More nebulous "opportunities."
Date: November 10, 2005 07:19AM

Being a poor graduate student, I'm often on the lookout for PT work, and if it actually pays more than a mere subsistence-wage as defined by NPR.

Today I saw something. SIXTEEN bucks an hour in their "set up and display" areas, clean work, must look professional, flexible PT hours.
It was just within the maximum commute radius, sounded just good enough to be true, yet vague enough to be anything.

I made the call. After all it's a free country, and people are allowed to asky questions, right?

She picked up on the first ring.


Let's just say that hers was not the pleasing customer service voice that such jobs demand of their workers. And strangely she neither announced her name nor the name of her company. I felt vague unease at this. My intuitive voice chimed in.

But I pressed on. After all: it's sixteen bucks an hour no matter what that little intuitive voice may be saying.

"Ah, I'm calling about the ad in the Star Tribune?"

"We're interviewing TODAY at 1pm and 5pm," she replied brusquely.

When I didn't respond instantly, she said, "Which time can you come in?"

As if those were REALLY my ONLY two options, I thought. I'd had this particular sales "trick" attempted on me before.

Finally I said: "I take it you aren't answering any questions on the phone."

Her tone said as much. "We've had over *200* callers."

I thought, so right from the get go you give me attitude and imply that I'm out of line simply asking for clarification before sacrificing 30 miles of gasoline and a couple hours of my life. If that's how you treat prospective employees, I'd sure hate to see how you treat the ones you've already got.

She pressed on, "So which time are you coming in."

"Neither. No thanks. Goodbye." I hung up without waiting for a reply.

There are always more than just *two* options.

It feels good to turn the tables such weasels.


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