To Whom it May Concern,
I would like to request more information about the assistant job I saw advertised in Sunday’s newspaper with the six figure starting salary. I have a bachelor’s degree in English and many years of work experience and think I would be a suitable fit for the job. My questions are as follows: 1. What is the exact nature of the job? 2. Is it a strict requirement that I live with the boss? If so, can I have friends and others over? 3. The ad states there is a uniform. May I ask what sort of uniform? And why? Also, in lieu of sending a photograph, I’ve sent a picture of my friendly dog that would also join me if I were to get the job.
How do you know you’ll be a suitable fit for the job if you do not know the nature of the work? My ad specifically stated I was looking for an MBA grad, not an English grad that knows nothing about the actual world. 1. I would discuss this in the interview. 2. Yes, you would live with me. And I allow no guests. 3. The uniform would be provided on your first day. You don’t need to know why. The job advertisement asked for a personal photo, is this your way of telling me you look like a dog?
Today must be your lucky day because you’re the only person who responded to my ad. Are you available for a phone interview tomorrow?
The Wade Hart
“There are over ten billion jobs in New York City and I’m not qualified for any of them.” I stared at my best friend, Lucy and chewed down harder on the black pen in my mouth. “I’m so screwed.” I could feel the black ink seeping onto my lower lip and pulled it out of my mouth quickly before I poisoned myself. Which would be just my luck the way my life was going.
“There are loads of jobs you could get, Savannah.” Lucy walked over and sat next to me on our old white Ikea couch that looked more yellow than white now that it was five years old. “You have a degree, that alone qualifies you for like one billion jobs.”
“You would think so right?” I handed her the newspaper that was in my hands. “I’ve not seen one ad looking for recent college grads with degrees in English.” Why hadn’t anyone told me that getting a degree in English was like flushing $100,000 down the toilet? Well, more like $150,000 by the time I’d finished paying off my student loans. It would have been nice if someone would have let me know. Maybe I could have taken the money and gone traveling around the world instead? Not that I thought the government would have loaned me the money for that.
“What about being a teacher?” Lucy said helpfully, a hopeful smile on her face. “You could be an English teacher.”
“I would need to have a certificate of accreditation to teach in an elementary or high school.” I flounced back in the seat and sighed dramatically, shaking my long brown ponytail and running my fingers through the tendrils that had escaped at the front. “I have no certificates and I looked at the test online yesterday and it looked hard as hell.”
“What about a nursery school then?”
“Are you joking?” I raised an eyebrow at her. “I did not go to college for four years to read kids’ books to little brats.”
“Yeah well with that attitude, you wouldn’t get the job, anyway.” Lucy grinned at me and I couldn’t stop myself from laughing. “Savannah you have to be flexible, there are many jobs you can get.”
“I don’t want to work at McDonalds again.” I let out a loud sigh. “I already told you how that went for me before. I lasted three weeks.” I shuddered at the memory. “And I gained fifteen pounds. Fifteen pounds in three weeks. How is that even possible?”
“Well, you’re not in high school anymore, you have more self control. No need to eat all the fries that you can fit in your mouth, just because they’re free.”
“They weren’t even free.” I laughed. “I had a discount.”
“Well, we digress.” Lucy looked over the ads in the paper in front of her. “I’m not telling you to go back to fast food, but a paycheck is a paycheck and you know we’ve got bills coming up soon.” Her voice trailed off as she glanced up at me, her eyes slightly embarrassed and nervous. Lucy had been my best friend since we’d met four years ago at a poetry slam contest in Brooklyn. We’d both been new to the city, starting our first year in college and excited to explore the city. She’d been at NYU in Greenwich Village renting a small apartment in St Marks Place and I’d been all the way up in MorningSide Heights, near Harlem at Columbia University, sharing a room in a dorm with a girl from Germany. After the first two years, we’d rented a small one bedroom in the Upper West Side, with Lucy’s dad paying the rent and me paying the bills. It had worked out well, but now that we’d graduated, Lucy’s dad had said he would no longer pay the rent. And I had no longer had any student loans to pay the bills. So we were up a creek without a paddle. I had three hundred dollars in the bank and so it was vital that I found a job so that we could afford our rent.
“We’re screwed.” I whined and my scruffy black and grey terrier, Jolene came running up to me. She jumped on the couch, her big brown eyes staring at my face in concern as she sniffed the air, hoping she’d get lucky and find some random pieces of food. “How are we going to pay the rent?” I rubbed Jolene between the ears as she snuggled up on my lap and tried to think of a way to come up with $5000 in the next couple of weeks. Not only did I have rent coming up, but I also had my first student loan payment due and it wasn’t as cheap as I’d thought it would be.
