I was researching "Work at Home" opportunities for a possible upcoming article when I came across VipDesk. Unlike so many work at home solicitations, this is actually a legitimate outfit with a pay scale well above minimum wage ($14/hour and up plus benefits). The work could actually be very interesting for the right sort of person: Vipdesk offers a "concierge service" to well heeled clients. That is, the person working at home is a general resource for the client - they might make dinner reservations, travel arrangements, track down hard to find items and so on.
Sounds like fun, right? I know my wife would be very good at something like this and would probably enjoy it if she weren't so handicapped by her illness. I bet you know a few people who could do something like this very well, right? I decided to dig in and find out just what kind of people they are looking for.
The website's FAQ explains:
In order to fulfill the demands of this fast-paced job, it is very important to be extremely savvy, resourceful and have a strong background in travel, either through personal or work experience. This is a position that requires hospitality expertise and the ability to craft and provide customers with relevant recommendations.
Hmmm.. how many people in the $14 an hour world have a strong background
in travel? Well, maybe someone who actually worked at a travel agent, but otherwise people making that kind of money don't travel much. What else
does one need to become a concierge?
Quite a bit, actually. Vipdesk requires you to have a home office. Not just
any home office, but one with locks on the door to "ensure data security". You'll
need a shredder for the same reason. High speed Internet access is required - no dial-up, satellite, or wireless. Wouldn't want to upset the clients with a choppy Internet connection, would we? There are specific telephone requirements also: dedicated land line, no Skype, no cordless and a non-wireless, noise canceling headset. That line has to be dedicated to Vipdesk, by the way, and you also need to be able to send and receive faxes (apparently it's OK to do that over the Internet!). You must have a locking file cabinet too..
Of course Vipdesk will be checking your background - criminal record and even credit scores. I wonder how fussy they are: I imagine more than a few people at this pay scale don't enjoy 800+ FICO scores.
Vipdesk does offer both full and part time work. You might not like the hours, though. Their FAQ explains:
VIPdesk's operating hours are 24/7/365. We require candidates to be available during our operating hours, which includes nights, weekends, and holidays.
No, they aren't asking people to work around the clock - it's scheduled
shifts. But still.. seems like cheap money for the shifts nobody wants.
Maybe I'm being unfair, but I think they are asking a lot for
that kind of money. Of course they do say "and up" and the FAQ
doesn't say if the benefits are paid for by you or them. I guess
this could be a reasonable job for some people even if it does
sound a bit abusive to me.