Report: #426124

Complaint Review: Firebird , Scentura Creations

  • Submitted: Thu, February 19, 2009
  • Updated: Mon, April 06, 2009
  • Reported By: Elmhurst Illinois
  • Firebird , Scentura Creations
    Elmhurst, Illinois off Of Route 83
    Elmhurst, Illinois
  • Phone: 630-279-5514
  • Web:
  • Category: Employers

Show customers why they should trust your business over your competitors...

Caution!!!! Just read the tremendous amounts of complaints written by these con-artists and this company!!!! It does not matter where they are located....New Jersey, Illinois, California, Florida, etc. This company obviously operates the same no matter where the location, just with different trainers. DO NOT waste your time going for a job interview.

I (along with all the other unfortunate candidates) were all made fools of. I have read pages and pages from others who had this nightmare experience and we just want to save you from the humiliation !!!! Just because most of us are young, fresh out of college, and are seeking challenging and rewarding careers, does not allow people like this to con you into believing you are training for a management position. You are literally a door to door peddling cheap prefume salesperson, mostly in not the best of neighborhoods!!!!
Take our advise and stay far far away. Good luck to all of you !!!

Taken advantage of
Elmhurst, Illinois
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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 02/19/2009 01:33 PM and is a permanent record located here: The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Once again a Scentura Rebutter spews their talking points without addressing the issues at hand.

AUTHOR: Noah From Chicago - (U.S.A.)

Let's hear a real response and not just regurgitation of Scentura talking points. Here's the deal for every Scentura Person that responds without addressing the issues at hand, I'll post more HONEST information about the company!

Here's some useful information on The Scentura Business Model

Scentura itself does not sell to consumers and makes sure to keep a great legal distance between itself and the local distributors to minimize liability. It would be possible, theoretically, to open up a store in a local mall to sell only Scentura products. While this idea would float like a rock, Scentura would no doubt accept the sales outside of its traditional business model. However, most -- if not all -- of Scentura products are sold through Direct Marketing. Every step in the process and every level in the pyramid are meticulously scripted. Scentura produces reams of handbooks, pamphlets, posters, and other propaganda to "assist" local distributors in training new recruits to peddle their perfume. All this literature is designed to keep would-be defectors in line, keeping their tunnel-vision focused tightly on the huge dollar bills at the end of the long road to success.

In spite of the fact that instructions come from the top of the organization, legally Scentura cannot be held liable for any actions taken by the local companies. Unlike franchises like McDonald's or Wendy's, where the parent corporation is responsible for the actions of the independent owners of their businesses, Scentura remains aloof, far removed from the businesses that actually sell their products. Currently, no state of federal legislation exists to hold Scentura accountable for the actions executed by the local companies, even if the companies are operating on order from Scentura. It should not surprise the reader that this is yet another manipulation of the American justice system.

The overall business model is very simple: recruit people to sell perfume. Those who sell enough will be asked to open their own distribution company, at which point the employee registers their business with the state and leases office space. The more bottles of perfume they push through the pipeline, the higher they rise, from district manager to regional manager and beyond.

The core of the business is in these local distribution companies. Once an employee has risen to the level of owning their own distribution company, this independently owned and operated company will dedicate a certain amount of their budget to advertise job openings in newspapers and other forms of media. The newspaper ads usually reflect a desperate need for managers. They often stress that no training is necessary and that the applicant enjoy a fun, non-serious work environment in order to attract a younger demographic. Phrases like "Sports Minded" and "Music Oriented" are often used, even though the business has nothing to do with music or sports. The following is an ad taken from a Pittsburgh newspaper in the summer of 2002:

Asst. Mgr/Mgr Trainee
Expand. Co. needs staff.
Serious $$$ working w/
non-serious people.
Must like music & fun.
Call Liz: 412-798-3202

This company was later exposed as a Scentura distribution company.
These job postings serve as the only advertisement most of these companies need, and many do not sponsor any other form of ads beyond job postings. These advertisements are essential to keeping a steady flow of new applicants. With an attrition rate of 90% per week (only 10 out of every 100 applicants stay on past one week, according to some former managers), this constant flow is essential to keeping the business running. If a distribution center neglects to run these ads for even a week, the flow of people is cut off and the center's sales are impacted for about 5 weeks due to not having the cash-generating "Friends and Family" sales from trainees (6).

