I was gullible a large portion of my life. I’ve become much more aware over the years that sometimes, perhaps, just maybe, people may not be telling the complete truth. It was astonishingly bad in my early years. Example: When I was in grade school, someone convinced me that Hulk Hogan had been literally squashed to death by Andre the Giant. I cried all day, lamenting the loss of one of my heroes, just knowing that his casket would be no more than 6 inches tall. He had been flattened like a pancake; my friend Ryan saw it happen. So when the Hulkster showed up on television the next week — standing tall, 24-inch pythons and everything — I knew that I had been duped. Fool me once…..
Things definitely improved as the years went by — years of playing “Hey, Look” definitely helped. You know that game, right? It’s where you make a circle with your fingers below your waist, and if you can get your friends to look directly at it, that somehow gave you the right to punch them. “You looked where I requested you to look. You gave me your trust and I threw it in the garbage. Sucker.” *punch, high five, giddy laughter*
After years of recovering from bruised upper arms, I became more cynical, more aware of how the real world works. People, no matter how wonderful they usually are, can be deceitful. If it seems unreasonable, or too good to be true, then perhaps it is. Take a timeout, let the facts sink in for a moment. Does the 350 lb. guy hitting on you work for the Navy Seals? Did Jessica Alba really respond to your “Missed Connections” ad? Can our black president really be a member of the Nazi Party? Nope, no chance, and definitely not.
There are moments when this outlook doesn’t work out. You can miss out on fantastic opportunities if you aren’t on your game. In high school, an older girl in my art class told me that I was cute, I responded by laughing in her face. I was only protecting myself, or so I thought. This just led to being called, pardon the language, “that fag that giggles like a girl” all semester. That’s not the worst thing that’s ever happened to me, but I also could have fired the first shots of the Sexual Revolution much sooner than I did. C’est la vie.
So what is the purpose of this essay, you may have asked yourself three paragraphs ago?
It seems that New York City, or more specifically, it’s various con artists, think I’m an idiot. Not once, but twice in the last week, I’ve had to go, “Heeeeeeeey, now, that can’t possibly be true.” What’s especially upsetting here is both of them pertained to possible jobs, something of high importance at the moment. These jackaloons are getting my hopes up, and it’s leaving me a smidge more cynical than before. I might, just might, feel better about this if they weren’t so glaringly obvious in their attempts at duping me. Give me some credit. I mean, I sent you my resume, you know that I’ve been to school. Come on.
To properly highlight what level of criminals I’m dealing with here, let me show what has been sent to me.
First, I applied to a Craiglist ad (note: I’m VERY particular about which jobs I apply for on this website. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. But this one actually looked legit. That’s on me.) for a sales job at a “publishing company” in Queens. The very next day (which is a bad sign on it’s own, it should be weeks before you hear back) I received a phone call AND an email from someone at this company. The voicemail they left gave me hope. In retrospect, this makes me the angriest. The woman sounded professional, left a phone number with an extension, and sounded optimistic about meeting me. Awesome. But then the same woman sent me an email five minutes later, basically saying verbatim what she said in the voicemail. Why was she so adamant about meeting me if they were “interviewing several people today?” This was my cue to look into this company. I typed in the company name, leading me to an official website. Again, looked legitimate. It was a fully functional site with tons of news links and places to go. I breathed a sigh of relief, and was about to pick up the phone to call her back. But then I saw the second link on the Google search. It went to Ripoff Report, a site where scorned consumers can warn others of fraudulent companies. Fantastic. Here was one posting on the site:
“They run credit cards illegally all day w/o consent. They will lie to you and say they record conversations and that you agreed and run your credit card. If your CC is expired they will run the #’s and guess the expiration date, since CC companies do not give you a new number when your card expires. The owners are rich as hell and brag about everything they have and buy. They will hold employees paychecks, cheat you on taxes, and make you pay $50 a week for their crappy medical insurance.
P.S. If you do not sell at least $2,000 a week, you get $0 salary!”
Wait, they’re is medical insurance? Where do I sign up?!? Getting my yearly colonoscopy would totally be worth getting arrested for fraud. No doubt.
This wasn’t the only entry complaining of these practices. There were dozens, all saying the exact same thing. This sales job entailed calling people everyday, typically senior citizens, verbally berating them until they agreed to sign up, and then charging them ten times more than they agreed to. I’m still not sure what it is they actually sell. I think it’s a Who’s Who of the business world type thing, but it’s full of nothing but retired people. Confounding stuff. So, yeah, I didn’t get back to them. Of course, she called again this morning. My guess is people don’t last long at this job, which is why she’s so desperate to get me on the phone. No dice, dollface. I certainly need a job, but I also need to not hate myself. Hit me up in a few months, I may have changed my perspective by then.
The final chapter on our journey to the center of stupidity involves Hotjobs, which I assumed was more legitimate than an open forum like Craigslist. Boy, was I wrong. The email I received in response to a clerical position was top-notch LOL stuff. I can’t do it justice, so here you go:
Our managers went through your resume and you have been picked for an alternative Job which is the Accounts receivable. This position is also a Business Management position only that you work from home till October 2009 when the new office in your state is open for business then you would be the Administrative Assistant there. Once orders are received and sorted we deliver the product to a customer. After this has been done the customer has to pay for the products but in most cases we make our clients prepay for orders or items they ordered for. About 90 percent of our customers prefer to pay through, Certified Checks or Money Orders drawn from the United State based on the amount involved why Only few decide on other forms of payment.
WHAT YOUR NEED TO DO FOR US
1. Receive payment from our Customers or Clients.
2. Cash Payment at your Bank or Deposit payment and let us know how long its going to take before it clears at the Bank.
3. Deduct 10% which will be your percentage/pay on Payments processed, also you will be earning $1,000.00 for a Monthly payment at the end of every Month.
4. Forward balance after deduction of your 10% pay to any of the offices you will be instructed to send payment to.
You’ will have a lot of free time doing another job, because this is a part time job, you will get a really good income. But this job is very challenging and you should understand it. We are considering your application because you satisfy our requirements and we are sure you will be an earnest assistant till we start running our branch office in your state. For example if you recieve 4000.00 USD, your 10% should be 400.00 USD.
Thanks for your anticipated action. And we hope to hear back from you.
Note: This is also a medium of challenging the possibilities inherent on the online technology according to my research work titled “Staff development for online delivery: A collaborative, team based action learning model” you can check the website below for a more comprehensive reading of the article.
Please cite as: Ellis, A. and Phelps, R. (2000). Staff development for online delivery: A collaborative, team based action learning model. Australian Journal of Educational Technology, 16(1), 26-44.”
So, this is the Russian mafia, correct? It has to be. The broken English, randomly capitalized words, the fact that I would be laundering money, etc. My favorite part is the very end. Having someone cash a check, take out ten percent, and then send it back is a “learning model?” Last I checked, that was third grade math and a possible felony.
This one was spotted as malarkey instantly. You lost me at “The job you applied to is taken, but hey, you sound like a second rate thug, how about you risk your freedom for us?” Shockingly, though, they did not ask for my bank account information. They’re leaving the criminal activity strictly up to me, which I appreciate. I mean, I’m wicked good at thievin’. Just ask the sheriff of Nottingham.
In the end, this is all very disheartening. The only responses I get from possible employers are not real. Well, not real in the “don’t want to go to jail” sense. I’ve come a long way from those days of sobbing over dead men in spandex, and it’s keeping my criminal record clean. But is it hurting my employment record? Screw it, I’ve always wanted to gain fifty pounds of muscle. Let’s go to jail and pound some iron!