“Let’s not panic.” Lucy’s eyes continued scanning the newspaper. “There has to be something you can do.” She looked up then and grabbed my hand. “You know if I had any extra money, I would totally help you.”
“I know.” I smiled at her gratefully. Lucy was a generous person, but her internship at a minor publishing house barely paid her enough to cover her half of the rent and bills. She was lucky that she didn’t have student loans, or she’d be in just as bad a position as I was. “And thanks for asking your boss if they had another position available for me, but maybe it’s for the best that they didn’t. Could you imagine us living and working together?”
“No.” She shook her head vehemently and laughed. “I couldn’t deal with your mess in the office and at home. Sorry.”
“Hey no fair, it was your turn to do the dishes last night and they’re still in the sink.”
“That’s because you burned almost every pot we own trying to make that chili dish you read about online.” She pursed her lips. “I do not understand how you ruined chili, you know that’s a dish you can make in a crockpot.”
“Hey, no need to show off just because you nearly got on Top Chef.”
“As an assistant to one of the producers, not as one of the chefs. My cooking skills are no better than yours.” Lucy winked at me. “I just don’t lie to myself and pretend I’m a Michelin star chef.”
“I don’t think I’m a Michelin star chef. I would like to think that I can whip up some excellent food though.”
“You can whip up an awesome grilled cheese.” Lucy’s face froze, and she turned to me looking excited. “What if you got a job in that grilled cheese restaurant on the lower east side?”
“You have got to be joking right?”
“No, but wait a second. Look at this.” She held the newspaper up and grabbed the pink highlighter that was lying on the side of the couch. She circled an ad in the paper and brought it over to me. “This sounds promising.”
“What does it say? High-paying job for English grad that loves doing poetry readings at small coffee shops.”
“Hey, I enjoy doing poetry readings as well and my degree is in filmmaking.”
“But you were smart enough to get a degree in economics. My dumb ass was too busy reciting Shakespeare and Chaucer.”
“An old English man would love you. Or maybe a priest.”
“Why would a priest love me?”
“The Canterbury Tales was one of your favorites right? Wasn’t that about a pilgrimage?”
“Lucy, sometimes I swear if you weren’t my best friend, I would kill you. Me reading a collection of stories written in Middle English doesn’t qualify me to work in a church.”
“Before you kill me, check out this job. “Wanted: college grad with outstanding personality. High-paying job in sales. No experience necessary. Need people to start now.”
“Hmm,” I grabbed the newspaper from her. “I am a college grad and I do have an outstanding personality.” I beamed my ten thousand dollar smile at her and shook my long brown hair with the too expensive honey-blonde highlights so I could feel it hitting my back. “I don’t really know what the job is.”
“Sales. It says right there.”
“But what am I selling?”
“How am I supposed to know? Call them and ask.”
“Yeah, I guess so.” I stared at the ad again, and then my eyes hit another ad a little bit below it. “Listen to this one, Do you want to earn high six figures? Seeking professional for a unique job. Prefer MBA grad. Applicant would have to live in and wear a uniform. To apply, send resume and photograph to…”
“I saw that, but it seems a bit off. Why do you have to live in and what sort of uniform?”
“Girl, who cares. High six figures?” My brain was going into overdrive at the thought of making so much money. “I’d be a frigging maid for high six figures. That means like over a hundred grand or something.”
“Yeah, I would even say higher than that. A hundred grand would be low six figures.” Lucy looked thoughtful. “It seems like it would be close to a million dollars.”
“Whoa, could you imagine if I made a million dollars?” I chewed on my lower lip. “I could pay off all my debt and we could move to a two-bedroom apartment and then maybe I could take some time off to concentrate on my poetry book.”
“Girl, you don’t have an MBA and you’re not a professional, plus who knows what the job is…” Lucy made a face as she shook her head. “It sounds super shady. Plus, you would have to live there.”
“You mean you wouldn’t like this apartment to yourself for a little bit?”
“Not really.” She giggled. “Maybe if I had a boyfriend and was looking to get laid. But I have no boyfriend and haven’t been laid in…” She paused. “Well, you know.”