While managers are free to post whatever help-wanted ads they please, they are given a list of tried-and-true ads to run in local newspapers. They are told not only what section to advertise but what days the ads should be run. If the company runs the same ad during all the days of the week, people reading the paper will start to catch on and, more importantly, the newspaper editors will get suspicious. Many newspapers will not run ads from direct-marketing companies in the "General Employment" section. They are relegated to the much less-often perused "Sales" or "Business Opportunity" sections. To avoid this, managers are instructed to tell newspapers to get creative with their business descriptions (something they will have to do time and time again) and say "cosmetic distribution." They are told never to mention the words "sales" or "independent contractors" or "training to run ones own business." The ads include phony names to allow the company to track which ads are generating the highest responses. Likewise, the companies invest in multiple phone lines; not to handle a large volume of calls, but to have the ability to publish many different phone numbers in different ads to avoid suspicion (7).

Everyone who responds to these ads is invited to an "interview." In this interview, a fast-talking company manager will promise anything from management positions in charge of other employees to 401(k) plans to paid vacations; anything to keep the applicant's eyes glossed over so they don't ask what the true nature of the job is. The most common theme in these interviews is "management." Since most people want to be in charge of other people, this stimulates the most positive response from the applicant while keeping questions to a minimum. Occasionally the interviewer will toss out fake programs and acronyms while discussing "benefits" to assess the applicant's knowledge of the business world. The whole purpose is to confuse the applicant into thinking that they have stumbled onto a terrific opportunity, one so great that they have benefits he or she hasn't even heard of before! At the end, the applicant is almost always told they have "made the cut" and are instructed to dress their best to come to the "second interview" in a few days. In the first interview, the applicant (unless they are savvy enough to ask the question themselves) is never told what the job is or what a typical work day will be like.

At the second interview -- in reality it is not an interview at all -- all of the applicants (15 - 20 people, on average) gather together and are finally told a little bit more about what they will actually be doing to make a buck. Somewhere between the promises of free Las Vegas vacations and expensive new cars, it is explained that they will be selling perfume.

Many of these companies claim they are "new to the area" or "opening new branches." This will deter anyone from asking why a business which has been in the area for years would need to hire employees by the score. In reality, this process of indoctrination is the true sales pitch of the company, rather than the selling of perfume bottles. Therefore every aspect of the process must be scripted and rehearsed to ensure that all questions are answered before asked, and those not to be asked remain unsaid.

It is very possible that the next step constitutes the majority of sales generated by the company. There is even an acronym for it in Scentura-speak: FFAR. It stands for "Friends, Family, and Relatives." This is who the employee is supposed to "practice" selling on. This is the cornerstone of the scam perpetrated by many Direct Marketing companies. The newbie salesman must first practice the pitch to their parents and grandparents, and since many of them tend to be teenagers or early 20-year-olds, the relatives usually buy something out of love or pity. What grandparent doesn't want to support their grandchild's ventures? This results in a few quick sales for the company from people who otherwise would have never purchased the product on its merit alone. After these FFAR sales the vast majority of workers realize that this isn't a real job at all, and quit. This resignation does no damage to the company, however. The company has already made a few bucks without any payout, and there's already another sucker just waiting to fill the vacated position.

This initial "warm market" phase of the applicant process is perhaps where most of the earnings of the company take place. Since the business is so decentralized there is no way of looking at the overall flow of capital; any statement made about earnings is only an estimate.

Beyond the activity described here, the company is comprised of warehouses, managers, middlemen, people transporting boxes upon boxes of perfume in the trunks of cars, and other mundane operations. There most likely are no big sales contracts, no mergers or acquisitions, no research and development, no product advertising, none of the honest income generating activities that a normal American business engages in.

