Slinging Daggers

When I was about four months pregnant with Cole I knew I needed to get a better job than my stint as a cashier at a candy store in the mall.  However, the demand for pregnant sixteen-year-old high school dropouts was surprisingly low and I had trouble even getting into interviews. (“Did I mention I have a GED? With honors??”) It was not going well when I spotted an ad in the classifieds for a sales position starting at up to $2000/month, no experience necessary. I called the number and was told to bring my resume by that very day for an interview.
 I arrived at a nondescript brown building next to a liquor store and nervously walked in.  I entered a dark lobby, almost choking on the thick stench of cigarettes, to find several other applicants waiting. One stoner, two truckers and a middle-aged man in a mechanic’s uniform with a name patch that said, “Rick.”
And me.
I looked around, noting that the only furniture in the office was a few folding chairs and a TV dinner tray holding a telephone in the corner. I should have left right then, I knew that, but I was desperate. After taking a seat and fidgeting for a few minutes we were warmly greeted by two men in ill-fitting suits, one with far too much hair gel and another with some sort of glandular problem that caused profuse sweating.
They talked to us a little bit about what an exciting opportunity this was without ever giving a clue as to what “this” was.  They instructed us that we would be called into a back office for a one-on-one interview and would be told on the spot whether we had what it took to do whatever thing they were vaguely referencing.
I waited. And waited. For more than two hours I waited, fighting the urge to give in to my better judgment and leave. Finally, my name was called and I went into the small back office, where the two managers sat facing me.
“Are you a hard worker?”
“Are you dedicated and willing to put in the time?”
“Are you ready to make $800-$5000 a month?”
“Do you have reliable transportation?”
“Have you ever wondered if there’s a knife out there that could cut a penny?”
At this point the sweaty man pulled out a small velvet bag, unrolling it to reveal several large knives.
 “Because you will be selling the only knife in the world sharp enough to cut through metal.”
The man picked up my resume and held it up, while the sweaty man extracted a large steak knife from the bag and cut the paper in half in one decisive motion.
“See what it can do to paper? Imagine what it could do to a steak.”
“Or a penny.”
“Are you ready for this opportunity?!”
“To sell knives?”
“Here? In this office?”
“No! You’ll be bringing them straight to the consumer. No middleman.”
“So…I’ll be selling knives…door to door?”
“Exactly! A lot of opportunities to make some money. What do you say?”
“I think…Yes!”
Okay, so I didn’t take the job but you don’t say no to two men with knives that can cut a penny.  I snuck out of the office before orientation, backtracking briefly to retrieve the pieces of my resume so I would leave them no way to find me. Yet another moment in my youth wherein I was pleasantly surprised to have not been stabbed.

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