Minh’s Notes

Human-readable chicken scratch

Minh Nguyễn
June 11th, 2005


Indeterminate Vector

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

Dear Minh,

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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  1. I wrote eons ago that I’d post some pictures and details from Đại Hội Thánh Mẫu, the huge gathering of Vietnamese Catholics from all over North America. And it was huge: around 70,000 people showed up, with tents, megatents, and...


  1. I know someone that used to have that job. They have to arrange to talk to people and get paid a little whenever they talk to someone and more when the person bought something. I think he ended up using the St. X directory and tried to talk to anyone he knew. He made a good sum of money though, but I think it becomes hard after you stop knowing the people you are talking to.

  2. Ah, it's the Cutco conspiracy!!! Every high school senior gets that letter, I swear to God. Do your best to stay as far away as possible from Cutco.

  3. i searched for the vector marketing site and i got your blog as one of my search results. its ironic how i got the same letter too except i live in minnesota. lol

  4. I got the same letter just different towns near me in NY. Scam much? DUH!

  5. I don’t think it’s a scam, since people are actually paid to sell these knives. But it is somewhat of a trap: Vector isn’t incredibly forthcoming about what it is they’re trying to make you sell.

  6. And they're still at it--I just got a letter today. Two, actually, since they mailed one letter with my first and last name, and a second with my middle and last name. Immediate suspicion.

  7. Its not a scam. I actually know someone who used to work for cutco. Its not that bad just boring. I wouldnt work for them though even thought there cutlery is really good.

  8. YA I got that letter today too, and as one of the students above mentioned.. they maile dme two letters one with ym first name and one with my middle... I was wondering what it was all about just that I Live in Texas. They also gave all these diffrent locations,something seemed fishy... just watch out n be careful!

  9. I got the same letter today. I'm glad I googled Vector before calling the number, or I would have been taken completely off guard by the cutco thing. Thanks for making this webpage/blogpost.

  10. Before anyone begins flooding this site with pro-Vector/Cutco comments like they did other webpages about these letters, I want to clarify that I disagreed more with Vector’s secrecy than with the knives they make people sell.

    We still use the Cutco pie-cutting knive around the house, though I still think a much cheaper knife from Meijer or Kroger would’ve sufficed. For that matter, whenever that knife is in the washer, we just use a plain ol’ butterknife! But Vector’s practice of luring unsuspecting teenagers into their “international” business is what got me to write this post in the first place.

  11. i was also searching for vector because they dont explain what they do. once i found this site i also noticed that you got the same letter i got! thanx for writing this blog and warning us.

  12. I would also like to comment that I received that exact same letter except applying to the surrounding areas of where I live in Wisconsin. Thanks for the info!

  13. Wow, this is amazing. Like everyone else, I got the same letter from Vector. My mom asked around to see if anyone know about the company. No one knew. So, I looked it up and found this. Thanks for the heads up. It doesn't seem like a bad job but really really boring. I'd rather do something better with my time.

  14. i got this letter the other day.... i considered calling, but i couldn't really find anything on the internet about it...

    and i'm just glad i found this. what a loser company if they can't even tell us "selected 2006 H.S. Graduates" who they are in the first place.

    ah well. ce la vie.

    thanks : )

  15. I got the same letter today and i was wondering what the heck it was. i was going to call the phone number but thank god i yahooed it and found this! i hope they find people to work for them, however i will not be one of them lol.... thanx for allowing this blog to inform innocent high school seniors and grads about vector and their "shady business."

  16. I received the letter yesterday,then I decided to call them this morning. The lady that I talked to told me that my starting pay would be $15 an hour, and the only thing I would do is to help customer order stuff. She told me to come Tomorrow at 7AM

    But thanks to this blog I think I'm going to have to pass.

  17. I got the same letter that everyone appears to be talking about! It's creepy really! How did they find us so called "Selected 2006 H.S. Graduates" anyway? I'm so creeped out right now! I haven't recieved the second letter yet but how do they get our middle names? Heck...How did they get my first and last name? But i'm definently not going to have any contact with them.

