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When I tell people that I work as an online-dating assistant, their initial reaction is of morbid curiosity. But the intake interviewer seemed just as interested in my ethical flexibility as he was in the journalistic details of my résumé. ” Would I be comfortable ranking clients’ photographs? I learned that there are two main types of writers at the company: “Profile Writers,” who create seductive and click-worthy profiles based on facts our clients have supplied about themselves, and “Closers,” who log in to clients’ dating accounts at least twice a day to respond to messages from matches.
Despite hiring writers to do this work, virtually none of what the company does requires creativity of any kind.
I’m what’s called a “Closer” for the online-dating service Vi DA (Virtual Dating Assistants).
This messaging “blast” technique may appear lucrative compared to the average neighborhood yenta, but it has occurred to me that good matchmaking may not be in the company’s financial interest. And with Vi DA charging each client anywhere from $495 to $1,695 a month for its services, there is a significant financial incentive to keep them coming back.
Originally a sales guy with no time for “real dates,” Valdez grew Vi DA’s brand out of his own experiences in the dating world.
“She seems more simple,” my trainer would write in response.
“Let’s try a different approach.” My meaningful questions would disappear from our shared Google Doc, replaced by simpler, condescending small talk.
”If there’s a message that the client doesn’t like, we take it out of rotation.” After the Matchmakers have made contact, the Closers then step in to keep up the flirty banter and, hopefully, get their client a date.
Clients are sent weekly emails to alert them of numbers we’ve scored or, for Platinum clients, when and where to go for a date we’ve arranged.
At first, my trainer encouraged me to get creative with my replies, but by the third week, I was still getting back extensive rewrites.
My most frequent mistake was asking career-oriented questions, which were deemed too difficult for some women to answer.
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