When I was 18 years old I packed up my 1979 Ford Mustang and drove 20 straight hours from Grand Rapids, MI to Laramie, WY to go to college at the University of Wyoming. My air conditioning didn’t work, the radio didn’t work well and I had a Rand McNally Atlas (look it up kids) to guide my way.
It took me roughly 4 months to blow through every single dollar I had, then I took that same trip back to Michigan to find a job. One college semester done, and I was dead broke, and I didn’t have parents who were going to pay my way to college. I needed to find a job!
When you’re 18 and have completed one semester of college you tend to think you’re pretty freaking smart, or maybe that was just my personality. My mom did buy me a new suit, dress shoes and a Topcoat (again, look it up, kids). She was a boomer who never went to college, was successful and firmly believed you only needed to look the part to get the part.
Well, I looked a part, but I’m not sure what part that was!
I started applying for ‘management’ positions. I mean I had a suit! Not sure what I would wear on day 2, but certainly, that was a secondary issue. No one gave me the time a day. My previous work experience up to this point was running concessions for the world’s largest movie theater, at the time! That didn’t seem to have much pull with anyone, except one company!
I still remember the call! They were impressed with my ‘qualifications’, could I come an interview? Of course! They were looking for “Territory Managers”, people who wanted to make unlimited income. That sounded like me!
I showed up for the interview in my suit, new shoes, and topcoat. I was excited. I was a bit nervous. When I got to the location there were others in the waiting room. I was dressed way better than everyone else, that had to help me right!?
I got called into a small office. I was asked a few questions by a guy who seemed way to excited to be doing his job. But he must have liked me, he offered me the job, on the spot! Thanks for the suit, Mom!
He then asked if I could start right away? Well, of course, just show me to my office and I’ll get right to work managing that territory of mine!
He then took me to a much larger room where there were chairs against the wall, probably 40, and the entire rest of the room was open. About 30 of the chairs were filled, most by the less-dressed folks, I already discounted in the waiting room. Apparently, they also got hired.
The guy who hired me came in next to ‘congratulate’ us on this great opportunity on selling home cleaning systems to the American public, something the American public desperately needed to pay $1200 for. This would be the best value buy of their lives, and we were lucky enough to be able to offer it to them!
I just got roped into selling vacuums door to door.
For the next 4 hours we were trained on how to sell these vacuums, showed how to get into the homes of the buyer. I got down on my hands and knees in my new suit and broke apart the
vacuum home cleaning system to show the ‘Miss’s of the house’ how easy it was to use.
At around 1 pm they unlocked the doors and let us leave the building to get something to eat. I drove home. Called my former boss at the theater and asked if I could come back to work. He said yes. I then began saving to go back to the University of Wyoming to get my degree.
99.9% of the time, the job that sounds to good to be true, is.