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#2 UPDATE Employee

owner Maryland, We the Best

AUTHOR: Mdwethebest - (U.S.A.)

First off, let me introduce myself. My name is Earley Gaynor, I went through training a year and a half ago in middlesex, new jersey. When I first started I answered the ad just like everyone else. But unlike the other people that I started with, I stuck with it and I finished the program. When I started I was in Job Corp, I was broke and I had no plan in life. I went from job to job to job until finally I answered the ad, Donnie did my first interview and he gave me the opportunity of a lifetime. When I started I had to do some sales (just like everyone else) but instead of quitting, I had to work harder. Long story short I finished the program in ten weeks (two weeks shorter than my goal). I now run a location of my own in Lanham, Maryland, which means I am a promotion of Donnie and Holly's. I now do the same job that they do, I signed up to be a manager and that is exactly what I am. I didn't get in this to do sales (which no one does). Donnie told me that I could make 30K my first year in the first interview. But in my business in its first year, I made $82,000. I feel like I scammed Donnie. People who blow out in their first or second week obviously didn't understand the business. They give anyone, no matter what race,color,gender, or age, the same opportunity they gave me. Free merchandise, free training, (the day you have to pay for something should be a red flag for you no matter what business) and they also give you the opportunity to move to any state with a business for free. Like I said I went through training in New Jersey and I got the freedom to move to Maryland. Any person with a brain can look at all these negative letters and see that people run offices all over the country. So ask yourself, how did they get there? They got promoted there obviously. Running your own business isn't going to happen overnight, it takes more time and dedication to be successful in this and in any business. Anyone who says this is a pyramid scam or that you dont get promoted doesn't know what THE
F*** your talking about. Everyone has the exact same equal opportunity. All it takes to complete training is working hard( for yourself), dedication, and a little blind faith, believing that Donnie and Holly will get you open. I am so confident that I am going to leave my phone number (NOT FOR BLOWOUTS) but for people who actually want some advice on how to run a successful business for Scentura. 301 577 6694 Ofiice Number or 240-330-7566. I have alot of respect for Donnie and Holly because if I was in the position, I wouldn't even bother running an office I would retire. They are great people and unbelievable promoting owners. I am 21 years old, I am black and I make decent money. Thanks to Larry Hohn for giving me the opportunity. When an opportunity like this comes your way it isn't about what someone else did or does for you but what you do with the opportunity yourself. See you at the top.
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#3 Consumer Suggestion

Stay Away

AUTHOR: Will - (U.S.A.)

Don't answer these false ads for "Advancement." Get a REAL job instead of advancing with a company that uses you as a SUB CONTRACTOR.
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#4 Consumer Suggestion

Stay Away

AUTHOR: Will - (U.S.A.)

Don't answer these false ads for "Advancement." Get a REAL job instead of advancing with a company that uses you as a SUB CONTRACTOR.
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#5 Consumer Suggestion

Stay Away

AUTHOR: Will - (U.S.A.)

Don't answer these false ads for "Advancement." Get a REAL job instead of advancing with a company that uses you as a SUB CONTRACTOR.
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#6 Consumer Suggestion

Stay Away

AUTHOR: Will - (U.S.A.)

Don't answer these false ads for "Advancement." Get a REAL job instead of advancing with a company that uses you as a SUB CONTRACTOR.
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#7 Consumer Suggestion

Still not Honesty Rob

AUTHOR: Noah From Chicago - (U.S.A.)

It was in 2004 at the Aurora office and yes I did meet you at the Elmhurst office. Looks like you've been with Scentura for too long because Life Insurance and Disability are fairly common benefits these days. Dental coverage is also a standard benefit these days and is very affordable not matter what salary level you're at. I'm talking $8-20 per pay period and usually the company covers 30-60%. It's true that no company pays the entire expense but they do pay a fair share, just because THAT'S WHAT GOOD LEGITIMATE COMPANIES DO!! I'm not knocking sales people in anyway just the pyramid schemes that Scentura and other multi-level marketing companies implement.

