Tie-died shirtsJoe Cornojob interviews, employment opportunities, human resources, recruiters We used to take a shirt, tie it up with rubber bands, and die it in various colors to create a rainbow-colored shirt. Even though it was a new age, it was not the best attire for a professional business. What type of shirts do you have hanging on every one at the office? I just recently went into an office to interview and "wow" them, as their vice president put it. It was Friday, and every one, including the men, were wearing a flip-flop type of footwear, jeans and tee-shirts. They excused themselves for their apparel, after they had me wait for an hour past the scheduled appointment. Hey; no sweat. I took a power nap and swallowed a bottle of their imported tap water. The vice president started in on some explanation that they take a California approach to business. I am from California and they do not dress inappropriately when they have scheduled appointments. The sickening experience continued as the VP boasted on their potential success, and in essence; dictated to me how the relationship was going to be established. I explained that I was not interested in a sales position, which was being hyped to me, and that I was there to interview for the operations and systems concerns that they had. I was told that it was the sales and marketing job and that they had operations handled. It was the VP who was explaining that it was the 11th hour, that he had filled six of six positions, and I needed to bowl him over to fill the unneeded seventh spot that he would open up for me. I had hopes on finding sanity in speaking with their president, but to no avail. When I was expressing that their staff contacted me on operations and systems three days ago, and told me to come unprepared and open-minded, flashbacks of the tie-died shirts came rushing to my mind as the open-toed president expressed that he has a 50 percent attrition rate and they cycle hiring is every 90 days. I was ready to exit the office suite. The VP and the president had conflicting numbers. The VP said that their top marketers earn $500,000, while the president claimed the pay was in the $125,000-$200,000 range. The base contract of $45,000-$50,000 was being offered at $30,000 and it was determined that I may not be the right fit for them. Wait a minute, where are some rubber bands? When I had concluded meeting with the president, he went to fetch the VP back to conclude our meeting. However; the president returned and explained that the VP had decided not to take action, (which was not being offered up yet), and was not returning to bid me farewell. As I drove away, I thanked my creator for blessing me with discerning attributes. The president requested that I follow up and "wow" the VP. When I reached home base, I e-mailed the VP and expressed that 50 percent attrition is non-acceptable with my concepts, and asked if I just experienced a poor hiring campaign or were the characters for real? I "wowed" him with references and accomplishments and expressed that I would need to interview two top producers to evaluate the real numbers. I requested documentation of the production and have yet to receive a response. What various dirty laundries do you see in this recent experience? Is it sales and marketing concerns, or operations issues? I would state the latter, supporting my statement with less-than-casual Fridays, allowance to stretch figures, coercing people in on one expectation and switching to a different one at the interview, keeping a potential employee waiting an hour past the scheduled time, surely is operational and not marketing. The company was not a finance company as advertised, but a call center business. They take names off the Dunn and Bradstreet list, cold call a gazillion of them, to snatch the 40 basis points on the few actual contracts. The "you can get rich if you play the volume game" was barely alive and not doing well. There were two other people that came in while I was awake and waiting. They were told that it would be five minutes (like I was told), and they waited close to the same hour for their meetings. If this is sales and marketing, let's throw the rubber-banded shirts into the Easter egg dyes! If any portion of this: "How Not to Operate a Business" example touches any live nerve, shake off one bad habit and one unethical business practice and call me in the morning. You need treatments and you need them now. I cannot train anyone that is not teachable. If 50 percent attrition is acceptable to your company, do not contact me. As I attempted to breach the volume marketing barrier, bringing forth service as a viable concept, I was told that a major marketer can make fantastic bucks if they worked 12 hour days, made 100 calls, and paid no attention to the missing service manager behind the curtain, metaphorically speaking, of course. I must agree that someone committing to 12 hour days, making 100 cold calls per day, can make some bucks. So, forget the suits, ties and socks on casual Fridays. Put your nose to the grind stone and contribute to an oversaturated call center operation. California is not the national market, nor is dressing inappropriately ever been a great operational policy. Lying, making people wait, baiting and switching & does not sound like a strong company vision statement to me. Yet, of what I witnessed coming into that office suite, knew the companys operational and strategic plans within minutes. If you e-mail me at [email protected], I will send you "Power Tools," a $995 value offered absolutely free! Not really & it is offered free all the time and I never have charged for ityet! Oh, do you see the wicked bad practices of my recent experience sneaking into my business practices? However; others have charged thousands of dollars for similar products. I apologize for the previous paragraph of satire, but the electronic pages are available to you if you e-mail me. In an attempt to diminish the wicked things recently experienced, I am sending out great Karma to anyone who requests it. Be ready to have an attachment of 100-plus pages of great stuff. And by the way: Peace my brothers and sisters! Joe Corno is president of Utah-based We Be Consulting and Seminars. He may be reached at (801) 836-2077 or e-mail [email protected].