Salty Stories

Ripe and Ready to Be Scammed

Now that I am gainfully employed, I can publish deets about the long and treacherous job search that I hesitated to publish before for fear that it would somehow make me un-hireable. But JOKE’S ON YOU, cause I’ve proven to be hireable AF and now I’m going to use this mouth of mine to megaphone into the universe the trade secret of job hunting, which is that it is AFLUSH with scams. It was a secret I learned back in May of 2020 and then again twice more before I finally realized it was time to stop applying to jobs on LinkedIn. No shade to LinkedIn, but also all the shade because they allow companies to post whatever they want without fact-checking and third time was a charm for getting a chain text message from a multi-level “marketing” firm asking if I want a job or not. Anywho, here’s the firsthand account of the time I became a YouTube star to sell Xfinity packages.

May 10, 2020

You wanna hear how much my life is a joke? Pull up a seat and I’ll gladly share. After one too many panicky moments about my career and how the hell I’m going to get a job out of all of this and being unemployed for so long, I decided the most productive way to handle all of this is to just keep trying new things. It wastes time during the day and it can’t hurt at this point, right? So for the past couple of months I’ve been filling my days with self-appointed and useless work. Blogging, taking photos to edit on Photoshop and relearn a program I haven’t used since college, designing new logos and social media graphics, shooting hype videos and re-learning how to edit. Essentially I took my brother-in-law snarkily telling me that I wasn’t a content creator to become a full-ass *UNPAID* content creator, TikToks included. When I wasn’t busy producing a livestream for my dad’s music or coordinating an Instagram story happy hour with my sister (like I said, I turned into a member of the Syracuse Hype House) I was overhauling my resume, starting from scratch and designing two new resumes to cater to job applications in both marketing and events. I also spent a certain amount of hours each day on LinkedIn being an interactive nerd who shares inspirational articles and makes compelling comments on other people’s inspirational articles *insert the deepest of eye rolls here.* And of course, I was AGGRESSIVELY applying to jobs. 1. Because I have to in order to lawfully collect unemployment (many people have been taking that as a loose suggestion, but I’m a rule follower til I die) and 2. because I really really really want and need a job ASAP. I created national job alerts and anything that surfed through on the east coast, I applied to. I applied to jobs in Virginia, Georgia, Delaware, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Massachusetts and obviously New York. I figured whatever job will take me at this point, that’s where I’ll move to. That became my new plan. Move to where the job is instead of moving to a place and hoping to find a job I like. I figured I’d shake things up since it’s really failed me in the past. 

And finally, I got a response. I applied for a Marketing Event Coordinator for a digital marketing agency in New Jersey and they reached out because they liked my spiffy new resume, or so I thought. (Clearly I just reeked of desperation.) I was so excited about my first nibble that I had barely researched the company and yet I was already picturing my apt and the frequent trips I’d make to the shore. It was meant to be! I just had to get the job. The first round was a short screening video that they had started using in Covid times to prevent any phone calls or contact. The CDC has said nothing about Covid transmitting through the phone but whatever, we’re in the digital age so video it is. I also received an email and a personal text from the admin assistant. Again, weird, but quickly overlooked. I finally had a reason to shower and put on pants that day and that was uplifting enough. Without any real instructions, I went to the hiring page that I was directed to and suddenly this Marketing Event Coordinator dream job that I had applied for was no where on their website and instead my options for open positions were three categories: internship, customer service, or management. This job fell into none of these categories so I chose management figuring it aligned more closely with my skills even if I’m FO SHO not skilled enough to be a manager. The details were to make a short introductory video so they can get a vibe for my personality and my goals and see if they aligned with the company goals before moving me forward into a formal interview. Makes sense, I’ve done screeners before they basically just want to weed out the morons.

Except I’ve never done a screener solo video style. It said I could do it at my own pace so I figured I’d have unlimited amounts of time to F this up and fired up the ole webcam. The first question was introduce yourself and tell us about you. Obviously this is the most typical question to start an interview with and yet EVERY SINGLE TIME I blow it. I never know where to start, I never know what details to focus on and what details to forget. Do I crack jokes and make pop culture references or go straight to reciting my career experiences? I started panicking hard. I got sweaty and shaky and my first take I just got, “Hi I’m Julia Giantomasi” out before cutting. Honestly I was stuttering so badly I think I mispronounced my own name. That’s when I was informed that I only get 3 takes and there is a 2 minute time limit to my answer. That really put me in an iron vice. I was not handling this well. I flashed back to when I would force my sister to call places for me or write a script of what I was supposed to say so I didn’t stumble and mess it up. She got tired of this role and eventually started writing me notes like this:

