Commission Impossible

Harper Robson HQ

So job hunting is fun.  I had a strange experience today, after an initial interview for a ‘Direct Marketing’ company called Harper Robson, I was immediately called back and informed I was the “stand-out candidate.”  Blushing with pride I accepted the invitation for the second interview, which would take the shape of an ‘Observation Day’ followed by a ‘Test.’  I inquired as to the specifics of this ‘Test’ but the chipper guy on the phone told me it was a secret.  Oh what japes!  Seeing as the initial interview process felt like a Fresher’s Helper audition I imagined I might have to down a Topical VK, or arm pit fart to The Vengaboys.  Seriously, the ‘MD’ who asked me a short series of questions was 20 years old.  He didn’t listen to anything I had to say.  Things like, “What does this job actually entail?”  Or, “Will I be paid?”  He continued regardless and drew three bubbles on a sheet of A4 and wrote in the first one, ‘Entry Level,’ the second one, ‘Management,’ and the final one, ‘Managing Director.’  He told me I could navigate this intricate series of bubbles in six months.  I nodded and left.

And for some reason, I returned for the Observation Day.  Upon arrival, there were a whole bunch of teenagers in suits, which I have since found out were in the middle of a daily morning ‘Atmosphere’ ceremony, whereby they would gee themselves up for the shift ahead.  I was sat in an adjacent room and watched agog as a conveyor belt of ridiculously over-dressed teenagers traipsed by, all three piece suits and sticky hair, like a sinister sequel to Bugsy Malone.  Us newbies were left for an hour to talk among ourselves.  We chatted about wasps and our favourite breed of dogs.  There were badly painted slogans on the walls which said things like, “You don’t have to be great to get started, but to be great, you have to start somewhere.”  Powerful stuff.  I prefer, “Listen to your Bullshit Detector and Bail Accordingly.”

The other Managing Directors milled around, flirting with each other.  Then a bloke introduced himself to me and I was taken to his car.  He informed me that I was heading to Glasgow with him and another associate.  I asked what we were doing.  He avoided this and began to tell me about Thomas Eddison, who made 1300 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb before he got it right.  This was the Law of Averages.  And we were now going to utilise The Law of Averages ourselves!  Uh oh.  “How are we going to do that?”  I asked, foreseeing the answer like the asteroid in Armegeddon.  “Where are people are most relaxed?”  He asked me rhetorically.  “In their homes!”  I looked at him with my best attempt at disdain.  They wanted me to sell stuff door to door all day in Glasgow for free didn’t they?

I asked them to stop the car, I got out and went home.

Harper Robson are basically a pyramid company.  Saps are brought on and told to sell all day, only getting paid on commission.  After a while of this they get to look after a team of saps and get more commission for the sales the team generates.  After six months of this they become a ‘Managing Director’ – which is a little generous for a job title and a bit unfair to actual Managing Directors in actual companies.

Harper Robson used to be called Meraki Rose, based in Glasgow.  Their website no longer exists.  The management team still do, they just took two more generic surnames that sound vaguely legitimate, duct taped them together and spawned a new pyramid in Edinburgh.  I feel like a sap for wasting my time on them and I feel for the saps who were being processed through their doors all day like sausages in blazers.  And of course for the poor citizens of Glasgow who are currently being harangued in their homes to buy nonsense they don’t need.  So if you see a job vacancy for Harper Robson, market yourself elsewhere.