I'm sure you've all been seeing flyers posted every few feet involving being able to make 18.50 an hour. It sounds rather exciting. 18.50 an hour? Most of us won't see that much money after we graduate! Fuck, why are we even toiling away at this school when we can just call this business which is so hardcore that they don't even give you their name and get hired so we can make more money than a starting lawyer? Let's do this, people. Let's make it happen. I should just fill you in on a couple of things before we all make our phone call that will inevitably lead to us all being proud owners of limousines with heart shaped hot tubs in the back, dining rooms made entirely out of platinum teeth (the hip people call them "grillz"), and white slaves that are fluent in romance languages that we've always said we were going to learn, but never really found the time to. In order to drop the knowledge on all of you all, I went undercover to see what this was all about, and if it's a viable option to make some extra drug money. I walked into an empty-ish office space in Suffolk County, NY. The building was home to a biker bar, Dunkin Donuts, and an Army recruiting station. I was greeted at the door by Sarah, a woman in her early twenties. She had the look and physique of someone trying to get you in on their pyramid scheme. She was a bit dumpy, droopy-eyed, and she had the crippling aura of depression wafting off of her. It was obvious just by looking at Sarah that she recently came to the realization that her plan to become a millionaire should have had some sort of plans and tragedies in between "graduate high school with a 2.5" and "Screaming "'do you know who the fuck I am?' to the Starbucks barista who forgot to add the whipped cream." You may think I'm being judgmental. Well, I'm not. Although Sarah didn't recognize me, I knew her from a friend of a friend. We met at a party once, and she tried to get me into some sort of arrangement with a group of people where everyone would benefit without being left out of the action. Before I made the social err of dropping my pants, I realized she was talking about a pyramid scheme. She was the only one there. Where desks and downtrodden employees should be, there were small posters on the wall, offering confusing, slightly insider mottos, like "Beast From the East!" or "We Can" .and WE WILL!" Do what? I don't know. It's been 20 minutes into the interview, and I've learned nothing. Sarah asks me personal questions that interviewers usually don't ask. "Are you the outspoken one in your family?" "If you were on the island in "'Lord of the Flies,' would you be the leader?" Before I told her that my family was presumed dead after crashing their cargo plane somewhere near the Haittian islands, rendering both of her questions irrelevant and inappropriate, she told me that I passed the "first stage of the interview." Wow. There are stages. She asked me to come back in an hour for the second part. An hour later, I was in a semi circle with a group of people who also were lucky enough to pass the first stage. They all sported defeated, pathetic looks. If Sarah was applying "depression and gullibility" as eyeliner, the rest of them were applying it with a paint brush. As someone who actually has a decent paying job, I felt kind of guilty working undercover, rather than going along and drinking the Kool Aid. Eventually, Sarah came out of her office, carrying an open case of knives. Vector, the company aggressively trying to recruit you, are shilling Cutco brand knives. They're actually quite good knives. But not in the ways that matter. More on that later. Sarah kicked off the interview by threatening us. "We don't like it when people ask questions during the presentation. Wait for the answer." We? She capped it off by saying that question disrupts the presentation, and repeat offenders will be asked to leave. Since she was holding knifes sharp enough to pluck our founding father's eyes out on Mount Rushmore, I kept my mouth shut. Sarah went through the presentation with the enthusiasm of a cult leader who just decided that the media will really treat him like the next Jesus if he can only convince you to cut your own head off. Unfortunately, in the Roleplaying game of life, Sarah had rolled a -20 in charisma, and she bellowed through her hour long presentation like a nine year old in a school play that only got the script as the curtain rose. It didn't matter. Her audience was eating it up. The 20-60 year olds sitting on both sides of me were watching with amazement. They didn't see Sarah as a girl who's a couple of bad decisions away from carrying weed over the border for her boyfriend who's aspiring to be a DJ for sweet sixteen parties. They saw her as a ticket out of their current rut. The knives can slice through a refrigerator. The pruning shears cut through pennies. The apple corer ripped through a credit card faster than a frat brother "accidentally" breaks the last condom in the underwear drawer. But any chef will tell you that really doesn't count for anything. As sharp as cutco knives are, no reasonable kitchen stocks them. Neither do stores. And that's when Vector shows its ugly face to the people foolish enough to show up for an interview. You'll be selling knives. Not by phone, and not door to door. You'll start by writing down a list of everyone you know within driving distance of you. Even if they're in no position to buy knives. Just because your 12 year old, retarded, handless neighbor won't be able to cut through knives, maybe he knows someone who's into that sort of thing. This is to be your starting list. Now, all you need to do is to call these people up (mostly your friends and family) and tie them down for an appointment. Because its your grandma and your friend who knows that you know that he fucked that homeless girl in Vegas, they're not going to say no to you. So you give them the knife pitch. You cut through their personal belongings, and whether they buy from you or not, it's in your best interested to ask them to give you some referrals, so you can make appointments with people who can give you more names, and so on, and so on. If this is your thing, (and it might be, some dedicated salespeople can make some serious money from this) go for it. Congratulations. You've turned yourself into a walking commercial for even more shit your family doesn't need. Halfway into Thanksgiving dinner, your loved ones are going to be wishing that you joined Al Qaeda instead. Sarah tells us we'll make 18 dollars per APPOINTMENT, which should take an hour. Add in the time it takes to make the calls, drive to the location, subtract gas, remove the taxes you'll have to pay during tax season, and you've reached a much lower financial goal than you intended. Someone asks when we can start. I look over. She looks like a school bus driver, and I could swear that she's killed before. Sarah tells her that we'll start as soon as we go through our mandatory 15 hour training (not paid,) and once we buy the starting knife set" for about two hundred dollars. Things got ugly after that, and I decided to leave. I did the rest of my investigation online. There's "Students Against Vector Exploitation," who petition to take these types of ads out of our colleges. Surely there's a better way to get money. If you are one of the many that are looking for employment, just keep this in mind: If they're worth a damn, then they don't need to look for you. It's just like colleges or organized religion.
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