Mar 16, 2007

Intense or Just Tense?

I'm currently working with a former ePrizer and, strange to say, it's only been at this new place that I've ever seen her smile. The ability to smile is one of those things that one sacrifices in such an intense workplace. I think that all spouses, significant others, friends, and family members of exPrizers would say that they're much happier people now than they were then.

It's odd. There are dozens of people that I used to spend hours on end with every darned day of the week that I've managed to lose all contact with. They're either too darned busy or too darned pissed off to maintain any kind of links with me or any other exPrizers. The pace is just too fast and furious to worry about things like absent friends. Out of sight and out of mind. Worse, exPrizers are often demonized after their departure. All things wrong becomes attributed to them and their names are cursed with abandon. Upper Management doesn't do much to help stem this situation. Rather, they pile on and have been known to out and out lie about departed souls. "We talked to them several times..." "They were on a sixty day improvement plan..." "They just weren't 'A' players..." and other rote excuses come too easily when pressed about the departed.

If you're not spoken ill of, you're not spoken of at all. Letting anyone know that an ePrizer has "crossed over" is poo-pooed if not outright verboten. Sending out an email to wish people well and provide new contact information is the exception and not the rule. When one manager sent out a note to say his farewell to a team member and bid him good luck for the whole company to read he was later called on the carpet.

Thinking back on how intense everything was and how tense everyone was at ePrize it doesn't surprise me that we get some amazingly hot-headed comments from current employees here. But, more importantly, this has made me consider what I was like during my tenure at ePrize and I've come to the conclusion that I probably wasn't as nice as I could have been. I knew what was best for my department and for the company -- based on the information I was given. That said, I pursued things doggedly and waxed dogmatically. This didn't always lead to me coming across as the most perfect ray of sunshine. If I stepped on you along the way, I'm probably sorry but I'd have to evaluate that on a case-by-case basis. Just know that outside of ePrize, I and all of the other exPrizers that I've had the pleasure of knowing, are much more prone to smile and be polite than we used to be.


Anonymous said...

Oooh, I've been waiting for the oppotunity to pick the brains of an ex-ePrize employee. Where have you been all my life? LOL!

I know this is off topic, but I couldn't pass up the chance. So here goes...

I am what you would call a serial sweeper (I enter sweepstakes on a daily basis). I think that makes me the anti-Christ of ePrize - am I right? But why? Why is it that ePrize hates us sweepers? Don't they get paid by the sponsers whether we enter once or enter daily?

Another question is why do they "hide" the sweepstakes from us? If we go to the ePrize web site, some of the sweepstakes are not showing up on the current promotions list and they're not showing up with a Google search either. Is there another way to find the current sweepstakes?

And lastly, just a comment from a different point-of-view. We sweepers HATE the caffeinenow promotions. They look cheesy and unprofessional. Some/most of them have the submit form button so far away from where you enter your information that you have to fully open the page to submit. And not to mention that they're all flash - which we HATE too.

Hey - if you can't or don't want to answer any of my questions, I'll understand. But I would really appreciate if you do.


Ghost of ePrize Past said...

The whole reason for ePrize to exist is to acquire email and street addresses of people who "opt in" for more information about the company whose sweeps they're registering with. The so-called "sweeps whores" are seen as a blight as they're not "good data". By registering for everything and not opting in, they're just information clogging up the database.

As for "hiding" sweepstakes... the Live Promotions / Portfolio page is meant to show off some of the more "ground-breaking" promotions and sweepstakes don't usually qualify for those.

Some contended that ePrize should have a newsletter/RSS feed with any/all sweepstakes with URLs tagged as "sweeps whore" that could be easily filtered out of the database or would take users right to the alternate method of entry as that information should be tossed out as junk anyway (not sure if it is -- a lot of the data purging said to happen actually doesn't, no matter what the privacy policy says).

That's the inside scoop. Personally, I always loved to go to the sweeps bulletin boards and read some of the comments. They were great sources for discussions of usability at times. Though, you guys were just viscious to the poor gal that played the "Delf" in the Dell Xmas promotion a few years ago.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for answering my questions.

I hope you don't mind that I opened a topic on the sweepstakes message board that I go to and have quoted some of your answers. This has sparked an ePrize discussion over there - unfortunately, you have to be a paid member to read those messages.

Some of my fellow sweepers have laughed about the title of "sweeps whore" and some have taken offense. May I ask if that is a term used by the majority of ePrize employees or is that your personal term?

Do you think that the sponsers feel the same way; that they dislike sweepers too? Because we may not opt-in for everything but they are still reaching us as far as advertising. We do buy their products even if we don't always subscribe to their newsletters.

And one of my fellow sweepers would like to know (half jokingly) if there are any good tips you can give us. Like what day/time is best to enter?

You're the greatest for taking time to answer me/us. Sorry for hi-jacking your thread :)

Ghost of ePrize Past said...

"Sweeps Whore" isn't just my term. It's not trademarked or anything but it was the popular parlance.

Not sure how clients feel about that as it's not something that ePrize will broach with them. There's talk about "purity of data" and attempts to stop people from "gaming the system" but at the end of the day it's all about the folks that opted in; the hand raisers. These are the people who want to be marketed to. If that's not you, then you're no good to ePrize.

As far as tips... I'm not sure if the technology has changed but it used to be that midnight to 8am was the best time to play instant win games due to the spread of the winning times coupled with the lower traffic to sites. As far as sweepstakes go, there aren't really any tips. Enter early, enter often (as often as the sweeps allows), and enter via the main page rather than via the alternate method of entry.

Good luck and good gaming!

joshua said...

I've been at eprize for over a year now and never heard anyone use the term "sweeps whore".

there is always discussion about people entering that don't really care about the product/promotion and are just interested in the chance to win. But, in the end, the company now has your data and can email/mail you if they want. And a lot are still using the blanket approach, so is there really any such thing as "bad data"?

unfortunately, the instant win engine has changed so late/early times offer no better chance to win (some of us there actually read the things that real people are posting, and proactively react to it) :)

Out of curiosity, anonymous, why do you hate all flash? Just because of the inability to easily navigate thru the pages? I would love to get insight from someone who is very activly participating in these promotions. I am a flash developer at eprize, so obviously i have a particular interest.

Happy Sweeping!
(i would suggest just calling yourselves "sweepers" :)

Louis Friend said...

I once hear d a rumor of a class action lawsuit by the spouses of ePrize workers for mental distress... LOL

Anonymous said...

we hate flash because they require much more memory and are much harder to fill out

PluginsRNice said...

Boo Fucking Hoo. Get a real computer, dipwad.

Anonymous said...

Even though I hated working there, it was probably one of the best jobs I've ever had.

It made me see, unequivocally, that a place like that is not where I ever want to be.

And since then I've found that it doesn't have to be that way, and that success and happiness don't have to come at the price a place like that makes you pay.

This is my last comment (i.e. no need to flame, I won't be back, plus it's just my opinion so wtf do you care?)

Thank you Mike, now I don't have to think about this place anymore.

It's not for everybody said...

Sorry... i meant to say at the end that it was extremely gratifying and relieving to realize that I wasn't alone in my perception of the company.

It's all I needed to move on.