I'm a sympathetic man and my experience with Scentura was by far the worst in my career and I'm willing do whatever it takes to stop more people from experiencing the same disappointment your company has brought and continues to bring on so many others.

Since you continue to dance around the issue of false advertising, deception and false promises, you have now clearly demonstrated how little you know about how good legitimate companies work.
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#8 UPDATE Employee

Thank you for clarifying...!

AUTHOR: Rick - (U.S.A.)

Thank you for clarifying that you never contacted my business. Never interviewed at my business. Nor, never worked with me or my wife through our business location. It is a bummer that you didn't have a better experience with the business you interviewed at. Sorry for them, as perhaps you were a good candidate for ownership, but, for whatever reasons, it didn't work out for you.
I am very familiar with the concept of benefits. My wife and myself both gave up those company provided benefits when we left our employment status with our previous employers. What I found was the benefits that come with running your own business are much greater than any employer provided, which, by the way, can be taken away for a variety of reasons that do not necessarily only happen from job loss. As you may or may not know, the tax benefits on your income from running your own business are incredible. It is not typical for the common employed person to be aware of this. You sound like you have located quite the employed status with a very generous employer if you receive the benefits from them that you have mentioned. But, realistically speaking, I know of no employer that offers disability and life insurance. That would be up to the individual to acquire, which, if you own your own business, then you know you are eligible to write the premiums off against your income. My wife being from the dental profession happened to mention it is not the norm. for companies to also pay for dental coverages. Which, by the way: If you think the company you work for offers these benefits to you at their expense, you are mislead by them. The employees of companies pay for these coverages somehow, whether you know it or not. Companies do not pick up the tab just because...! And that is also wonderful for you that your job description doesn't require you to do any sales, but, of course, you know you wouldn't have that job if not for the area of that business that generates the income through the selling of a service or product!
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#9 Consumer Suggestion

I said an honest answer, I'm not an applicant Rob

AUTHOR: Noah From Chicago - (U.S.A.)

YOU have obviously done well at YOUR branch (I'll be fair and forego asking how many people you had to ream in order to get there.) However, there are a number of branches out there that place completely phony ads, give no job description, promise money without delivering and threaten people with termination for asking questions. As large of a company as Scentura is there doesn't appear to be any sort of company oversight as to how owners run their offices. It reminds me of modern Wall Street, regulations were removed and the big wigs ran things however they saw fit.

It may not apply to you or myself but there are people who quit both good paying and dead end jobs with steady pay checks because the idea of a management position is attractive to almost anyone. While this may offer a chance to make better money it isn't guaranteed. Nowhere in my experience did they ever make it clear that your pay is 100% sales based. They didn't even tell me what the job duties would be until I had already got into a car on the way to sell. They promised me a reward of $750 for selling the most, which I did (12 bottles in 1 night) and got nothing, not a f**king penny.

Not sure if you're familiar with the concept of benefits but in the normal working world companies offer a wide array of benefits including health insurance, dental coverage, disability and life insurance so that's what happens if someone gets sick, or in an accident.

I admit this was a few years ago and I'm now in a steady career making good money and I don't have to sell a f**king thing. I'll also admit that I'm not cut out for sales and if they told me it was all sales I wouldn't have bothered.
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#10 UPDATE Employee

We keep goin' round in circles!

AUTHOR: Rick - (U.S.A.)