“I know, ugh.” I leaned back again and tried not to think of our awful dating situation. For two pretty girls in their early twenties we had awful luck with dating. Neither one of us had had a serious relationship since we’d been in New York and seeing as we’d both moved to New York right after high school, it was fair to say that neither one of us had ever had a serious relationship ever. “Do you think we’re the only two twenty-two-year-old virgins in New York City?”
“Yes,” She said immediately and emphatically. “And if you didn’t hear me the first time, Yes.” She groaned. “Even the Mormon girls on their year off come to the City and get laid.”
“How is it even possible we don’t have boyfriends?” I threw the newspaper on the couch and stood up. Jolene glanced up at me as if to say, uh oh, here we go again. “We’re both pretty, I mean you’re gorgeous, I’m pretty and we both have awesome personalities. What’s going on here?”
“Maybe it has to do with the fact that we were literary and film nerds in college. And that we frequented poetry slams.” She shrugged. “We didn’t exactly meet many guys outside of the classroom.”
“Yeah.” I looked over at her. “Any luck at work? Any hotties?”
“Meh.” She shook her head. “No one I’m interested in losing my virginity to.”
“Give it some time, you’ve only been there a week.”
“Trust me, girl. I knew in the first day.” She laughed. “There are no potentials. Plus all I’m doing is getting coffee’s and lunch orders right now. I’m the lowest of the low. No-one is looking at me.”
“I refuse to believe that.” Lucy was one of the most gorgeous women I knew. With her long, naturally light blonde hair and dazzling green eyes, she had a face that was universally seen as beautiful. Sometimes I was envious of the way she seemed to glow so naturally, while I had to use fake tan and bronzer to glow even a little and even then, I sometimes ended up looking too orange.
“Savannah, you’re just as gorgeous as me.” She beamed at me. “And you’re in the same boat, so it’s got nothing to do with our looks.”
“When I get a job, we’re going out and painting the town red.” I could already picture us out at the clubs, looking sexy and making men pant as we walked by. Okay, maybe not pant. Dogs panted and the last thing I wanted was to be with a man that was a dog. I’d already dated a few of them. “And we will go to high end exclusive clubs and restaurants.”
“Oh, yeah?” She laughed. “So I take it you’re getting a superb job then because I can’t even afford to go to Shake Shack more than once a month right now.”
“Don’t worry. We have to have a positive mental attitude. This time next year we will both be in awesome relationships, making a lot of money, and having the best sex of our lives.”
“Well, it won’t take much for us to have the best sex of our lives, considering our current status.”
“Lucy, you overthink things too much.” I headed to our compact kitchen that was right next to the living room. In fact, some people might say that the kitchen and the living room were one and the same, seeing as they were both in the same room. On one side of the room there was a small oven, small fridge, a sink, two cupboards and a little island separating the kitchen from the living room, which held our couch, a small coffee table and two bookshelves filled with books and DVDS. The Coffee table was pushed against the wall and also held a fairly large TV. I opened the fridge and grabbed a chocolate pudding and then a spoon. I pulled the top of the pudding off and licked the top before dropping it into the trashcan and heading back to the couch. Jolene looked at me hopefully as I dipped my spoon into the pudding and then gave me a dirty look as I shook my head. I loved my dog, but sometimes I thought she was the greediest dog I’d ever met in my life.
“Well, are you going to email and call about those jobs? I’m looking forward to this life of riches and excitement that you’ve promised me.”
“Fine.” I nodded. “Will you make some pasta for dinner?”
“But the pots?” She glanced at me and sighed. “Fine, I will wash the dishes and make the dinner. You find yourself a job.”
“Thanks girl.” I handed her my empty pudding container and spoon and she just shook her head. I grinned my thanks and then grabbed my laptop from the ground and opened it up. I clicked on my email account and then grabbed the newspaper. I would email the six-figure job first and then I would call the other one. I much preferred to type than to talk. Even at poetry slams I was always a little nervous speaking in public and that was something I was good at. “Should I write a poem about why I’m good for the job?”
“Savannah Carter, shut the front door and get the hell out of town, are you joking me right now? No way, Jose. Do not write a poem for a job you’re inquiring about!”
“Okay, okay.” I laughed, knowing that while I was smart, I still lacked what my mother called common sense and street smarts. Not all the time, but sometimes I had such harebrained ideas, that even I wondered where my brain had gone. I stared at the ad again for the high six figures job.