Well my sister wasn’t there to write me a passive aggressive “tell me about yourself” script so I was on an island here forced to just wing it while talking about myself. RECIPE FOR DISASTER. I felt like I should’ve ended the submission with if you like what you just heard, hit the subscribe button below! No one should EVER have to make a video selling themselves for a job. I got to my last take after moving locations (I was lounging on a chaise and that was not forgiving for my double chin sitch) and spending another 20 mins overthinking this very simple question with sopping wet pits. It was do or die time. I started with, “Hi I’m Julia Giantomasi and this is the first time I’m wearing pants with a button in several weeks…but that’s probably not what you wanted to know about me! Other than being in quarantine, I’ve been an event planner and coordinated logistics for the past six years, mostly in the entertainment industry.” It got a little rambley after that but it was my last take and that had to be it. At least I nailed the casj cool humor opening line. It would either get me bonus points and make me stick out, or sink me. I was cool with either outcome because who wants to work for a company with no sense of humor, yanno? The rest of the questions I got with one take and finished that shit as quickly as possible. Most questions were general about company values, career goals and what I’m looking for in a role–no huge red flags in what they were asking. I sent in my Bachelor tryout tape and hoped for the best. A few days later I was contacted again both via text and email (still weird) and asked to do a formal interview via Zoom. THE PANTS JOKE LANDED! (Is what I texted everyone I know.)

Cut to a night before the interview, me researching *insert company name here* (I may be mouthy but I’m not bold enough to call them out directly…they KNOW WHO THEY ARE) in preparation. A little last minute, I know, but I stink at interviews and just the mere thought of them gives me anxiety diarrhea so it’s best to keep that contained as much as possible. First stop: Glassdoor to see if this company is a shitstorm much like my underwear before an interview. What I found out is EVEN WORSE. I stumbled myself right into the open door of a pyramid scheme. In the interview category of reviews, I found 5 very recent posts and all of them culminated to RUN VERY FAR AWAY FROM THIS COMPANY. Settling. If I may quote some gems:

“scam scam scammmmmmm”

“Overall, a very strange experience. There is also barely any information online regarding this company. Proceed with caution.”

“Company is horrible. pyramid scheme. no benefits but wont tell you that till 2nd interview.”

“please stay away.”

Then I kept reading because at this point I needed to get to the bottom of if I should axe this interview before it even happens. In their official company reviews, their score is 4.1 stars with a 75% chance they’d be recommended to a friend. I figured hm, it can’t be that bad if that’s their rating. I started reading some reviews. All of the reviews were written in the past month, some only a day apart and they all read EXACTLY the same way. A snappy title about how great the job is, a line about how long the “person” has been working there and then pros and cons. The con is always only ONE thing and it’s something about the company culture that they want to brag about and listed as a con in a funny way. Here are actual examples of cons in these SEVERAL VERY FAKE reviews: they need another Xbox in the lobby, we should have coffee and donuts every morning—not just on Fridays, needs another ping pong table, the chairs are too comfortable in the lobby, need another turtle for the tank, they left the office dog in the San Francisco branch. WHAT THE FUCK. Is the dog ok? Whose taking care of it? Will the turtle be affected by an extra Xbox using electricity too close to its tank? Why the hell is a company writing their own very obviously fake reviews to boost their score on Glassdoor? OH THAT’S RIGHT because if you scroll past all of this bullshit, you see three reviews of people who have actually worked here and they read like THIS: DO NOT WORK HERE! PYRAMID SCHEME! Fake job titles, nothing but a scam! They hire everyone to do the same thing, stand inside of a store and try to sell Xfinity packages.

Looks like they’re still at it, this is a recent review. YIKES ON BIKES.

Cool, cool, cool, cool. This WOULD happen to me. I get one bite for a job, it looks perfect on Linkedin and suddenly I’m planning my life in New Jersey and wondering when I should move. OH WAIT ITS A PYRAMID SCHEME. I thought those things only existed on Facebook with losers from your high school or girls who sell false eyelashes and want you to get in on the makeup industry. I literally just have to laugh…At the fact that a company just bamboozled me into making a YouTube pitch on myself that they probably put in their spank bank in whatever frat bro’s basement these company reviews came from. YO YOUR XBOX IS SICK NASTY ALSO CHECK OUT THE VIDEO OF THIS GIRL IN THE YELLOW SWEATER VISIBLY SWEATING AS SHE TELLS US SHE HAS REAL PANTS ON. If interviews didn’t mentally and emotionally wreck me, I’d give this one a shot for the entertainment value to see how you can spin a shitty sales job into a “Marketing Event Coordinator” but alas I’d like to keep my diarrhea quota at a minimum on the week that I turn 29 and remain jobless as hell and ripe for a scam.

This exact scenario happened two more times although at least the later times I was wise enough to sniff them out via automated tandem email/texting rather than go through with step one of filming myself answer cookie cutter interview questions in my bedroom. It turns out Marketing has MANY different definitions in job application land and what I learned is that most of those definitions are “low-tier sales job for big brand names that use fake ad agency names to cover up the fact that you’ll be cold-calling people asking if they want to change their cellphone plan to Cricket.” But don’t worry guys, just give them a quick google search and you’ll learn…they’re not a regular company, they’re a COOL company cause BAGELS on FRIDAY’S. Thankfully I didn’t settle and I held out for a very legitimate job also in New Jersey and the dream of being a Shore Whore can finally be realized and I didn’t even need to enter a pyramid scheme to get here so HA. Also, I can eat a bagel whenever I damn well please and the chairs are mad comfy because I work from my living room. LiViNg LARGE.

Could really use a ping pong table though…

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