On Wednesday January 2,2013, I was looking for job on Craigslist. Around 9 am, I came across a job posting that stated ASST MANAGER/RECEPTIONIST. Must love money and music. NO EXP NECESSARY, TRAINING WILL BE AVAILABLE.
Of course, just like anyone else, I applied for the position. However, there was no name of a company nor an application to fill out, nor an email address to email. The job posting just said to call (301) 278-7169. At 9:26 am, I called the number and I spoke to a guy named Gary. He asked me if I was calling in reference to the job posting on Craigslist, I replied saying yes. He immediately scheduled me for an appointment at 3. He gave me the office address which was 8700 Central Avenue, Landover, MD 20785. He never asked for any documentation, nor did he describe what the company was.
When I went to the interview, I took a copy of my resume just to be on the safe side. As soon as I entered the office, it seemed to be brand new but yet still under construction. There were mainly females there and I began to question the "asst. Manager" position. I got curious and asked if the other girls were there for the same interview, they said they were there to apply for the receptionist position. I asked if they had seen the same "must love music" job post on Craigslist like I had, they said no. Again, I was a bit uneasy but stayed in the office since I had nothing to lose.
When it was time for my interview, Gary called me into his office along with another girl. He told us that we were each entitled to an individual interview but since they had "more applicants" than they had expected, he was forced to interview both of us at the same time. I personally never saw that many applicants there that day. As Gary looked over my resume, he was impressed and proceeded to ask me a series of questions. As for the other girl, who didn't have a resume, Gary just asked her for her previous work history. Again, he never told us the name of the company.
He explained what each position (asst. Manager and receptionist) entitles, how much it pays, and hours we would work. I was applying for asst. Manager, and the girl was applying for receptionist. He introduced himself as Gary Lubin and his partners Early Gaynor and Merlange Rene. After that, he told us that they were a distribution company that just moved to the DC area from Jacksonville, FL. He then told me that he and his partners were going to go over the all the applicants and choose the best ones and that he would call me between 5:30 and P.M. To let me know if I had gotten the position.
I left the office half-excited, half-anxious. I was surprised my interview went somewhat well and I was just waiting for the phone call now. Around P.M. That evening, I received a phone call from Gary. He told me they were impressed with my resume and I had earned my 2nd interview which was scheduled on Saturday January 5,2013 at 12 noon. I was told to dress sharp and to bring a notebook and pen. I was so excited I got a 2nd interview.
Come Saturday, I arrive at the office once again. I saw a few people I saw at the first interview, plus some new faces. This time it wasn't a one-on-one interview, it was a group interview of about 15-20 people. After we all got situated, Gary gave us a little more information about the company without being too specific.
He told us the following:
-The name of the company Selah Management, and who they work for: Scentura Creations.
-Two websites www.synergyexpansion.com and www.lifemanagement1.com.
-The founder, Larry Hahn.
-The company is the biggest international distributor of fragrances in the United States for 37 years and still running.
-We were all there for the same position of Entry Level Management and that no experience was necessary since they were going to train us for that.
-Training was scheduled to last 6-8 weeks.
-There are 4 phases in the training program and we were to be ranked by badges.
-Each phase were to last 2 weeks.
-Branch managers were guaranteed 30k/year just to start.
-Gary has been in the company for 3 years, and Early for 5.
-Everyone must go through training.
-In 1986, the Supreme Court ruled it is perfectly fine to duplicate fragrances as long as it's all natural, in favor of Mark Lacery.
-They were looking to open 25 new locations in the DC Metropolitan area.
They had us write down notes as much as possible. This didn't seem like an interview at all, more like a seminar. After everything was over, Gary told us we were all accepted and that we would have to go to orientation at the same office that following Monday January 7 at 12 noon and to bring our notebooks and pen from this point forward. Once I left, I was so excited, I called my family and friends to let them know I just got hired. Everything was fine at the time and I didn't really think much of the company.
Yesterday, I walk go into the office, and we are introduced to Earley Gaynor, he tells us he and his partners all went through training in Middlesex, NJ. He then introduced Merlange Rene, who had just arrived back in town the night before. She was the one who was going to give the orientation. She told us that by the end of the training program, we were going to choose who our business partners were going to be. She had us take notes on Job vs Career, Employee vs Employer, etc. She told us to eliminate negativity. "Always keep our blinders on, just like horses do at the races".
She told us even if we're having a bad day, she didn't want us coming into the office with a bad attitude, and to "fake it til you make it". She had us do a "attitude check" where we had to jump out of our seat and yell, who knows what for. She had us do another exercise where she gave us examples on how our day could go bad, and all we had to say was "GREAT! NO PROBLEM". She had us describe our good quality, bad quality, and confidence level in front of the whole group. She explained what each badge level in the training program meant.
1. FNP - Friendly New Person
4. Senior Trainer
6. Senior Manager
7. Executive Manager
She explained how all of their fragrances cost $30 and how their own version of brand name fragrances are different from the ones you would find in department stores. They explained to us how we would receive payment, by cash, money order, checks (personal and/or business), and how they now accept credit cards. I didn't know why she was explaining all this in just the orientation when we haven't even had our own office yet, let alone started training. She then passed out a packet of the company and the brand name perfume/colognes they carry. She told us to study the packet and to be in the office the following morning at 9am sharp so we could start training. At this point, I was starting to question the company, but didn't really do much about it.
Last night, when I got home, my partner asked me if I had googled the company, I replied saying no. They opened the computer and they showed me all these articles of the company on usacomplaints.com dating back to 2006. I found this article http://usacomplaints.com/cross-border-scams/synergy-management-s/synergy-management-scentura-cr-7bm36.htm where a guy named Noah was bashing to company for its lies and fake promises. I read the whole page and was shocked. Everything the people were saying about the company was EXACTLY what I was experiencing in the office. Earley Gaynor, the trainer at the office I was going to, commented AGAINST those opposing the company and its beliefs. I even saw some testimonials on ex employees that worked for the company. They told the truth about the company and what it REALLY does to it's "managers".
I was so speechless. I didn't know what to think. This morning I decided NOT to go back to the office but to report the business. They only personal information they have of me is my social security number, which is why I am writing this. I do not want anyone to go through the same thing