Do you want to earn high six figures? Seeking professional for a unique job. Prefer MBA grad. Applicant would have to live in and wear a uniform. To apply, send resume and photograph to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hmmm, I scratched a sudden itch on my back as I read the ad again. Why did they want a photograph? And what job required a uniform? As much as I was interested in making a lot of money, I didn’t want to do anything illegal or crazy. Well, not too crazy. I wouldn’t dress up as a dominatrix and whip a man. Or would I? Would it really be that bad? I resisted the urge to laugh at myself. I knew I could tell myself that there were many things I would do for money, but at the end of the day, I knew I had my limits. Maybe I could whip a man for a month for a hundred grand. If I didn’t also have to sleep with him. I would not sell my body. I wasn’t some hooker. Though as the thought crossed me, I saw another ad that caught my interest.
“Lucy, there’s an ad here that is looking for virgins. They will pay fifty grand to deflower you.”
“Hell no.” Lucy looked over her shoulder at me as she scrubbed the pot I’d burned kidney beans into the night before. “We are not selling our virginity for fifty grand.”
“What if we auctioned it? I’ve heard of women doing that on eBay and stuff and getting like a million dollars.” I held back a grin so she would think I was being serious.
“You’d move back to Florida, and I’d move back to California before I let that happen.” She rolled her eyes at me. “We want to lose our virginity to men we love, to passionate guys with six packs and dimples, not some old fat ass with bigger boobs than us and sagging balls.”
“Who says the guys that buy our virginity are old and have sagging balls? Also, I don’t really want a guy with a six-pack. You know I prefer a guy with more meat. I want a guy with muscles, yes, but not too muscular.”
“Savannah, you are not selling your virginity to Billy Bob in Kentucky with no teeth and no hair.”
“That’s rude. I’ll tell you, Kentucky has some hot ass guys.”
“They aren’t bidding on your virginity…” She raised an eyebrow at me and shook her head. “End of discussion. Apply to those jobs already and then we can look online and see if we find any other suitable options.”
“Yeah because these options are so great…” I said under my breath and turned back to my laptop and typed. As I sat there, I realized that the job sounded too good to be true and my mom always said, if something sounds too good to be true, it is. But still this was New York and there were so many quirky millionaires and billionaires, maybe it would be legit.
To Whom it May Concern,
I would like to request more information about the assistant job I saw advertised in Sunday’s newspaper with the six figure starting salary. I have a bachelor’s degree in English and many years of work experience and think I would be a suitable fit for the job. My questions are as follows: 1. What is the exact nature of the job? 2. Is it a strict requirement that I live with the boss? If so, can I have friends and others over? 3. The ad states there is a uniform. May I ask what sort of uniform? And why? Also, in lieu of sending a photograph, I’ve sent a picture of my very friendly dog that would also join me if I were to get the job.
I reread the email I’d sent and nodded. This sounded good and the photo of Jolene was cute. Who could say no to living with her? I wanted to ask more questions, but figured I’d wait for a response first. I hit send and then grabbed my phone to call about the other job. It rang twice before someone answered.
“Talia Enterprises, how may I help you?” A sharp voice spoke, but I tried to not let it dissuade me.
“Hello, my name is Savannah Carter. I’m calling about the job I saw advertised in the newspaper.”
“The sales job making six figures.”
“Oh yes, yes, hold on, please.” Before I could answer, the sound of music was playing in my ear. I debated hanging up the phone, but stayed on the line. Just because the receptionist sounded like a bitch, it didn’t mean that everyone at the company would be hostile and mean.
“Hello Vanna, this is John Boy speaking.”
“It’s Savannah.” His name was not really John Boy, was it?
“Yes Vanna. How can I help you?”
“I was calling about the job.”
“The sales job.” I withheld a sigh.
“Aw, great great. This is an awesome opportunity. Totally awesome. For the right person. High salary. Great benefits. There’s a lot of money to be made.”
“Well, that sounds great.” I could feel myself perking up. “So can I get some more information?”
“Of course, of course.” He sounded overly friendly now. “We are the fastest growing company in the last five years. I myself started in sales as well and now I’m a manager. Yup, yup. Very great company. I think you will love it. Great opportunity and lots of money. If you have expensive tastes, you will want to work here.”
“Hmm, okay, but uhm, what exactly do you sell and what would my job be, what kind of sales?”
“Have you ever sold anything before?” He asked me cheerfully. “Doesn’t matter if you haven’t, of course, we will train you. All training is provided in our state-of-the-art office in New Jersey. Where do you live?”
“I’m in Manhattan.”
“Oh okay, well, just a train ride away. We’re in Jersey City. You can see the skyline from Jersey City, did you know that? Great bang for your buck.”
