This woman is never going to come through with the money. The check with the funds was returned to her client, she says. It was money to turn my apartment into a Home Office. Insufficient address. It will be re-sent to me today by UPS or Fedex. The sufficient address was on my resume. The sufficient address was presented clearly in the body of an email. But the check was returned. How long until they ask for my bank account. I give it two days. I know you prefer to be paid by check. But in the interest of time can we send a Western Union money transfer. Can we wire it directly to your account. We will need your routing number, account number, online banking password, and Social Security number. Her English is out of Google Translate. She is in Thailand for eight weeks teaching a seminar. She is a portrait photographer. I am unaware of a market for eight week portrait photography seminars in Thailand, but– what if. She offered me the job. The unemployment claim form says: did you REFUSE any work?
I’m to be her Personal Assistant. Five hundred dollars a week. Handle her correspondence and billing. Receive “mails” on her behalf, to my home. Send “mails” out. I knew it was a scam, in my heart. Because I applied to it off Craigslist. Sent in my massively overqualified resume and succint but detailed cover letter. There was an extensive interview process via email. Essays upon essays like applying for college. I did it all, knowing it was just required to make a scam look real. And I knew it was a scam because she got back to me in the first place.
Rule of thumb. If you apply for a Craigslist job, and the employer contacts you: scam. Career Opportunity in Finance (Pasadena). No compensation listed. You send a resume. Receive an excited call that day. They sound a little off. We’re offering an opportunity to be a Financial Leader of the Future. There’s a group interview session Monday night at 8. You go. You have to. Did you REFUSE any work? Beige room full of ne’er-do-wells trying to look interested. The one hot chick in the office gives the presentation. Draws a triangle on a squeaky whiteboard. It represents the Three Corners of Financial Stability. Did you know that Baby Boomers are turning 65 at a rate of 11,000 per day. Take advantage of this soaring growth market. Sell the idea of selling life insurance to other unemployed people. I am obligated to tell you: this is not a salaried position. This is not an hourly position. But if you invest in yourself like we will invest in you, there is no reason you can’t make six figures next year. She pulled up in the same ’94 Ford Escort “L” wagon my parents used to have. We only make money if you make money.
If they call you, it’s not a job. There is a two hundred hour training course plus books. Their books that you pay for. After that you’re on a probationary period of ninety days. You will sell insurance policies or talk an elderly person into sinking their 401K into FML Financial Systems’® custom suite of investment products. Then you get a piece. The person who called you gets a piece. The person who called them off the State of California’s unemployment web site where you’re legally required to post your resume gets a piece. And so on. You are encouraged to discuss our products with family and friends.
The real money comes in management. The slightly overweight young professional woman who carries it in the right places has been there for eighteen months, she tells us. Now I’m on the Management Track. I could be in charge of four offices next year. I believe in the Triangle of Financial Security. The triangle is the most stable form in geometry. The best part of my job is helping people. Knowing the security I provide lets people live their dreams.
All I want is to be a fucking secretary. I did it for seven years, for Hollywood assholes who will flay you alive over a misplaced paper clip. I’m a robot at it now. All I want is to do that for eight hours. Go home and write my stupid book. All I want is enough money for rent, gas and chicken.
I want to go to work, pay my taxes, come home and not fucking think about it. I’m not a motivated self starting entrepreneur. I don’t want an opportunity for growth. I don’t need to sound cool to girls. That’s what the book is for. Go to work and get paid and come home. Impossible. Jobs do not exist. The promise of a job is just a way for motivated self starting entrepreneurs to sell you something. The unemployed are a captive market. There is no money. There is only debt. What’s out there is: you pay to work. Soon the whole economy will be like this.
Actually, there are a few real jobs. If you’re looking for a nine to five: move on, their ads tell you. If you’re looking to punch a clock and go home this is not for you. There will be late night calls and emails. Things I need handled YESTERDAY. Loving dogs is a MUST. This is for a “Web Mogul” and “Bestselling Author.” She needs support for “many businesses run out of my home in Malibu.” Interest in Special Diets a plus. So she writes books about gluten. Six Kelp Soups to Cure Cancer. Then she sells you Herbalife. This is one of the “writer/personal assistant” jobs. They put the word “writer” in because a “secretary” won’t pick up dog shit for ten bucks an hour. You write “compelling SEO friendly content” about Special Diets for the Bestselling Author’s web site, between her spaniels’ bowel movements. HUGE opportunity for growth. I apply. How could I not. It combines the only two things I know how to do.
You can tell it’s real by how much it sucks. You can almost feel the warmth of the dog shit bag in your hand. Like holding a scared mouse. This one is real: she didn’t call me back.
I have my Federal Unemployment Extension Eligibility Interview Tuesday. Even if it comes through, I got fucked by the Sequester. They lopped off eighty bucks a week. It’s OK. I don’t want unemployment anymore. I feel like a fuckin leech. Maybe this crazy bitch will come through with the money. I just have to wire ten per cent first. Care of Lieutenant Colonel Cornelius M’Bikwe out of Lagos. If I can get that five hundred bones a week. If I can hold on to my part time real estate gig. Rent, gas and chicken. The American Dream.