can they be?! Vector cannot take the hint. I left the job because I felt really uncomfortable about not being upfront with these poor souls who are desperate for work. While we may not have been outright lying, we were deliberately and strategically omitting crucial information from them.

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Tonya86 in Richmond Hill, Ontario

18 months ago

(Part 2) The only reason I stayed a few weeks was because I too was desperate for work and I reassured myself that there are a few people who do love the sales rep job and I had helped that small minority. I was also uncomfortable with how the manager often discusses the reps' paychecks. This is really unprofessional. It becomes more of a joke when you consider that at one meeting our manager analogized us to Microsoft: "Would you not show up to an interview with Microsoft?!" It took everything to not burst out laughing or to retort. I doubt Microsoft employees talk about each others' paychecks, repeatedly call those who don't show up to interviews and work out of an "office" in a very suspect part of town. The area certainly doesn't give one confidence, that this is a place of "champions" / "winners" (as my manager liked to say).

I also do not agree that those who struggle with the sales rep job are "lazy"- yet this was a statement that was constantly reinforced during meetings. Its as if they were trying to drill it into our heads to shame those can't do well at this. Yes, there may be a few lazy eggs in the bunch but most of the people we call are urgently looking for work, if not desperate, and thus, willing to put in the effort. The manager even acknowledged this at one point, that this job is stratified by class, e.g. if they have a car and/or live with parents who own a home and/or have lived in the country for over a decade- these are indicators that they're likely to do well at this job. There is even a "star" system, e.g. 3 stars = above average (lots of contacts and a car), 1 star = below average (not been in the country for long, no car).

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Tonya86 in Richmond Hill, Ontario

18 months ago

(Part 3) Conversely the claim that those who don't succeed at this are lazy, implies that those who do make some money are really hard working. In one of my meetings, I met a middle to upper class private school boy who managed to sell a homemaker set. We did some roleplaying of the script and guess what, he has really poor communication and reading skills. He couldn't have been more monotone reading from the manual, but he has family members who have a lot of disposable income, e.g. cottages. Eventually I noticed that all these claims about how so-and-so made $15,000 in one week were all anecdotal evidence. So yes, it is possible to succeed at Vector but its misleading in how it gives the impression that everyone can sell this merchandise. What information isn't provided is the retention rate, i.e. how many people stick with Vector beyond the initial few weeks and how many found continued success, beyond the first few weeks? At the training our manager claimed that it was 80/20, as in 80% loved this job and stick with it. Its more like the reverse, it is likely closer to 8% stay for the long term/92% leave. Vector has such a high turnover rate, that's why they have to constantly recruit. Moreover, the if you do not succeed in your "fast start," the manager will not pick up the phone to help you. As a sales rep, we were told that we have to converse with the manager every morning and that this is meant to help us with our demos and skills. I had no-sales and even though I called every morning, the manager would never pick up. Yet as a receptionist, I saw that he'd always pick up the phone for those who were selling. I'm not saying it's impossible for someone without a lot of money to succeed, however it is far less likely. I'm simply pointing out the manager's contradictions because they love to tout that the meetings and daily phone calls are meant for them to help us. They do not provide help to everyone equally even when we seek it

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