I realized I needed a job last October. It’s almost been a year since I embarked on this nightmare called job hunting.
One of the very first jobs I applied for was a for a company called Catherine Pooler Designs. When I applied her company was called Catherine Pooler, LLC.
I actually met this woman years ago when I accompanied a friend to a Stampin’ Up! party. Back then Catherine Pooler was a Stampin’ Up! representative. From what my friend told me, Pooler was making good money selling Stampin’ Up! products and hosting parties. And that says a lot, because making any kind of decent income via these MLMs is pretty rare.
Though I don’t think Stampin’ Up! is the worst of its kind; its products are pretty good, and I used them for a long time when I was heavily into paper crafting. But it’s still in the vein of the likes of Partylite, Mary Kay, Pampered Chef, and all the rest. You can only purchase Stampin’ Up! products through a representative (or eBay).
Anyway, I remember meeting Pooler at her house during her stamping party/workshop. I found her to be a bit standoffish and aloof. Maybe because she didn’t know me? Maybe for other reasons? Who knows.
I don’t even remember what my friend and I made. This was well over ten years ago.
The Upline that Wasn’t
A few years later, I decided to try my hand at becoming a Stampin’ Up! demonstrator/distributor. I needed to find an upline before I could begin my illustrious new venture. I had another friend who had tried to get me in her downline a few times, but I resisted because she admitted to me that she didn’t really make that much money. All of her profits went back into buying more Stampin’ Up! supplies. Basically, she was the customer, which is how MLMs work.
So she had long stopped selling Stampin’ Up!, and I needed an upline to get started.
I searched the SU’s database for the nearest representatives, and I found Pooler. So I signed up under her name to get started. I remember emailing her to inform her that I was her new downline and that I looked forward to chatting/connecting/what-have-you. I never heard from her.
Well, my Stampin’ Up! career crashed and burned after I realized it’s harder to get people to buy stuff they don’t need than I realized. Being a pragmatist, I moved on to other things.
Fast forward to 2017
When I realized that I needed a steady paycheck, I immediately started applying to different companies. Pooler’s was one of the first.
Why did I apply to her company?
Apparently, Catherine Pooler created her own line of inks and stamps to rival other ink/stamp companies. According to her, the quality is superior to Stampin’ Up! Alrighty, then.
Her company was looking for a graphics and marketing specialist who would be responsible for designing her packaging, social media, and what have you. It was right in the vein of what I already was doing as a freelancer. So I felt pretty confident in applying. The job was part-time with the potential to move to full-time–no health insurance. At the time, that seemed okay since I still had some money in the bank.
I was so excited to get an Indeed message from her that she wanted an interview.
We had a phone interview first that went really well. I spoke with Pooler and her chief operating officer. I can’t remember the particulars of the conversation. All I remember is that was positive and they wanted me to come to the office for an in-person interview.
What I Wore
My interview wig, colored contacts, natural-looking makeup, a black v-neck stretch top I made years ago, a black and houndstooth pencil skirt, and black high heels. I looked good.
The Actual Interview
If the phone interview was anything to go by, I thought the in-person one would follow suit.
Pooler’s office was a good 25-30 minute drive from my house. It was in an ugly two-floor office building, probably built in the 60s. Her actually office was a small three-room space on the second floor. One room was used as storage for all of her stamping supplies, the other room was her office, and the large room you enter when you walk in was the workroom. It had one table with four to five people working at it on their laptops.
Catherine introduced me to them, and they barely nodded in my direction. Pretty cold reception.
She showed me her numerous unopened boxes of supplies and explained to me they were planning on moving to a new location in the next couple of months. One of the possible locations was a five-minute drive from my house. Inside I was doing cartwheels.
She ushered me into her office with her operations manager, Kelly.
Then the awkwardness ensued.
Neither of them could seem to figure out what line of questioning to use with me.
“Oh, we’re so casual here. We don’t have a set of questions…”
They assured me that I would not be 100% responsible for the marketing strategy, but would be more or less implimenting it.
They asked me if I draw.
They asked me what I thought of their then website and what would I do to fix it.
They asked about some product packaging and how I would change it.
Kelly bristled when I talked about my WordPress experience.
Overall, Catherine was pretty chill and easy to vibe with. Kelly was a different story. I could tell she did not like me. Kelly is also old and fat. Not sure if that matters much; I just thought I’d throw that in there.
They gave me an “assignment.” Read=unpaid work sample.
I was to design a postcard using Catherine Pooler’s logo and some select photographs. The point was to highlight her brand using information from her website.
I guess I bombed it.
I followed up with an email to both Catherine and Kelly and even sent these people thank you cards.
Got a message from Kelly through Indeed that I did not make the cut. And that was that.
This is who they hired. Scroll down, and you’ll see. She fits right in…
The Finding a Job Sucks series chronicles my misadventures through unemployment. I explore my mountains and valleys through the process in detail as a method of catharsis and resentful pettiness. 2018 has been one of the most difficult years of my life. No sense in sugar-coating it.