Sunday, June 04, 2006

Life as a Capitalist: MARX WAS RIGHT

I had a little effort at door to door sales recently for a City's Best Advertising. This is part of a multi-level martekting organization known as CYDCOR

Inititally it was invigorating. Years as a "useless" professor were now spent in sales. I started the new job - [and had to go out and spend around $700 on clothes today - I had virtually no business clothes]. I knew it was basically an MLM (Multi-level marketing) organization, but it worked for me and it got me out of the house.

Despite all the lies in the ads, these jobs are basically business to business face to face cold calling. I seem to be not that bad at it: I'm a good talker. The problem was tyhe initial outlay: I had a car ( a nice SEXY RAV4, but in all I had to spend $700 - including $300 on a Brooks Brothers suit,

The problem was that I was out all day (7am until 7-8pm), with NO BASE, and facing the fact that the job involved lying. We were told to "take control" and sell BELLSOUTH to B@B customers, but the only realy way you could make any money was twofold: get the suckkers to signe the forms before they could read them (one "trainer" told me only a lunatic would sign them if they read them); and to get people who did not need long distance (they all have cell phones) to sign up for three year deals fro cheap calls to East Timor.

I did not really mind doing this (except for the lying part) because the "small business owners" were a: too sumb to read contracts, and b: paying minimum wage. But most of the time, I ended up telling customers how to save money by calling Bellsouth (AFTER I HAD LEFT) and demanding changes.

I have never worked in pure capitalism before. It was enthralling: it's all about one profiteer trying to trick money out of a less intelligent profiteer. It makes me respect Marx more than I ever did. Basically, it's all about speed-talking innocent small business people into signing full disclosure contracts that may or may not lower their bills, and if some are bankrupted in the process, that only shows the truth of "survival of the fittest" - i.e. nature "red in tooth and claw."

Screw "rational choice": you are specifically trained that the goal is to get the customer to "impulse buy" and the company teaches its employees how to exploit "impulse" factors. It's all so immoral, it's quite thrilling.

Damn, I was so guilty went to go to mass and confession, so I could confess all the sins it involved committing. Shit, they attack crack dealers, but they are way more honest than Bellsouth and its hirelings.

I don't believe in any of this, of course, but it is thrilling to expereince exactly how sales people are trained to operate in the "free market. " The old monopolies were no better: I came across one poor Black beauty store owner who has been paying ATT "phone rental" at $11.95 a month for the past 22 years. [I.e she has paid ATT $3145 for a phone that could have been bought for $60 (at the most) 20 years ago]. ATT has been quite happy to go on billing her. She was a nice lady. ATT even charged her late fees when she paid late: all she did was other Black ladies' hair, and fucking ATT has bilked her for over $3000 in the past 20 years. I wonder how many other people are still paying for "phone rental."

I spent 30 minutes trying to tell her to tell ATT to fuck off, and to go down to Dollar General and buy a phone for $10. ATT was not even here service provider, but that old Ma Bell just kept billing her for a 25 year old phone. She was basically a fairly simple woman. The guy who I was out with was also pretty disgusted. I spent 20 minutes telling her how to ditch the ATT phone, but I suspect she simply was too simple and too good natured to even understand how badly she has been screwed

This story should get into the press and TV.

It's a shame state systems dont work any better. But Capitlaism stinks.

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