13 Feb Timeshare Job: One Last Attempt to Find Humanity
I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you that I continued to shop around that day for more timeshare sales job offers. Like any savvy shopper, I don’t believe you should take the first offer that falls on your lap. Never the first. You wouldn’t get hitched to the first girl you ever met would you? No, rather, you survey the field so you know the score. Find out as soon as possible how the game works. As ABC commercials once said so eloquently: “Knowledge is Power” (now be a good consumer and mindlessly watch our programming).
I continued that day by checking out all my options. There were countless Timeshare resorts, so surely there was would be countless timeshare sales jobs, or so I thought. From other Timeshare resorts that also boasted shameless knockoffs to the outright offensive in order to wow the masses, I wanted to find the right place. A place that didn’t completely rob people blind, yet somewhere where I could line my pocket full of pesos.
I got my second offer later that day. I got an offer to be real estate agent. Selling real estate internationally sounds sexy. It can be. But it is painfully slow and requires a commitment and long-term planning I haven’t experienced for a long while. And I needed hard cash. The real estate guys couldn’t have been more different than the Timescrew lot though. An hour-long interview in a real estate office in Nuevo Vallarta where I wasn’t referred to as anything related to shit, was like sitting down with grandpa and chatting over a cup of Joe. The realtors all listened intently, paused and reflected, and shared their real life experiences that were sincere, honest, and incredibly normal. They were not dressed like they were going to the club, nor were they smoking 4 Lucky Strikes at the same time. They behaved like ordinary people with ordinary jobs. The office had civility and tranquility in the air, and most noticeably lacked the sensation of fellow employees’ eyeing each other with scorn and contempt. It was a pleasant break. I didn’t even have to feel for my wallet after I left the office.
But I couldn’t pull the trigger. I needed something that started today. But I still had hope. There was a newly opened Timeshare Resort across the street. Perfect I thought. If it has recently opened they will need salesmen, and it couldn’t be nearly as corrupt as all the others since it was brand new.
Young naivety is precious.
As I approached the Occidental Grand Resort, I noticed a Mexican guy in a white kiosk with informational pamphlets. The white kiosks are the dens of the OPCs (Off Property Contacts), who are professional hustlers. Timeshare Resorts rely on these guys to cleverly fool tourists into going to Timeshare Resort sales presentations in exchange for free shows, food, free vacation stays, and even money. The OPCs are typically locals (although you could make some fast cash being an OPC if you were a Gringo and had some game – more on that later) who have serious people skills. They can be found at the airport, on the main tourist promenades, and standing next to your beach towel. The OPC learning curve is steep, and you need incredibly thick skin to handle the hostile rejections daily, so they usually have an impressive rap that has been perfected from years of coning people. (Interesting sidenote, many OPCs really are ex-convicts who were living in the US and got deported and somehow managed to find their way into Timeshare tourist wrangling because of the high cash potential, and their innate ability to lie convincingly). The OPCs are a treasure trove of information. Because they have the least scruples and loyalty of anyone in the Timeshare Industry, they are like basset hounds when it comes to finding money. If you want to find out who is running a Timeshare scam and who is on the up and up, they are the ones to talk to. The OPCs act like free agents. They constantly are in employment flux chasing whatever Timeshare Resort is giving them the most money for booking a couple on a sales presentation/tour ($300-$1,200 per couple).
My new friend gave me a pretty open and honest breakdown of the current Timeshare playing field. It seems that my initial instinct of the Grand Mayan being a petri dish of vermin was in fact quite accurate. The sales regime was a chop shop, and survival forecast for salesmen was bleak. It did seem however, that the Grand Occidental was ramping up after a recent renovation and could prove to be an opportunity for a fresh, uncorrupted soul such as myself.
The conversation with the management was casual and direct. The employee camaraderie was similar to the other rat ships: passive-aggressive to aggressive gorilla chest thumping.
But the process seemed straightforward enough: Fill out paper work, show up at 8:00 am sharp daily, meet happy potential victims, befriend victims, breakfast/lunch with victims, tour the property with victims, coerce victims into pre-buying 25 years worth of expensive vacations, drink champagne and roll around in pesos. Seemed pretty straightforward to me….or so I thought.