Operation Employment

I got an interview for a position as an “entry level promotions coordinator.” I was a little suspicious but accepted the Zoom invite. The HR person I spoke to on the phone told me to dress to impress, so I put makeup on and a nice shirt and blazer. Right before my interview I looked up the company on Glassdoor and discovered that the company was almost certainly a pyramid scheme.

I logged onto the call and a guy with an unbuttoned red polo shirt asked me what my purpose was. I was a bit flummoxed but told him I was there to interview for the entry level promotions coordinator position. 

“Ah,” Red Polo Shirt said, and then he told me that this wasn’t an interview, but an informational meeting. He said I would be put in a call with other applicants and then all the sudden I was sharing a screen with two others. We awkwardly stared at each other as other applicants gradually joined the call for a period of fifteen minutes. Everyone was dressed really nicely. There were three guys with suits and ties on. The girls wore makeup. I felt devastated for everyone including myself because we had all been duped, and the “interview” hadn’t even started yet. There was a grandparent-aged man on, and I felt especially bad for him. Every once in a while his wife and dog would wander onto the screen, and he had a wall of stuffed animals behind him. I am certain he is among the millions who have lost their jobs due to the corona virus. 

My rbf (resting bitch face) grew more and more pronounced the longer we waited. There were some stilted introductions, but mostly an awkward silence. Red Polo Shirt still hadn’t joined the call—he must have been saying hi to other applicants and telling them that this was an informational meeting, not an interview. I knew he was preying on us desperate college graduates but decided to stay on the call to see what was going to happen. I put myself on mute.

There are now 8 of us total staring at the screen in silence, I texted my parents.

This is the most awkward thing

The person who is doing the session hasn’t joined yet

I’m going to stay but I’m really annoyed

Now someone is making conversation bc they decided it was too awkward to stare at each other

Another guy just joined in a suit and tie

The convo fizzled

The grandparent-aged man left the call. It had been fifteen minutes and Red Polo Shirt still wasn’t there. “Do you think this is a multi-tiered marketing scheme?” I asked everyone, and they all nodded. 

“I guess it’s practice?” someone said, and everyone chuckled.

Red Polo Shirt finally joined the call. He launched straight into a schpeel, and the entire time I texted my parents updates. 

He’s talking about his background in pest control 

It’s totally a pyramid scheme

Now he’s talking about traditional marketing schemes and how this is different than that

Oh shit a dude just asked if it’s a pyramid scheme and the guy dodged the question

Now he’s saying that it’s a sales position that’s by commissions and it’s up to the trainer for how much you get paid 

Red Polo Shirt ended his sales pitch by asking if we had any questions. We all stared at him stone faced. Then he told us that the HR team would be in touch if they decided to go on to the next stage of the hiring practice. I took that to mean we would all get a call. “Keep your phones on if you want to get a second interview,” Red Polo Shirt said.

“I put makeup on!” I raged to my parents. “I put makeup on and a nice shirt and everything, and he was wearing an unbuttoned shirtsleeve polo shirt and I could see his chest hair!”

1 comment / Add your comment below

  1. Hi Claire, that totally sucks. Kudos to you for sticking it out through the call, and for being clear-eyed about what was going on. Yes, it’s a total bummer that you put on makeup. But it would have been grounds for legal action if you had put on pantyhose or heels.

    The right thing will come! In the meantime, know that we’re cheering for you.

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