Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Would you care for a free meat package?

What would you do if a friend offered you some meat, for free? What if they asked you on the phone? And what if they were a total stranger, calling you up at random and asking if you were interested in receiving a free meat package?

Ugh. If you think it’s embarrassing enough to receive that call, imagine being the one doing the calling!

I wish I could remember what “company” it was, but one of us (my mom or me) had found the job in the paper, and I have to drive to… I want to say somewhere near Elmhurst, and I was in college and needed a summer job, and it was freaking hot as a roasting oven outside and just as moist, and I had gotten all dressed up in a skirt and blouse and heels, thinking I should look my best despite the strange job description. This was 1993, not the time of the GPS, and by the time I finally found the place I was ready to just turn around.

The sketchy “office” was in a house-like building, but it was definitely a place of business. Four or five cheap metal desks adorned the room with old-fashioned stenographer chairs tucked under. Discount carpeting abounded. I remember enough windows, but I was getting a weird feeling about the place. There was an adjoining room that I assumed was the boss’ office. I seem to remember a window in the connecting wall, but I could be architecturalizing.

Anyway, the job was this: Cold call people to offer them a free meat package and attempt to enroll them in a monthly meat delivery. No cost to them. They could keep the meat if not interested in the monthly package.

I can’t make this stuff up.

So he interviewed me, and looked me up and down a few times, and tried me out for a few hours. I forget the hourly wage, but it was pretty low… maybe six bucks an hour, plus commission on the meat? I got a couple of people to accept “free meat packages” but wasn’t sure I wanted to continue working there. For one thing, the area was borderline dangerous and although I was young, I wasn’t particularly stupid. I wanted to ask for my twenty bucks but I also wanted to get the hell out of there. So I hung around a few minutes, sorta hoping he would offer it to me (that wasn’t going to happen), and then said to myself , “fuck it” and took off.

Later, my parents asked me what had happened and I explained as best I could. They didn’t understand why I left without claiming my wages, but I am sure I made the right decision. Who came up with the idea of free meat packages, anyway? The whole thing still makes me shudder.

Aaanyway, I have no idea why this popped into my head, it just did. Worst “job” ever! And my family still jokes about it. Oh, free meat package, I am wary of you…


Alexis Clipboard said...

Didn't my friend Danielle do the free meat calling, too? I don't think she lasted long, either.

The Clever Cat said...

Possibly, though I don't really remember. After must have lasted longer than a couple of hours, though?