So a year has passed since I wasted a month that seemed like half a year on working for these scum back in January, 2011. Now that I hold a normal job that I can never take for granted after my experience with Red F, I am gladly writing this report in hopes of further exposing this white-collar cult of brainwashed schemers, who have changed addresses at least 3 times since I voluntarily quit. They ended up ripping me off by withholding a hefty chunk of my honest earnings. I left shortly after they handed me a check for literally $32, the last in a series of meager checks that progressively shrunk till they dipped into the double-digits.
How I Started
In search of work on various jobs sites, I ran into a posting by Red F, Inc. that listed a position related to "advertising" and "account-managing" that they intended to fill. It sounded like a creative office-based job, so I eagerly applied for it.
Having begun a yearlong break from school, I was 2-3 weeks into my laborious job search, and I was glad to receive an e-mail response from them within a couple days. It was a brief message that flaunted Red F's dealings with Fortune 500 companies, claiming that the company develops "real-world business solutions." In the same paragraph, the e-mail stated that Red F is involved with "client retention," which is their euphemism for "lying to people about being former Verizon customers so that they sign up for the new FiOS service" and "customer acquisition," a euphemism for the same thing, but without regards to whether the homeowners have ever signed up with Verizon.
The e-mail listed a bunch of inflated, vague phrases as duties that the job supposedly entailed: phrases like "campaign management," "appointment-setting," "managing territory budget and growth projections," and "consumer presentations." Basically, this was all scum-slang for "going door-to-door to force people to buy Verizon Internet and TV bundles that didn't reflect the 'brief discounts' you shove in their faces on a price sheet that Red F printed for you to back your lies up with."
Great. So, desperate for work, I rang them up and scheduled an interview. I went in on the day of the appointment in a suit and talked to the manager, Deric Boyer, a then-23-year-old Kentuckian who dresses in rental tuxedos in his Facebook and Twitter account pictures. At the end of the exchange, he buttered me up with the following script: "You're confident but modest; you seem like you could do a good job. I normally don't do this but, I'm gonna hire you right here on the spot." Like other people have reported, this is the (((REDACTED FOUL LANGUAGE))) that he's ready to whip out of his holster of deceit.
He then sent me on a "field day" with a recently-promoted and absolutely brainwashed, horse-faced dullard of a trainer to show me what the job really was all about: to see if I was made for it. So, I drove around in various neighborhoods with her and watched her knock on doors and eventually sell a bundle to some well-to-do family man who had just lost his job. Knowing what Deric and she wanted from me, I asked questions, involved myself in the interactions on people's doorsteps, and feigned enthusiasm. Upon our return, my trainer spoke to Deric behind a closed door and let me in.
"She tells me you did a good job," said Deric. Then they sat me down and had me fill out a brief question sheet that asked me about what I had learned. I regurgitated the necessary info.
"If you don't give Deric 100%, he won't give you 100%!" my trainer told me. OK, so you're telling me he can extract however much money he wants from my paychecks, regardless of whether I actually earned it? That sounds...illegal. From what I understand, it's either 100% or 0%. You either get the job done, or you don't. There's no in-between. Scumbags.
11821 Parklawn Dr.
Rockville, MD 20852
Red F's base of operations was the size of a dingy one-bedroom apartment. First you enter the living room, go down the hall to access a coat closet to the left and a bureau (Deric's throne) to the right, and then straight down to the end to enter the bedroom: their so-called "boardroom," where a mix of desperate recruits still trying to catch onto the scheme and equally desperate trainers who will never earn more money than they already made stood around with clipboards in hand and chiseled away at their home-intrusive "customer presentations" and icebreakers. This went on for an hour during the morning and then, when it was time, Deric or some other higher-up would walk in and yell, "Hey, everyone!" and clap a couple times. The person would gather everyone into a big circle and do a series of announcements: who did the best scheming that week, what shitty entertainment venue the cult planned to go to next, etc. A syrupy motivational speech would follow, along with a 2nd grade-style game involving tossing two balls to a random person in the room to see if that person would catch them. Yep.
A bunch of strange ceremonies sure took place in that one room. Once everyone returned at night after a long day of (((REDACTED FOUL LANGUAGE))), we had to, once again, gather in an awkward circle as one of the higher-ups read from a sheet that listed that day's top earners. Each person named had to pace around the room, high-five everyone, and then strike a cymbal placed in the middle of the room. Yeah.
A Day Out... At Work
We had to be at the office by 10:30 AM. The announcements commenced at 11 AM and ran until 1 PM, which is when we all embarked on our journey to coerce unsuspecting home-dwellers into signing Verizon applications until it was time to return at 8 PM, so basically you have little to no time to spend by yourself or with your family. You need to commit all your mental and physical energy for the day into this shallow work. And guess what? You work Saturdays as well, but hey, as soon as you just get one application, you're free to go for the day: no need to wait till 9:30 PM to roll home!
We took off in our cars (well, since I still to this day don't drive, I had to ride with the trainers) and headed for the neighborhoods that contained the lists of addresses we had in hand. Each address indicated what service the resident used. We had to carry around a notepad so we can write down what the people we visited paid for their current services and do the math for them so that we can tell them an appealing lie.
At one point, I had to trudge around in 22-degree weather till nighttime, stranded in some strange neighborhood without a car, waiting for one of my co-workers (one of the trainers) to come scoop my a*s up after I finally "got on bell," which is scum-slang for "successfully pressing someone to sign an application in one day." Perhaps just under two-thirds of the people I encountered did not hesitate to express disinterest, some angrily, some casually. A quarter seemed to express interest for a few minutes of talking, but at the end decided they ought to sign up another time (never). The rest weren't in the position to make a decision; in other words, they weren't the "decision-makers" (DMs) of the households.
Overall, during my stay at Red F, I got 5 applications signed, which totaled roughly $600. Shortly before I quit, I got "bottom-lined," meaning that I had one more shot to get an application signed or else I would get fired. I did manage to get that last application signed after a painstaking six hours of wandering back and forth within a small enclave filled with repeating townhouses. My work, clearly, had gone overlooked.
How much did I get paid at the end? $330 or so, after getting paid a check for $90 and another check for $32. So I compiled a list of all applications I completed. I had it handy when I called up Deric and read them aloud. Guess what? He said he only had two on record. You (((REDACTED FOUL LANGUAGE))) kidding me, Deric? So I urged him to correct that; he said, "Oh, well one of your apps got cancelled, but I'll count it for good tidings." Thanks. You still underpaid my a*s.
A few days after I quit, I received a strange call from a company calling itself "1919 Inc." Just like Red F, Inc., the lady on the phone said that the company sought "account-managers." She gave me its address... and guess what? It was the very same address that Red F had just relocated to from the previous one above. Wow. So, I said, "Oh yeah? That's funny because that's where I just used to work. I should be able to find it real easily." She nervously laughed and said, "Oh... OK, great." And I hung up. Nice try.