  18. Yep, just got the letter today in the mail. I had no clue what it was so I looked it up online and here I am. I already work at Sears and I used to be a telemarketer for all of a week and that just wasn't my sort of deal so I'm sure going door-to-door selling knives wouldn't be much better.

  19. Tiffany, there are many ways for companies to get our names. They probably use the same databases that credit card companies use to mail us “pre-approved” credit cards. Regarding the “second letter”, they probably just made a mistake with captkatsparrow; I don’t recall ever getting a second letter from them, and I don’t think they will now, given the popularity of this post.

  20. I just wanted to say thanks. Thank you for filling in the gaps this mysterious company left for us to wonder about. I was half way interested when I read that a company was in my area and looking for summer employees. Such little info was given that it made me quite suspicious about the job they were offering. Hit man? What could it be? I appreciate the fact that someone took the time out of their day to educate me on this companies ploy. It doesn't sound like a bad job, if that's what you're into. It's just not for me.

  21. I got the letter today in the mail, but the thing is, I'm not a HS Graduate. I just finished my 3rd year in university. I must admit, it did interest me at first, $17.70/hr sounded facinating! Thanks, to this blog, I know what it is now.

  22. Hmmm...Glad I didn't call them!! My aunt used to sell Cutco knives...My grandma still has a collapsable pair of scissors that would cut through a penny!!

  23. I got this letter a day ago. I didnt know what i think so i called and made an apointment. The monet seems good and im only looking for a small job so i can have a little extra money. But Im not sure if this is what Im looking for.

  24. hey, i got the same letter too, except mine's "selected college students"...thanks for making this entry! definitely helps clear things up ^^

  25. I just received the same letter today and was wondering what VECTOR International company was all about. I googled VECTOR and found this blog -- thanks. I am not even a high school graduate. I am coming up a junior in high school this next year. How did they even get my name? Thanks for info about this company--I won't be answering the letter.

  26. Hey i got a second letter after the first telling me i must call within the next 5 days. Mine pertains to Texas and all the small towns in my area. My mom said it was probably a sales company and she hates those type of jobs. I googled it and found this place thanx for the heads up.

  27. You know, it's a year later and I have received that exact same letter, in a different state.
    Your blog is the first thing to match "international company established in 1981" vector.

  28. I got the same letter. Today was suppose to be my interview day, but I searched google and found this site. Dang!! I really wanted a job! When I read tis site, my heart knew that it was not right. Thanks

  29. I just got that letter today in michigan and it did sound like some kind of scam to me so i googled it, and got to this site with all these comments, am i glad i didnt waste my time!!!!!

  30. Wow, that many people got the same letter? Well, atleast i know what it now. Dont think Ill do the job. And if its international why arent there kids from other countries typing on this blog?
    Well, thanx on the info!

  31. Wow i got the letter yesterday right...i thought is for one of the places i applied to, but sumthing about this looked weird so i went to look it up and came across this...lol Its the same Cutco that my boyfriend worked for at the beinging of the year...u must kno how excited i was when i call n they said i couldnt work becaue i didnt turn 17 yet...OMFg..lol

  32. Umm...A letter of the same type came in my mothers name yesterday but she gave it to me because i was looking for a job and she thought it was a "great opprotunity".Well (like Jessica above)i called ( actually five min.s ago ) and set up an interview date for this afternoon but i decided to do some background reasearch on the company because the receptionist didnt actualy explain to me what the company was about (she said i would be selling sporting goods), and because i thought this had better be a good job if i have to take the 1Hr. NJTransit ride to work everyday . so in my research i found this and a few other sites stating the company was just a base for others to use to get a litte money here and there.i probably call the lady and tell her the truth my mom wont let me work out of the mayslanding area

  33. Thanks for having this website. I haqve looked everywhere to find information about Vector. Now that I know what the company is about, I will not be calling anytime soon- or ever.

