MAKE $1K PER WEEK, the advertisement said. That sounded good to a poor 23 year old in Los Angeles so I dialed the number.
“Hello?” A woman’s voice said on the phone.
“Uh, hi,” I started. “I’m calling about the job in the paper.”
“The interview is at 8 am, Tuesday or Thursday.” She said.
And so Tuesday I got in my car and drove to what was a motel turned office building. I climbed the steps to the second floor and entered the office. I soon discovered that whole thing was some kind of half-assed two day group "interview". A mass sitting in the plastic chairs on the carpet turned and regarded me.
All I remember was we were ushered into the back room one at a time to speak to the head knife guy in a one on one session that lasted about 60 seconds. He perused my resume (judging by the other ‘candidates’ if anything I was overqualified) and then commented on how my shirt wasn't tucked in. He actually said, "Is this how you come to an interview?"
Panic struck me because for a moment I thought I might not be high caliber enough to spend $300 on their display kit of steak knives and then go try to sell such a thing to strangers. No, not really.
And I answered him, honestly, by saying, "The woman on the phone wouldn't even tell me this was an interview" (which was true. I had no idea I'd be there all day 'interviewing'") and he told me to take a seat in the main room (I guess I passed the interview?). Then it was time to read scripts and role play and put people on the spot and scare them into thinking they may not be good enough to make the final cut (pun).
What a joke. And you know what? I think people were actually sitting there going "I'll show this asshole. I'm going to sell more steak knives than anyone in the valley and I'll come back and show that bastard my awards and my money roll." And in some small way, I'll bet that's how a lot of people think while they're at work. "I'll show my asshole boss. I'll work EVEN harder and he'll recognize!"