Friday, May 06, 2005

A Week With the Bond Marketing Group: Day 2

I show up at 11, as agreed, and get to stare at the wall and occasionally talk to the sort-of-cute receptionist (we'll call her Sorry, as when she wasn't juggling phone calls she was apologizing for juggling phone calls) for the next half hour; during this period, two more guys show up for their own days of observation, both of whom I avoid talking to thanks to the masterpiece of social insulation known as the iPod. Eventually Buzz comes out and says "Hi, Scott, how's it going? Good to see you!"

"It's Matt," I remind him, but he's already back in the office.

For some reason, I'm 'Scott' to him for the rest of the week. I give up correcting him after the second or third time. This is kind of weird, as my older brother's name is Scott and my dad occasionally makes the same mistake.

He comes out moments later with a middle aged brown guy in tow. "Hi Scott, this is Allen. He'll be taking you out into the field today." We shake, exchange pleasantries, and I trail along behind him towards the parking lot.

Allen is a middle-aged Trinidadian Mormon of East Indian extraction (I swear to God I'm not making that up) and he, almost alone amongst the money-goblins at the BMG, turns out to be actually a pretty decent guy. He'd been a Master's student in kinesiology or something at U of T before starting his career in door to door sales, and had designed his own line of basketball sportswear which, apparently, is still available on the website. On the drive out to the field (which turns out to be Burlington) he breaks down how the business works for me, and I do my best to ask questions and appear somewhat interested in their management opportunities. During the ride I manage to turn the conversation around to his own background, and we discuss the perils of academia, the sciences, and such other actuall engaging topics. Allen turns out to Know His Shit, so in addition to being a nice guy I have to give him props for being one smart fortune cookie.

There are three others in the car, all white kids about my age. The driver is a hulking, stoop-shouldered college student I'll just call Asshole. The second, Cryptopsy Choirboy, is a long-haired pretty-boy with supernaturally good bone structure, full of charm that's not yet completely artificial; he comes by his name by virtue of his second life, moonlighting as the lead singer of a local death metal band that shall remain anonymous. The third was so completely anonymous that I'm not even going to bother giving him a name; he's a scruffy looking high school student who, up until two days before, had worn his hair down past his shoulders (and, yes, he'd shaved it for the job, in a futile attempt to look presentable. Dumbass.)

By the time we're in Burlington I'm starting to really want a smoke, but so far as I know no one around me smokes and I don't want to look bad so I just ignore the cravings. We drop off Cryptopsy Choirboy and Dumbass at their territory (or 'T' as the BMG tribe refers to it) and then drive to our own. Asshole is still new at the job (it's his second day, and he'll only come back for one more) so Allen gets to drag both of us around until lunch.

So begins the arudous work of trudging from house to house, ringing doorbells and talking to suburbanite pricks in an attempt to sell them coupons.

Yes, coupons. That's why this counts as 'marketing', not 'sales'. In case the BMG or one of its many sibling companies has never darkened your doorway, here's how it works: they go to a local business and talk them into taking their advertising budget and spending the money on 'free' stuff for the customers. Then the Bondies take around these coupon sheets, and sell them at prices in the $30 range. The distributor (ie door to door salesman) gets 40% of that, the remainder being divvied up between the boss at the office and his boss at the parent company down in Salt Lake City or something.

We do this for two and a half hours, and I watch as Allen (Asshole is hopeless) manages to talk two or three reluctant homeowners into buying coupons for 'free' golf ('free' because it's actually buy-one-get-one, so you only recoup your investment if you spend more money at the golf course.) Then we break for lunch, heading back to Asshole's beat-up SUV, picking up Cryptopsy Choirboy and Dumbass, and going to a strip mall to eat at the first random sub shop we find. I'm broke, though, so I packed my own lunch; while they're ordering, I sit down, take out my sandwich and start to eat; the manager, an immigrant who obviously does not understand the cardinal rule of North American capitalism (that Thou Shalt Not Piss Off Your Customers) shouts at me, and while I'm prepared to just sit on the sidewalk my erstwhile colleagues are all "Fuck you, buddy!" and we end up going to Subway instead. When we get there Allen buys me a drink (see what I said about him being a decent guy?)

Over lunch, I take a cursory look at an info-sheet on the BMG's Ponzi scheme management training program, pretend to be interested and, as soon as I'm done wolfing down my sandwich and granola bars, run outside for a desperately needed infusion of nicotine. Dumbass comes out shortly after, closely followed by Cryptopsy Choirboy (who, I am somewhat horrified to see, is smoking a menthol bitch-stick. I see several others at the end of the day smoking the same cigarettes, and for a couple of days am half-convinced that this is yet another aspect of Bondie weirdness. Turns out CC just ran out of smokes on his way out the door, and had to grab some from his girlfriend.)

After lunch, it's back out to our 'T's. This time Asshole goes out on his own, and proves, in true asshole fashion, unable to follow the simple directions on a map, which results in Allen getting told off by a few homeowners who have already been bothered and, regardless of how polite they were the first time around, are in no mood for continued harassment. I trudge along after Allen, moving from door to door, smiling and saying hi to people when they answer the door, and watching Allen deliver his pitch, which is of course basically invariant from person to person. Every once in a while someone will try to throw him with a "What are you selling?" but, like a pro, he dodges that bullet and plows right on (somewhat pointlessly, as the odds of anyone who says that actually buying what you're selling are basically nil.)