  34. Yup, same letter, but for my little portion of NW Ohio. Honestly, how many "selected college students" do they expect to fool with this letter? The vagueness of it immediately drew out every skeptical instinct that's been pounded into me by my college since the day I stepped on campus. Anyone who goes to such great lengths to disguise the actual nature of an offer must have one hell of a catch. However, after reading these reviews here that talk of pay rates at or above $15/hour (!!!) I might have to give them a call, and see if I can arrange to do something other than door-to-door salesmanship for them; I can't ever see myself being a saleswhore, but any other sort of position would probably beat the hell out of working in the Honda transmission factory I'm at now.

  35. thank you so much for posting up this blog. I got this letter about 10 mins ago in Cali and was very excited about it. I am currently a waitress and dont get paid that much, so when I got this letter I was so happy, but thought something was funny about it. I decided to yahoo it before I called and made a time for an interview. I couldn't find anything on it. Then I found your blog and read it. I am very thankful because if it weren't for you, I would probably be selling knives right now.
    luv ya!

  36. is this really a scam because i need a job and i want to know the truth.

  37. It doesn’t look like a scam, Ire, because people have apparently made a decent amount of money with this job. I don’t think it’s a matter of legitimacy: after a little research, they sound alright, but it’s just not the kind of job I was after. Wikipedia’s article on Vector has some more information. Hope this clears things up for you.

  38. i just got the letter today. i was goin to call but i think i should check up abt this company first and i found this blog. thx for this blog to warn us. this thing is stupid. it said "selected 2006 h.s. graduates" but i'm already in my 2nd yr of college.

  39. i got my second letter today. I thought about calling but then i decided to look it up on google. Then i found this page. It seems like it is about one of the worst jobs. Stay away from it.

  40. Yea, I got this letter today myself. My mom is like running at me with this letter, lol cuz I've been looking for work. I thought this would be fantastic, but then I'm like wtf? It doesn't even go into any detail what this VECTOR company is so I thought I'd Google it and found this entry. Pretty interesting that probably everyone one would has gotten this letter. I'm looking for work so I might just give these people a call and see like someone else said and try to get a different job besides door to door selling, but I doubt that'll happen. :/ If anyone else has actually done the job here, please post what it's like.

  41. well it seems these people are still trying to get at students...but now they've decided to target college freshman. I got this letter the other day and was going to call but instead I decided to Google the company. I came a cross your site and realized that I got the same exact letter as you guys but mine has the names of various towns in my area. Thank god I didn't call....THANKS FOR THE WARNING!

  42. naa, you guys are dissing it too hard. my brother worked for vector and sold cutco knives, loved the job, and made MAD money.

  43. Haha, of course it is a letter intended for the masses. Oh you still think you are special because your mom told you so back in the day? They hire amateurs, that is what the business is all about.

    I really want to know what kind of jobs you kids get instead. Let's see, maybe you work at A & F. Do you think that the clothes are worth every penny? How about KFC? Ya, I'm sure the chickens are treated really well. Maybe your dad's company? Wow, that sure took some initiative.

    Vector makes money because so many reps get hired, sell only $1000 dollars and then never sell another knife again. That person makes $100, whereas an experienced Vector sales rep (+30k in career sales) would make $500. That is a $400 difference, and multiply that by however many thousand of reps that get hired each summer and now you know what I am talking about.

    Vector makes money because so many kids can't sell worth shit and give up. If all of them stayed with it and went to all the training sessions and all that, they would probably succeed.

    But obviously some of them were too high and mighty to sell knives, so they ended up working at some corporation where ethics were the top priority, right? Haha, I can't believe how many idiots there are trying to put down Vector so that they can justify their crappy job.

    Take a look at yourself, your job, and what you are doing. Then post about whether or not Vector is ethical. Compare Vector to other corporations, and then talk about their practices. Jeez

    1. Woah there. Calm down.

  44. hahah, three years later and they're still sending that letter lmfao.

  45. i just got this letter!

  46. sadly, i just got that letter a few days ago. its been 5 years...wow.

  47. https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawmybbH-DrpZVlk6heWZYF7iJ4jBNwH2iRM


    Hahaha I just got the same letter in the mail except they changed a few things.

    -$17.00 base-appt.
    -All ages 18+

    So glad that I'm not going to apply to this job now that I know what it's about.

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