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Examine the expectations and inferences underlying selected job positions. Consider timely topics in career preparation and the struggle for fulfilling employment. Analyze what could be improved in either situation. If this blog reminds you too much of work, then peruse my namesake blog for lighter fare.

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Saturday, February 11, 2012

Fly-By-Night Sales Outfit Sells Something or Another and Pays You Pre-Commission Which Must Be Repaid

"Job Title: New Career (Madison)

Date: 2012-02-08, 10:48AM CST
Local branch for worldwide company is looking to expand it operations in the Madison market. We are seeking neat and friendly individuals to fill newly opened customer service, marketing, and sales positions - $600 weekly
For interview send your resume
First 30 will be considered"


"Job Title: Starting 2/13/12 (Madison)

Date: 2012-02-09, 7:57AM CST
Full time customer service positions available.
Please email resume and cover letter for consideration.
Compensation: $600 weekly"


"Job Title: New Openings (Madison)

Date: 2012-02-08, 7:44AM CST
Our company has recently expanded into the Madison area. We are looking for professional individuals to fill our customers service (sic) department. Our Company offers paid vacations, $1000 sign-on bonus, and a competative (sic) profit sharing program. Typical work week is around 32 hours full time, 16 hours part time. For consideration please email your resume.
Location: Madison
Compensation: $600/week"

Despite the first vacancy description containing very little content to edit, the poster didn’t bother to punctuate the final two sentences! It sounds like the person posting vacancies for the anonymous “world-wide company” should get a new career; even the company he/she is soliciting for is too embarrassed to publicly name itself in affiliation with this poorly written job vacancy!

The second vacancy offers compensation identical to the first but uses a specific deadline to create a false sense of urgency rather than list an arbitrary cap on number of applicants. (Legitimate employers do not do this because they know it will be difficult to find qualified applicants without artificially limiting the applicant pool.)

The third vacancy offers the same compensation for a customer service position, but unlike the prior two vacancies, it lists the availability as part-time or full-time with a “$1,000 sign-on bonus” and “competitive profit-sharing program.” Beware sign-on bonuses because most of these are actually “salary advances” which need to be repaid via commission before you are paid any farther. Spend as little of that $1,000 as possible so that you can repay it if you don’t earn enough sales! The profit-sharing program is not stock options but rather the commission on the sales you produce as “customer service rep” (which actually is a sales representative, much like how telecommunications companies try to sell you a package upgrade when you call for technical support or billing questions).

More vacancies for the same job will undoubtedly appear on Craigslist with just enough difference in the wording (and enough brevity to minimize careless typographical errors) to seem at first glance as if they could be from different employers. However, the vagueness as to what you will sell or which firm you would be accountable to leaves these positions to be identified by their commonalities. It’s probably not Vector Marketing (a peer-to-peer direct sales company owned by Cutco and structured like Amway but limited to a dizzying array of knives) because VM at least puts a contact phone number in its vacancies.

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