“Uhm okay. And what do you sell again?”
“Do you have a lot of friends? Or any friends looking for a job? Or a great investment opportunity?”
“Investment opportunity?” I wrinkled my nose and looked over to Lucy who was smiling at me, looking hopeful once again. I knew it worried her that we’d be kicked out if I couldn’t find my half of the rent, so I tried to ignore the warning bells ringing in my head. “What do you mean?”
“Oh nothing, nothing. Can you come for an interview tomorrow morning? Around ten am.”
“Yes. Yes, I can.”
“Okay great, bring your photo ID and social security card and bank account information so we can fill out the paperwork.”
“So you can get started as soon as possible.”
“But I don’t have the job yet.”
“Oh, I can tell you will be a great fit at Talia Enterprises, the interview is just a formality. I’ll see you tomorrow? Just google Talia Enterprises New Jersey for our address. Once you arrive ask for John Boy and I’ll come and take you to my office.”
“Do you have a last name John Boy or is it Walton?”
“Sorry what?” He sounded confused. “Why do you want to know my last name? Who do you work for? You’re not with the SEC are you?”
“What?” It was my turn to sound confused. “I don’t work for anyone. That’s why I’m applying for this job. I was making a joke because the only John Boy I know was in The Waltons.”
“I don’t follow the Walmart family, sorry.”
“What?” I closed my mouth as it fell open. “The Walton’s is an old TV show? Maybe you never saw it? Sorry, I grew up with it. My mom loved to make me watch the shows she grew up with.”
“Okay, well good good. See you tomorrow. Oh and we have a business casual policy, so dress to impress. Good bye, Vanna.” And with that he hung up the phone. I stared at my black screen for a few seconds and I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.
“Well, I have some good news ish.” I stood up and walked over to the kitchen. “I think I might have a job. Bad news is, the hiring manager sounds like he’s out of his mind, but hopefully I won’t be working under him.”
“Congratulations, are you going to take it then?” Lucy beamed happily. “Did he say what the salary was?”
“Nope, he just said it was high, and that there was a lot of room for growth. But he also asked if I had friend interested in investment opportunities.” I bit down on my lower lip. “What the hell does that mean?”
“Oh, I bet they’re looking for investors so they can expand.” Lucy shrugged.
“Expand what and into where?”
“I don’t know. Maybe ask tomorrow.” She did a little dance. “This is so exciting. You know what this means right?”
“Tonight we open the bottle of wine I got at Whole Foods last week. Let’s celebrate.”
“Do you really think we should celebrate already?” I stared at my phone screen. “I don’t have the job yet.”
“Okay fine, we can celebrate tomorrow.”
“Ooh, I got a reply from the other job already.” I said as I opened my email account up and read the response quickly. “Hmm, this guy sounds like a jerk.”
“Why what did he say?”
“Listen to this.” I cleared my throat and then read his email.
How do you know you’ll be a suitable fit for the job if you do not know the nature of the work? My ad specifically stated I was looking for an MBA grad, not an English grad that knows nothing about the real world. 1. This would be discussed in the interview. 2. Yes, you would live with me. And no guests are allowed. 3. The uniform would be provided on your first day. You don’t need to know why. The job advertisement asked for a personal photo, is this your way of telling me you look like a dog?
Today must be your lucky day because you’re the only person that responded to my ad. Are you available for a phone interview tomorrow?
The Wade Hart
“Who the hell calls themselves, The anything. What a pompous jerk.”
“Is he famous?” Lucy asked, in a tone of curiosity.
“I don’t know, let me check.” I opened the internet browser on my phone and typed in Wade Hart. Several thousand results came up for the name so I then typed in wadehart.com, but no website showed up. “There are too many listings for Wade Hart, but none of them seem famous.”
“Check out the photos and see if any look cute.”
“Lucy, even if I saw cute photos, I wouldn’t know if it was him and who even cares? He essentially just called me a dog.” I shook my head and closed my phone. “I think I’ll pass on Mr. Wade Hart. I basically have this job tomorrow and even if my boss is a douche, I’ll suck it up for a few months to make ten or fifty grand and then I’ll get a new job or something.” I nodded. “I mean it’s a job. It’s like you said something is better than nothing.” My stomach growled in that moment and I rubbed it pitifully, hoping that dinner would be ready soon. I had a sinking feeling in my stomach, but I was hoping it had more to do with the fact that I was hungry than the fact that I still did not understand exactly what sales I’d be doing once I hit New Jersey.
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