I am a 21 year old college student who was living in Chicago in 2008, when I received an offer from Ania Kuna to come down to Dallas Texas to work for an energy company, where she promised that I would be very successful and good at what I do and make millions. She also promised to pay for my hotel and find me an apartment to get settled in. I came down to Texas on very short notice, I had less than 24 hours from the time I found out to get down here for training. I drove from Chicago to Dallas for 15 hours, and barely made it on time for training, which I have been up for 36 hours prior to the training class. My arrival to Dallas was absolutely dreadful, which already made me reconsider the move.
After arriving at Ania's condo in downtown Dallas, I drove with Ania in the same car to the office. She did not tell me what the place even looked like so I had the idea that since it was such a big company I would be working in one of the tall buildings. When we pulled up to this small little shack-like building on the outskirts of downtown and I ask where we were and she told me that were at the "office", which made me think "if this is a multi billion dollar corporation, then why are they operating out of a dump".And nowhere on the building was there a sign saying U.S. First Energy.
I was lead to believe that I was going to be trained by the "great" Micheal Jarmana himself, which I was. Me and about 25 other people who were dragged down to Texas from all over the United States. Typically, a training class consists of training material, something like edcating people about the company, what they do, how they do it, what the company's expectations are of you as a sales rep,etc. Basic company knowledge in other words, which this company did absolutely none of these listed above.
What really happened in training was a whole bunch of guys standing up in front of the class, swearing and making derogative comments to each other in front of everyone. They never once explained what this company does. The entire first day of training was them explaining where they blow all of their company profits away, such as the Hugh Hefner suite in Las Vegas, pissed away 40,000 dollars on renting it for a night, and over a million dollars to organize the party. And how the company spent a few million dollars just to make a party bus called the "Shagadelica 2.0". Also just under a million dollars on fouth dimension sound system speakers. Mike Jarmana also talked about how he has connections with NASA and how he has a reserved spot on a space shuttle for him and his affiliates to take a trip to space. He also mentioned his connections he has with the U.S Governemt, which we spent a few hours just on that subject which once again has nothing to do with the company.
Later on that day they had their top sales reps talk to the class on how they became rich and what they had to do to become a successful salesperson which still didn't explain anything about the company, except the fact that they were doing door to door sales. Towards the late afternoon, we started practicing a written script of what we were to say when we go door to door, concluding the first day of training which I thought was a complete joke.
At the end of that day I spoke with Ania and asked her if its real since I was already having doubts about this company, and she told me that I shouldn't be asking these kinds of questions and if I am then maybe I should rethink why i'm here. Because of that statement she did not allow me to complete the next two days of training, because she thought I had a bad attitude and I was questioning her judgement.
My second day I was thrown into the "field", where I would be shadowing a co-worker who was an illegal immigrant, which I also thought was very suspicious. I spent the first week shadowing this guy Elder Augilar. At no point did I ever fill out an application, hand in a resume, have an interview, or have them confirm my identity, such as my social security, driver's liscence, citizenship, drug screen, background check, etc. And I know for a fact, that every legit buisness conducts the above listed items. If they were to conduct a background check on everyone, I can say at least 90% of the employees would be gone because of immigration status, convictions, drugs, and felonies. Their way of recruiting sales associates is picking up random people. Like a fellow co-worker of mine told me, Jake Steiner approached him at the gym, and told him to come into work immediatley the next morning.
For my first week and a half, I did not have my sales badge, which meant that I could not sell contracts because I was not in their system as a sales rep. As of this time I realized and I was told that it was a commission-only job. They also told me that I would not be compensated for ANYTHING. Which meant, no pay for training, time spent in the office, and travel expenses, which I thought was a load of b******t. I spent at least $1500 on gas alone, out of my pocket, and drove about 100-200 miles a day by car. When I asked them about what was the deal with that, they said I have to sell contracts to make money to pay for it. Now if you thought that was bad enough, on the weekends they would make us take trips far away and stay for 2-3 days at a crappy motel, which they threatened us if we did not meet a certain quota, that we would have to pay for it out of our pockets. I spent two weeks working 7 days a week for about 12-16 hours a day with zero compensation for anything.
The "field" work was the worst part of their scheme. When we rang the doorbell, the customer already knew what was going on. We were treated very warmly by residents with friendly threats such as "f**k you", "go to hell", "get out of here before I call the police" which we actually had the police called on us a few times for soliciting and were almost arrested. The police said we needed soliciting permits, and when we called the company to tell them we were kicked out of a city, they told us to go to another city and start hitting up houses up there and be more stealthy and not worry about the permits.
When I asked about my first check, they told me it would be about 3-4 weeks.Finally, when I did receive my check for my first week of sales, I made only $200(5 closed deals). It gets better. I deposited my check, like any other check, which 4 days later I get a letter from the bank that the check bounced because of insufficient funds in the company's account. Let's not forget it is a multi billion dollar corporation. When I brought this ordeal up to Jake Steiner, he made it clear that i'm a dumbass and I don't know what i'm talking about even thought I had the certified letter from the bank in my hand. He told me the company does have the funds but for security purposes they don't keep all the money available, which was another load of b******t, because whenever you write a check, you should have that money available in an account to cover it. It took me a month just to get that first check back. The biggest check I ever received was $240 for one week and the smallest was $40 for 1 week. So I made $40 f***ing dollars for about 100 hours of work I put in.
At this time I spent almost two weeks in a hotel, which Ania promised to pay for. Which cost me just under $1000 out of my pocket. It gets better, me and a co worker had all our information stolen out of our hotel room, which really caused a problem since I had my liscence stolen and I had to drive to the office everyday, and from the office to the "field" which was about 30 min to an hour away.Besides having to study the script and memorize it every free moment we had, they would make us study at home and forcing us to read books that would apparently help us become better sales people and having a spiritually positive attitude towards everything, but every book was related to religion. They also threatened to fire me because I wasn't happy 24 hours a day, and they said you have to be happy if you want to work for this company. By this time I was getting really fed up, and was nearly on the verge of quitting.
Everyday there would be area leaders that would give us territory that we were supposed to go work. One day we had to take care of an issue with our apartment manager, since Ania promised to help us with our housing until we get situated in Texas. Her promise fell through and we were 2 days late on rent. Which we had to discuss with the leasing manager, making us an hour late to work. By the time we got to the office, it was empty. I talked to Ania and she told me to call the team leaders, find out where they are and meet them somewhere. Which none of the team leaders were answering their phones. When I told her no one was picking up, she stupidly said "call them". That day we had to find our own territory, which we're not supposed to do, and work the area. After that, the company didn't respond to us for a week. By the time they called me, I already quit. They refused to give me, and two other co workers that were living with me our paycheks, until we wrote the letter of apology. A day after they told us to write the letter, they fired all three of us. Which we all already basically quit by then. The best part of that is that Jake Steiner, the regional representative, fired us over the phone. He disclosed to me information about two other co workers, which it is unlawful to disclose any information about another co worker. He told me to tell them they were fired. And then told one of the guys that was fired, that he was just kidding and to come back to work to be successful and to move out immediatly because I was apparently a bad influence since I questioned the company too much. They called me "cancer" and said I was spreading to other employees. He told this employee that he would force this "cancer" to move back to Chicago.
So for almost a month and a half we were forced to sell contracts, and unknowingly lie about the electricity rate and plans and the hidden fees the customer didn't know about, and would end up paying more then they really should.
The only people that are succesful at this company are morons who got brainwashed.