Dear Noah,

Yes, it is true that people that OWN their own business that sells Scentura products will tell you that it is a very lucrative business to be in. Because it is! But, let's not forget the tremendous effort, long hours, sometimes discouraging moments they had to persist through. Also, the development of the good personal habits it takes to be at your best for your people on a daily basis. And, thats not even scratching the surface because there is also good money handling and empathetic people skills to develop. All very difficult for most people, let alone for someone in their 20's. Yes, it is true that our people have the opportunity to market the products wherever they would like. And perhaps,even some people would choose to go to less than savory areas that others like myself would never go to for the purpose of marketing the products. But, that is a wonderful thing in that some people that LOVE our product work in these areas and appreciate the fact that some of our people feel very comfortable in those areas. Don't insult others just because they don't have your "affluence". Also, areas can seem to be very "seedy" but, are otherwise, regular areas of business and trade during daylight hours. I by no means liked to work low income areas when I was learning to sell the product. If I'm looking to do lots of business, then working those types of areas would be very self defeating. There is business to be done in those types of areas, but I felt like my product and myself, for that matter, could appeal to a more professional business environment. There are people that I work with that do feel more confident and comfortable dealing with people more similar to their heritage or background. That is true of people of all industries. That is why there are other business owners who open business' in what we refer to as very diverse areas.
We advertise in a way so as to appeal to a very diverse group of people. That is what most successful business' do. We do advertise for management and assistant management opportunities, which is what the job ultimately is. What a person has to go through to train for the position is disclosed though the interview process. If you have been on the interview trail, you should know that we are way more forthcoming with the description and details than any other business that offers advancement opportunities. Perhaps you are trying to correlate with and then confused by the business' that hire for a particular position that requires little to no training. A cashier or sales clerk or front desk attendant or restaurant server, for example. But, these positions offer little to know upward mobility. The people who have advanced from a job similar to above to a more responsible position must have certainly exceeded their beginning job requirements. That is typically why a company considers a person for advancement. The beauty of owning one of these business' is that there is no ceiling and the financial investment out of pocket is nil. Therefore, we take down all the roadblocks or pitfalls to someone owning and operating their own business i.e. lack of capital, lack of education, lack of expertise at continuing to grow and operate their own company, or just the need to have professional or personal advice from someone who has gone through similar experiences. I'm not sure where someone would have interviewed where questions were not allowed. Maybe, we just weren't going to pick that person, so their questions would have been of no consequence anyways. AS FAR AS QUITTING A CAREER? My wife and I quit what others perceived as GREAT(ugh) JOBS, if there is such a thing when you work for other people. I was at mine for 6 years and was making 28k back in 1989-90. She was at hers for 3 and was making 17k. Together, 45k!!! We not only quit our careers but we invested thousands of dollars to relocate to a new city to begin training! I know of no one who quit their chosen "profession" to just give this business a try. I do know people who quit deadend jobs to join our business and just give it a try. Why not try getting committed before you start. If the people you allude to weren't ready to move on from their current position, then why were they looking in the first place? We have people that tell us in the interview process that they may not be a good candidate because they don't want to leave what they currently do. Remember, the reason people can't go multiple weeks without their same level of income as previous is because of lack of proper money management or the previous job paid them just enough to get by. Some life!!! What if that person were to get sick and be out of work for 10 days? Or, heaven forbid, an auto accident? And the list goes on! WAKE UP, A 2 DAY RELATIONSHIP OR A WEEK RELATIONSHIP WITH US IS NOT THE ROOT OF THE PROBLEM!!!! The people who do the best in our business are not necessarily good salespeople, but, are actually the most committed and have the most conviction for what they are doing. Therefore, the general public receives them very well because of this committment. Don't insult other people's intelligence with the hubbub that the only people who thrive in our business are the ones who become expert salespeople. If a person is a good candidate to run a business, they are a good candidate to run a business. But, results do speak volumes about a persons committment level, work ethic, trainability, and enthusiasm. Don't tell me some people aren't cut out for sales. People aren't cut out to do a lot of things. It's called development!!! And in this case, it doesn't take long to teach and show someone how to peddle a $20-$30 product that smells good and lasts for months. Please! Its not a car, real estate, insurance, a knife that costs $100, a vaccuum that costs $2000 or any other sales opportunity that takes months, and in some cases, years to develop. And, not to be forgotten, learning the peddling of the product leads to long term SECURITY! So, I don't know if I have "balls" and that is why I responded to your suggestion. Moreso, I call it experience! I was once the person who you described above, but, I GOT SICK AND TIRED OF BEING THAT PERSON! I did something about before I was too old and had too many debts and responsibilities and, therefore, become enslaved to my crummy "career". Rob
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#11 Consumer Suggestion

Any Honesty Out There?

