I know it’s been a minute, but you will be happy I’m back, cause I’m about to spill all the tea. It’s story time friends, so grab yourself a cuppa (or a gala of wine) and start sipping!
Okay, so as I detailed in a previous post I quit my job right. So, as any other fresh out of uni student, I needed to decide what I was going to do next, as I sure as hell wasn’t going back to recruitment or any sales related job. So, I started applying. I had a friend who was working in admin for a company called Avanade (yes I’m calling out names lol). She had been working there for around a month at this time. They were like a professional services firm who offers human resource solutions.
I told her about my situation and she said that they were hiring for Business interns. Although I wanted a permanent position, I didn’t mind that it was an internship because I knew that the next job might not come easy and I would have to hustle a little. Plus, when considering what the dream was, consultancy was it and this was my in! I was super excited and kinda amazed at how everything was falling into palace, I knew there was a reason why I quit my job.
So, I edited my CV so it fit the job spec and I handed in my application to my friend who said she would give it to her boss as a referral. A couple days later my phone rings. I answer. Paula (let’s give her a name to make it easier) in her super fake professional “work” voice – y’all know the one I’m talking about – informs me that I can come in for an interview, I’m estatic, everything is working out!
I caught up with her later to find out the process she had to go through to get me the interview, did he like me a lot off the bat? Well, he barely even saw my application, she said she slipped my name onto the shortlist and he didn’t question it. RESULT! Right? Well that’s what I thought, she came through, but what I saw as a blessing should have been my first hint that something just isn’t right…
At this time I had been interviewing at a variety of places for different position, so I had gotten a feel for what the process was like. Usually, after the call to say you got the interview (the one Paula did) you would get a confirmation email with the date, time and location. I waited… Nothing. So, I hollered at my girl and she said that I would have an interview on say the following Tuesday at say 12 (can’t remember the exact details), she also mentioned that the boss seems to really trust her and she has been carrying out most of the interviews for the internship positions 👀👀 and so I would be meeting with her. I’m like oookkkkaaaayyy that’s weird, she’d been there for less then a month and she was doing interviews? But, I’m happy for her, my girl is in high places, she’s doing bits like the boss she is … right?
Okay, so I go for the interview. It’s in one of those buildings that rents out office spaces/desks to people per hour or per day. Bare in mind I had already googled the company and it wasn’t at the company address, I ask Paula about it and she says they are renting space temporarily as it is a US company which are expanding to the UK so they are currently looking for a office, makes sense right. So, we did the interview which was really just a quick chat and then I signed the internship papers and I had to pay a refundable £50 for a DBS check before I could start (she assured me she had already gotten her refund and it was standard procedure). And then we went for lunch and I went to take snaps to celebrate my new job !!!
I was scheduled to start say two weeks after the “interview”, but two weeks later I had received no more information on what I would be doing, where I should go and what time to come in. I had already filled out the DBS form which was a prerequisite, but I still hadn’t even spoken to the boss at this point. I sent emails and sometimes I was getting replies, but they were at odd times, maybe 8pm, 9pm, even past midnight! At the same time I was turning down interviews for places I had previously applied for because I thought I was set.
Finally around a month later I start, I meet the boss, not in an office but in the lounge of a hotel. He was a black American guy at around 5’10 with a shabby suit on. As the week went on I never saw an office, always in lounges, internet cafes, coffee shops and sometimes pubs. His explanation was that he had interviews to do and he prefers to do them here as he doesn’t want too many random people at their nice office in Reading and similar to Paula’s story about being in the process of setting up a London location.
At this point I am highly suspicious of this man, he seems to have an explanation for everything, the company was called Avande but the company email address was “@uniqulyhr.com”. I hadn’t met any of the consultants or any staff at all other than him and Paula. One time he brought out 3 brick phones, again he had an explanation, that they belonged to previous employees who had since left the company. Now I’m feeling like an idiot, nothing is making sense and I tell Paula this… I start to ask more questions:
Where is she currently working?
She was usually working in the rented spaces, at one point she had tried to use the details to get in and they said that she was no longer allowed access, that the “company” owed money which hadn’t been paid and so she was banned. Since then she too had been working form weird locations and we started to meet up more during “work hours” haha. When I asked him about it – his name was Ralph – he said that he had used a promotional offer and was just seeing how much he could get away with 👀👀👀
Had she been paid yet?
As she’d said before, she had received her first months pay, but it wasn’t the full amount as he said there was a cut off date so the rest would be rolled over to the next month’s pay… hmmm.
But this month was due and he hadn’t paid it yet, was saying it was because her payslip was wrong -which she shouldn’t be filling out herself anyway! He said it would come the day after due to a banking fault. Then he put her on suspension for using her personal phone to make a call. This man was fully playing games, now she even had to admit that ish weren’t right. This lady was owed a full months pay at the point and was expecting £2k. She had bills to pay and this man was playing.
So how was she paid the first month?
Had she met any other workers?
Where were the other people she’d interviewed?
One of the programs were cancelled so they didn’t start, no word on when their DBS fee was refunded. For another accountancy scheme they had started but were blowing up her phone about the “places” they worked at. The inability to contact their manager, pay, their actual jobs as they weren’t doing much. It was driving her crazy, she was just giving them as much information she knew – which wasn’t much.
At this point I was I’d been there for just over a week and I was pushing her to do some investigating and we did!
To be continued…