Two and a half years ago I partnered in a small business glass pipe shop drawing from personal savings to help growth lately, business has fallen off and can no longer support two full time employees so with capital drying up and bills piling up I began, in July 2015, the hunt for alternative income. None of this online yard sale stuff though as there is no guarantee of sustaining profits, no, the steady cash flow of a 9 to 5 job that’s the ticket. So online I go searching and applying through July into August finally, one early September morning between the second and third cup of coffee amplified eyes spy an advertisement for Event Specialist. Event Specialist hhhhmmmm the heart pounds with excitement, or maybe from the caffeine, as I read the job description. What is an Event Specialist? Those standing behind carts at the head of an isle in warehouse and grocery stores handing out samples of crackers with cheese, mango salsa, fruit juices, etc are Event Specialists or performers promoting products with an upbeat, friendly, professional attitude. Fun this sounds well, I apply.
“Wow, that was quick,” I respond producing a chuckle from the recruiting agent calling about the online application filled out just one hour prior; he then gives a synopsis of the job closing with a date and time three days henceforth for a job interview via Skype. On the day of the interview with laptop on and camera ready to go, Skype account created and logged into, background bland, I connect with the same recruiting agent who then presents customer service scenarios about introducing products to shoppers and how I would handle each. Ten minutes later the interview concludes, “Very good you have the background we are looking for so let me get your email address,” which I read to him, “…someone will be in touch.”
Emails come in for scheduling a drug test and to complete an I-9 Form which verifies the applicant to be who they say they are; also an I-9 Form list of verification agents in which I am to arrange a face to face meeting so the representative can look it over, make sure all is filled in properly, and take down pertinent information. The form is easy but arranging with a representative proves just a wee bit daunting with only one of the five listed returning my call three days later when we agree to meet at a local coffee shop. With the verification and drug test out of the way all that remains is the final go ahead which took numerous phone calls and emails to the recruiter for updates but they go unanswered until a spokesperson’s response informing the I-9 Form verification is incomplete. Within seconds of hanging up I am on the phone with the authentication agent to straighten out the matter then the “Welcome” confirmation email arrives with links, passwords, and names for online training making for an easy transition.
Before the first event I review training material on the company website acquire event location, distance to the store, hours involved, and serendipitously discover a document, the event manual, vital to the sampling. Between these pages lay the heart of the job I am to perform: the “recipe,” necessary appliances, product for the event, and selling points to recite while handing out the goods. Once the event is over I am allowed 12 hours to fill in an online call report consisting of time working the event, lunch, how much of the product is handed out, and the administrative time to fill out the report, this is my electronic time card. What if I had not located the manual? Embarrassment that’s what however, becalmed as I look over the PDF file filling the computer screen for if anything goes wrong blame poor training what better excuse, eh?
To be continued…