My Horrific Job Interview Experience With Atlantic Events

As many people know, I've been on the job search for quite awhile now. Being involuntarily separated from the Navy wasn't something that I planned for and it's been a hard road since getting out in July of last year. As of tomorrow, I am back to being a college student, but I have a lot of life changes coming. In order to get back on my feet, I need a full or part time job so that I can move on from where I am.

I've been on the job hunt for almost a year now, and still have yet to find a job. I have applied for such a crazy array of jobs, and still nothing. More often than not, I'm usually discouraged, but I keep applying to different things in hopes that I get a call back.

I got a call back last week to the most horrific job interview that I have experienced thus far. The company is called Atlantic Events and they promote themselves as a marketing/PR firm. Here is the description from the Atlantic Events Facebook Page:

"We are a local Marketing Company specializing in product promotion, using pr and market saturation techniques tailored to each client"

The description of what they do is completely different from what I experienced during my first, second and third round "interviews" with them.

I went in last Tuesday and was forced to wait 45 minutes past the time that I was told my interview was. Finally, the gentleman came to get me and after barely five minutes, he told me that I made it to the second round. He told me that I'd be with one of their employees the next day for "a few hours" and to wear business casual clothes.

I got up the next day, and since I don't currently own dressy flats, I opted for a pair of black boots with heels. I arrived at Atlantic Events at the allotted time, and was told that I was going "out in the field" with one of their employees, Carrie.

Carrie walked with me to my car and then told me to follow her to wherever we were going. I figured we were going out to visit a client of some sort. We drove over to the area where St. Augustine Road crosses University Blvd, and pulled into a parking lot of an office building. Again, I thought that the client must be in the office building. I was wrong.

Carrie, and her partner for the day, took me with them as they proceeded to solicit business-to-business. The order of the day was windshields. In the State of Florida, if there's enough damage to a windshield, it can be replaced free of charge to the consumer. So we were walking into each business asking if people's windshields were okay. Carrie would ask which car belonged to the employee, so she could do a "safety inspection" on her way out. If she found something, she'd go back in to try and talk the employee into proceeding with getting a new windshield.

We ended up at a part where there were a bunch of Mom & Pop shops. When I pointed out a "No Soliciting" sign, Carrie said the following: "It's not soliciting if it's free". Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses go door-to-door and they don't sell anything. It's STILL soliciting. I felt like an absolute jerk walking into some of these businesses where you could tell that you weren't wanted there.

I was beyond pissed. The "a few hours" had turned into five and I was wearing heels. Not to mention, realizing exactly what these people really did. I was not happy. Not once the day before was I told that there would be "excessive walking" or even to wear comfortable shoes. That small tidbit would have went a long way, but then again, they have to keep up their farce to reel you in.

I will say that Carrie was very nice. She bought a Gatorade for me, as well as my lunch. She and the others are just so very gullible. Carrie told me that she is a Navy wife and that her husband had recently approached her about working at Atlantic Events. He told her that he felt it was a scam and that she wouldn't go anywhere with the company. I wish she would follow his advice.

Carrie felt that I was "good enough" to move onto the third round. I went back to their office and asked if they had any positions that didn't involve excessive walking. Of course, they said no and I walked out. My morals mean more to me than any job.

There was no real mention of salary, except that "entry level started at $35,000 a year". I'm very sure that these people are paid on commission. I know I'm not the only person to have a similar experience with a company. My mom called me today and I was talking to her and my Aunt about this, and they each said they've experienced something similar.

I won't let this set me back, but I'm still rather annoyed about it all. I wouldn't have wasted my time had I known.


Corridors and Quarries said...

Would you believe I once also got suckered into something very similar probably about 15 years or so back!

Went to a job interview for a PR/Marketing job and the interview was all about how you would promote something, what ideas you had - second stage was going out with one of their operatives which turned out to be five or six hours walking around and walking in various offices, shops, anywhere really, trying to sell whatever clearance items they had in their warehouse that week from a holdall (that week it was knives)!

Crazy thing was I was young and went along with it only saying I wasn't interested at the end - the folly of youth!

Christina said...

I had the same thing happen to me when I was 20. I was wearing not only heels but also a skirt because I was never told I'd be walking all day. Even worse was I had to get up ridiculously early to drive the 45 minutes there only to be driving to a town about 15 minutes from my house so I could do that crap. (Had I had my own car with me I would have just left.)

Sorry you are having such a rough time on the job hunt. Have you tried for any federal positions on usajobs? It took me about a year of trying before I got an interview, but hang in there.

Anonymous said...

I have worked with this company, and if I did not have to move, I would have stayed. Not only was the management professional and relaxed, but my co-workers were some of the most positive people I have ever met. I never made less then 500/week.

I'm sorry your experience was not what you had hoped. I do understand where you are coming from, this kind of entry level work is not for everyone. I wish you the best of luck on your job seach if you haven't already found something. =)

Anonymous said...

I am so glad I read your blog! I am looking for a job and received an email from Atlantic Events to set up an interview. Thank you for saving me from going through the same hassle. Good luck to you in your search also.