Its been quite a year. This summer I was approached by Combined Insurance. Being naive, I bought their BS and found myself on a plane to Chicago for a two week training program. YIKES!! What an experience... more like a nightmare. Silly me, I thought I would be developing product knowledge and prospecting skills. NO WAY! Instead, we sat in class from 8:00 5:00 cheering, memorizing hoaky scripts that lacked even a thread of dignity, and being encouraged to read self help books. Also if reading aloud word for word from PowerPoint is your idea of an educational experience, well youll love this class. W. Clement Stone, the founder of this loony company, was considered the messiah. H**l, I even saw a guy using a pen with Stones picture on the top of the push part of the pen. Strange the dudes long gone, but you couldnt escape his image. Im surprised it wasnt imbedded on the toilet tissue.
Our mornings started with the company chant, I feel happy! I feel healthy! I feel terrific! Next came, Give me a P, give me an M, give me an A, Give me another A, give me another A (you get the picture). What have you got??? PMAAAAAAAAAA. This mantra could be heard echoing throughout the halls. What, you might ask is PMA? Why its Positive Mental Attitude, Silly! PMA is the acronym used by this ridiculous company. Trust me, youll need all of the PMA you can muster in order to survive this circus! Does the word cult come to mind? I was appalled! This had to be one of the longest two week stretches Ive ever experienced.
Returning home from this indoctrination, I was demoralized, but beggars cant be choosers and I needed to work.
Now the fun part - If you like spending your own money on gas, driving 150 200 miles a day, Youll LOVE this job. - If you like spending hard earned money on highway tolls, youll LOVE this job - If you like people becoming so annoyed with your pedaling and finally kicking you out the door, Youre really going to LOVE this job - If you like receiving texts 20 times a day, reporting every move the Posse (sales force) made, this jobs for you! - When you finally get home around 9:30, after going door to door in poverty stricken areas while sweltering in the 90 heat AND THEN getting on the horn with your DM for the next half hour accounting for every move you made that day, then youll be delighted working for this company. - And I just know that EVERYONE likes to work on Saturdays right??? - One more thing hour long sales meetings that take place on the phone at 7:00 AM twice a week are an absolute joy. - Oh and did I mention, meeting at Paneras each morning at 9:00 doing PMA cheers before starting out on the road??? Well, we did that, too!
Needless to say I didnt last more than two weeks. My DM was a step below Billy Mays (God rest his soul). I likened him to a carnival barker. Having failed carnival barking 101 in college, I knew I could not proceed.
After that experience, I knew I had to develop a game plan. Since I have my teaching background, I would substitute teach while continuing the job search. I would also interview the interviewer who was interviewing me to make sure I wouldn't be facing another Combined Life Insurance debacle. It seems to have worked and I'm looking forward to getting on with my life.