AUTHOR: Noah From Chicago - (U.S.A.)

Scentura insiders will always tell you how great of an opportunity it is and how much money you can make. If you're willing to make a career out of selling cologne without a sales permit in questionable neighborhoods for little to no money that's your choice, but that's not the point. The point is that the ads this company places are full of lies and inaccuracies. They're also very reluctant to give you an accurate job description so it catches a lot of people by surprise which would account for so many people reporting to this site.

I honestly don't understand why Scentura can't take a different approach. Perhaps if they would just advertise the job for what it really is they wouldn't get such a bad reputation. Maybe just be straight up with people and tell them it's a commission based sales position with potentially fast advancement opportunities, something a little less deceptive. Also, why not encourage questions rather than demeaning intelligent people with legitimate concerns?

Some of those you call blow outs are upset because they quit a career with a steady paycheck only to find out they'll have to go weeks with insufficient income. For someone living check to check that can literally ruin their life especially if they're not cut out for sales.

So do any of you successful rebutters or Scentura insiders have the balls to give me an honest answer?
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#12 UPDATE Employee

The guy ahead of me has a good head on his soulders

AUTHOR: Mdwethebest - (U.S.A.)

wow u are fired the f**k up I was u when I was in training I wasnt great at selling perfume at first [i sucked ] but I got better as time went on I got alot better I stayed in trainging for a little while but now that I run my own office this is the best opp. going hands down . Rob and ricki have been doing it for a while and are one of the best to ever do it Im trying to get were they are at much respect.

see you at the top......

washington d.c we the best
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#13 UPDATE Employee

Natural Selection

AUTHOR: Rendition Fragrances - (U.S.A.)

Natural selection is a process by which only the strongest and most adaptable species survive and thrive.

No offense to the naysayers in the room, but this is a very good deal.

I am 38 and have a master's degree in business management and decided I would like to be a part of this opportunity.

The management training program runs approx. from 6 -12 weeks and is VERY TOUGH! I refer to it as Sales Boot Camp. You won't make much money, you will have to work 10 -15 hour days and they make you sell individual bottles of perfume/cologne to businesses, people in parking lots and people at home. If I had a nickel for every time someone threatened to call the cops on sucks! But here is the thing, if you can get decent at selling in those conditions, you can sell anything, anywhere.

You will spend mornings in a classroom and afternoons in the field selling fragrances. I have read all of the rip off reports and they say the product is "cheap". I guess they didn't bother to research the product.

Scentura sells eau de parfum, which is 20 - 25% natural oils. All high end fragrances are Eau de Parfum. Eau de toilette, or "toilet water" as we call it is 10% natural oils. The Supreme Court ruled that scents cannot be patented, so we make rendition fragrances. What does that mean?

Let us assume you like to drink Coca Cola. And let us assume a 12 oz. can costs one dollar. If Coca Cola could not be patented, I could make the exact same thing, sell it in a bigger container and for less money. I cannot use the trade mark, but I can make the product.

The training program is a mother, but if you are smart, dependable, hard working and good with people, the sky is the limit on how much money you can make. I am not saying you will get rich while in training, but if you are a natural at sales, you can do well from the get-go.

I have been with the management training program for two weeks and have been promoted twice. "Oh," you say, "you must be a natural at 'impulse' sales." The fact is, I am selling less product than almost every other person in the program.

So, why do I keep moving up each week? I work 6 - 7 days a week, 12 - 15 hour days, make almost no money, but I have proven to the management that I would make a great business owner. They want you to succeed because it helps them. It is in their best interests to promote you to your own operation.

Caveat Emptor, but if you are lazy, unmotivated or just plain stupid, you will not survive.

Thus, endeth the lesson!!
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#14 Consumer Comment


AUTHOR: Ken S. - (U.S.A.)

I just called there to set up a interview with them next week and whe I asked them for thier website she sais it was down. That for me was a red flag so now it took me to this site, And I really do appreciate what I saw It looks like I am free next wendnesday no interview now
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