A couple years ago, two Vietnamese-American college students stopped by our house. They were very friendly, and we got to know them very well (we still keep in touch, apparently). They wanted to sell us some wares – knives, in fact. I thought it strange that, in this day and age, people still went around as door-to-door salesmen, selling things as cheap as knives.
Well, as it turned out, it wasn’t cheap at all. After an hour or two of chatting at the dinner table, my parents decided to buy a set of, oh, three or four Cutco knives. Different kinds of course: one for pies, one for meat, one for bread. It must’ve cost us over a hundred dollars! Sure it was high-quality, but we only need Meijer-quality knives around here – how much can you cut a celery… or a tomato?
Today in the mail, I got a very promising envelope: an unsoliticted job offer, from this company called Vector. Here’s how it went:
Selected 2005 H.S. Graduates
Summer Work Opportunities
Due to our company’s continued growth and expansion, we current have openings for summer work.
Vector is an international company established in 1981. We are currently expanding locally and have summer customer sales and service positions available. These positions will offer several unique advantages for those students accepted:
- Excellent starting pay
- Flexible schedules
- Training provided – no experience necessary
- Valuable resumé experience
- May continue during school in the fall
- Conditions apply
- All ages 17+
- Opportunity to advance
We are filling openings for Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky, SE Indiana, Anderson, Loveland, Colrain and surrounding areas. You may apply regardless of your major, current work schedule, class schedule or previous work experience.
I look forward to meeting you and explaining the details of the position. To schedule an interview, please contact our receptionist at (513) 870-9990 Monday through Friday between 9:00am and 5:00pm.
Between the long list of locations that made it seem like they simply copied a page out of the phone book, the fact that I never applied for such a position, and the fact that they would only describe the company as an “international” one (whatever that means), I was growing suspicious that this was nothing more than a scam, targeted at unsuspecting “high school graduates.” How vague can you be?
So I searched Google for "Vector is an international company", employing the same technique that I use at Wikipedia to see if the submitted text was plagiarized somehow. What I got was this blog entry, by a Houstonian who’d gotten the same letter. Convinced now that this was a scam, I searched for the enclosed phone number: "(513) 870-9990". The various results were from job finding services, and it was apparent that this “Vector” company was indeed legitimate, to my relief.
And they all included the same gem: Cutco. I’d been recruited to sell cutlery!
I’ll probably stick with my current job, working for my father, which means of course that I get yelled at every day – occupational hazard.
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