I'm writing this as a warning to people like me who may have been wondering what exactly this company is about (since apparently they are new to my area). I can't say for sure if they are a scam or not, but I can tell you from firsthand experience that the company left me with a really creepy, bad feeling (especially once I read the complaints about Smart Circle.)
I saw the ad for a Sports/Entertainment marketing firm (Divine Edge, Inc.) on Craigslist.com. The ad seemed really spammy, scammy, and not all-together real, but when I saw it again on CareerBuilder.com and other job search sites, I figured it was legit. Let me just tell you people, go with your gut instinct. I'm sort of desperate for a job right now, so I figured, what the heck, I'll submit my resume and see what happens.
Well, a day later I got an email from the Human Resources person (who happens to be the sister of the office "manager" ) saying they are interested in interviewing me for the position. My first interview took all of 5-10 minutes, which was really quick I thought. "Tara" asked me a few basic questions about myself, my job goals, etc. and gave me a VERY brief description of the company. She said they market companies in ways that most companies don't think to use. She made it seem like having a billboard was a ridiculous idea. She also said that since they are a brand new office, they're looking to hire a lot of people and get people into higher management positions ASAP. She drew a nice little diagram that showed how I could move up to Assistant Manager within 6 months and onto Manager within 6-12 months. She told me to come back a week later for my second interview where I'd be spending the day with an Account Manager and they'd decide to hire me or not at the end of that day. At this point I still have no idea what this company does exactly, and there is nothing on the internet to help me out. Their website is very vague.
So a week later I show up to the office at 9:00 am and the receptionist has the same exact playlist of songs blaring from her laptop that she was playing at my first interview. I thought it was strange how not only were the EXACT SAME songs playing when I had come in the last time, but she was playing it a little too loud for an office environment. When certain calls would come in, I could not hear what she was saying over the phone, even though I was sitting about 3 feet away. However when she was talking to the UPS rep on the phone, I could clearly hear that. I'm 99% sure she was lowering her voice when talking to someone within the company.
About 10 minutes later, a group of about 15 people walk out of a door that led to who knows where and out of the office. My first thought was that even though this was a professional business, none of them gave off that professional vibe. A lot of them were very chipper too and greeted me and the other 2 interviewees waiting with odd enthusiasm. I'm connecting this with the brainwashing I've read about in other complaints. I've lived in the South for 5 years now, and I've never been greeted that much by a group of employees. Just really weird. So "Tara" pairs me up with "Joe", an account manager. "Joe" takes me and 2 guys (one who is still in training and the other is on his first day of work.) "Tom", who's on his first day, asks if he can drive his own car to where we're going, but "Joe" says no. I'm a little hesitant about getting in a car with 3 random dudes I don't know, but I went. No clue where we're going until "Joe" whips out his GPS and plugs in Dahlonega--which is about an hour away from the office. When I ask why we're going so far, "Joe" says he likes to take the harder territories because not a lot of people want them so that leaves more opportunity for him and his team. He keeps saying he wants to set "Tom" up for success (basically to make as much money as he can today.) So on the hour long ride, I bombard "Joe" with questions because I need to know what the hell this place does. I end up finding out that this company goes business to business selling discounted services for a low, low price. We were on a mission to sell the Atlanta Braves campaign. $40 for $300 worth of tickets. That seems fine and all but once we got to Dahlonega, "Joe" drops "Tom" off at some random Dairy Queen and tells him to start with that business and work his way throughout the little town. "Joe", "Bill" (the trainee), and I went to another area of town and literally walked to EVERY business in the area. We tried EVERY door even if the business looked closed. We parked in the parking lot of some random orthodontist and walked I'd say about a total of 3 miles in the area. Mind you, this was a 90 degree day, we're all in business professional attire, and I'm in 3 inch heels (no one told me what the hell they do so I'm expecting to just be in an office somewhere for an interview.) So we tried every business we saw...from a Papa Johns, a probation office, random medical plazas and all the offices inside, a hospital (which we got kicked out of), a Century 21 office...you name it, we stopped in. We did this from about 10:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. with a short lunch at McDonalds. I have nothing against McDonalds either, but I was thinking, if there's opportunity to make $300-$500 a day, why are we eating at McDonalds? And yes, "Joe" said that the minimum brand new employees usually make is $100/day but most everyone makes at least $300. They do this by getting $10 commission off every $40 package they sell. By the end of the day, we had sold 13. Made a whopping $130 that I think was to be split between "Joe" and the trainee. "Tom" sold 7.
We ended up back at the office around 5:45 p.m. On the way back to the office, "Joe" taught me the 5 steps to a pitch and 8 steps to success because I'd be quizzed on it when we got back. They were all amazed that I could remember 5 words after 10 minutes. I was confused why they were making it such a big deal...is this really a company I want to work for if it's an amazing feat to remember 5 words? So apparently "Joe" gave me a great review and "Tara" offered me the position. Thank goodness I wasn't able to start Monday morning because it gave me time to research the company. Divine Edge, Inc. isn't on the BBB or Complaints Board websites, but I remembered hearing the Smart Circle name (who I believe is the company that manufactures the discount cards we were selling). Lo and behold, Smart Circle had a ton of complaints. I want to get Divine Edge out on this website in case anyone in my area happens to get caught up like I did.
A few other creepy similarities between what happened with Divine Edge and what I've read on these complaints:
-the word "juice": the trainer kept saying this over and over. He's from Boston, so I thought it was a Boston thing...apparently not.
-ridiculously loud music for a professional office
-everyone seems brainwashed ("Joe" gave the SAME EXACT pitch to EVERY single person we approached. I was sick of hearing him reference me as his "ninja bodyguard" after about the 3rd time. Ended up hearing it about 103 times.)
-the "atmosphere" room
-when we got back to the office, "Tom" had to yell "hey guys!" to which everyone else would yell "hey what?" and then he'd ring a bell
-Also, the office was painted horribly...fire-engine red walls with black doors and black trim, generic sports posters on the wall that said like "Do your best!" Shouldn't they have had posters up of like the Atlanta Braves?...considering the Braves are their clients??
Again, I can't really say this company is a scam, but the similarities to other companies with different names is too creepy, and I wanted to speak up. I hope anyone out there who sees their employment advertisement does some research first. This company doesn't give you any details. Just have to experience it for yourself.