We have fifteen minutes to go before the end of our time in the field, and Allen's still sitting on only three or four pieces (which comes out to like $50, which is pretty shit for a 12 hour work day.) I'm ready to just go home, but he pushes on and manages to sell four more pieces in the next twenty five minutes to two different people; for ten of those minutes, Asshole is sitting outside in his ugly white SUV, drumming his fingers on the steering wheel and waiting for us to get out so he can go the fuck home. Cryptopsy Choirboy and Dumbass have been kept waiting a full half hour, and are mildly pissed as, had they known, "We could have sold more pieces, man!"

Of course, there's no smoking in the car, and I haven't had one since lunch, so by the time we get back to the office (which is like 9:00) I'm basically chewing off my arm. I smoke a cigarette in about a minute on the walk from the car to the office, go in, and fill out a bullshit questionaire that Allen hands me. I'm supposed to ask questions, so I think for a bit and write down 'foreign management opportunities?' Allen (who's trying to build up his own team so he can climb the BMG's ad hoc corporate ladder) reviews it for me and makes some suggestions, and then takes it in. I wait for about five minutes, and then get called into Buzz's office.

Buzz is bouncing up and down in his chair like a schoolboy with his first erection, and if I didn't know he was a Mormon I'd swear to god he'd just done like six lines of coke. He rehashes the day with me, goes over the questionairre, then asks, "So, you're interested in starting a franchise overseas?" and I can see the glint in his eyes as he imagines a faithful, ambitious young vassal carrying the franchise over to some benighted backwater.

"Uh, yeah. Definately."

"Yeah? So where?" He's entirely too excited about this. Shit. I think for a second, casting about for something to say.

"Chile," I say, which is obviously complete bullshit. Nothing against Chile, I'd love to visit, but live there? Please.

"Chile? That's great! We had a guy go down to Mexico, totally virgin territory, just a few years back. He made a fortune!" Riiight. I have this picture in my head of barefoot teenagers running around in Mexico City's slums, trying to extract devalued peso's from unemployed piece workers so they can get discounts at Pablo's Taco Stand. Mexico. Yup. That's where the money is all right. Must explain why the Mexicans are leaving in droves.

Buzz offers me a job, we shake, and I go back out into the front office. Allen is talking to the only other girl in the office besides Sorry, a 19-year-old blonde I'll call Anoxia; she's cruising on the high of just having rung her first bell (ie, she made $100 in one day) and she's running around giving everyone high fives and going "Yes!!!" at the top of her lungs. I extract myself as soon as is polite, and go home to gorge, get high, and pass out.


Blogger Decadent Leftist said...

Read This as a heads up. (Seriously)

Bond Marketing Group:

AKA Cydcor AKA DSMax.

Here are some pertinant links regarding the parent corps.

Do with this as you will.

5:16 PM  
Blogger Matt said...

If only I'd found that a week ago....

Actually, as of Thursday night, I decided to terminate my relationship with these fuckers. I was with them for a week, and now I'm going to write about what it was like ;)

12:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm glad I found this. Thanks dude! Got a response email saying they're interested and to call them long distance to schedule an interview. NOT!

More BS about this company from others will completely tag this BSD company as a waste of anyones time.

Good job.

8:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ha! I had an interview with these guys next Thursday. I say 'had' because I'm going to cancel it when I wake up tomorrow. Thanks to you and google.

10:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hate to burst everyone’s bubble, but this site is biast and honestly slightly pathetic. I worked with this company for about 3 months and have nothing but good things to say about the company itself as well as the individuals employed there. Not only was I treated extremely well, but the ppl there are more then willing to go out of their way to support/help you no matter what your situation. I made a lot of money during my time there and learned a tonne of skills which I will carry with me for the rest of my life.
I cant believe ppl are stupid enough to actually take advice from this guy. Not only does he come across as a bitter "chip-on-his-shoulder", "the world owes me a big fucking favor" arrogant ass (prime example, and I quote from his own journal entry, referring to ppl as "suburbanite pricks") But he spends half his time talking about nicotine cravings, smoking weed and dropping acid. Great person to be taking career advice from.......
Clearly his experience wasnt that bad. He stayed with them for a week....nobody put a gun to his head and made him, he could have left after his "Day of 'O'" and never looked was his choice to continue his relationship with the company.
The people who work there are awesome and don’t deserve to be publicly insulted in a bullshit website that’s full of nonsense not to mention BLATENT lies.
Make your own decisions and don’t take advice from bitter fucks who wouldn’t know a good thing if it bit them in the ass.

1:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Matt...not only was your "a day in the life" write up very insightful, it was entertaining as well.

Thanks! :)

10:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

my sister just met with the group today and was stoked about getting a job.

I had a similar experience with a group called ADfx.

We spent most of our time covertly selling in malls or college and university campus' but once security found you they would usually kick you out if they catch you again they may charge you with tresspassing and solicitation.

It was possible to make money but it is a hard sell and in my opinion not worth the effort.

Some people (mainly girls) would leave each day with over 100 bones a day

I averaged about 75. I consider myself a very good salesman Mind you this is a 10 hour work day which is comparable to "counter help" wages and during christmas you can make a little more

Our "coupons" were for glamour shots(which i am not sure are still around - lube and oil changes - and - aesthetic treatments

meh the coupons sell and there is competition as a summer job there is money in it but i dunno something about a paycheque keeps me sane

aight peace

3:18 PM  

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