I entered a virtual interview station which consisted of a live video presentation, a chat box, and a list of about 120 other people also interviewing for Staffing and Careers, or Careers and Staffs, or Careers in Staffing... or whatever the highly generic name of the company was. The first 20 minutes was a presentation about how the career of head-hunting, is one of the most growing positions available and Rah Rah Rah this careers is so easy to do from home, and you can make 6 figures your first year if you work really hard. Alarms immediately went off in my head because anytime someone spends a good deal of time trying to convince you of how awesome they are without actually doing anything more than talking, theyre usually not. As if Ive never watched t.v. before, this arrogant charismatic snake-oil salesman was trying to convince me that he could provide me with a better career.
Im sure weve all seen the commercials where the company isnt actually trying to sell you anything, but rather, the ad is a feel good commercial that just keeps talking about how theyre bringing the world into the future without getting into any specifics. Then, two months later you read on page 9 of the paper that the company was involved with some sort of insider trading or price manipulation, fleecing Americans out of millions of dollars. With the story adequately buried and the hearts and minds of most Americans clouded because of the light and cheery music in the background of their damage control ad, the company can then continue to be an asshole. (Although, BP may have recently ruined that whole genre of damage control commercials by making an ad with sandy white beautiful beaches and absolutely no oil and a smile on everyones face while their well was still spewing crude oil into the ocean.)
The man in the video, Stephen Munson, kept saying the he was going to talk to all of us individually. His definition of individually was pretty funny. After he was done with his presentation he told everyone that if they would like to be a part of this company we had to pay a one-time completely refundable $297 association fee to guarantee one of the 25 open positions in the company. At this point we were supposed to write in the chat box any questions we had, and he did his best to answer them while also giving a countdown of how many spots were left. Silly me, I thought that when being interviewed for a job it was the employers responsibility to ask questions to the prospective employee. I guess that just shows you how out of touch with reality I am.
Of course, I realized that it was a scam and used the only method we have at our disposal to counter Nigerian princess scams; I wasted his time. At first, I was only wasting his time as payback for wasting so much of mine, but after watching some of the video I recorded (Im not posting it because its 2 hours long and very unrewarding if you werent there), I could see that he was starting to get combative because I was asking so many questions without any hint of wanting to give him money. At a certain point I began to wonder, whats the point?
Like I always say about panhandlers, with all the time and effort you spend making clever signs, walking up and down the rows of traffic, soliciting countless number of strangers, putting your life at risk being out in the elements all day, you probably could have gone out and got a real job. A real job that has roof over your head, most likely air-conditioning and heat, steady income, and gives you purpose.
Stephen Munson is no different. For all the trouble he spent finding a programmer to make his virtual interview room, coming up with all the scripted elements of the chat to make me believe that there were 120 other people fighting for the open spots, the bandwidth, the hosting, he probably could have made a legitimate website. He could have made a website that doesnt get him him in trouble with F.B.I. He could have, but instead he decided to dedicate his resources and gumption to create an elaborate ruse in an attempt to cheat me out of three hundred bucks. (He could have also decided to use a phony name so I wouldnt be able to find his myspace and discover he lives in Orlando, Florida, but he didnt.)
I have a hard time staying mad at bums and people on wealthfare when there are so many more people out there plotting to take much more money from you. And the worst part is, the scammers get away with it most of the time. At least the bums will occasionally entertain me by telling me to ,Rack em up! or by sending punks on their way in an Amber Lamps. The highest social status that the likes of Stephen Munson will ever achieve is selfish douche bag. So, next time I see a bum on the street, I still wont give them any money. Hey, I never claimed to be perfect.