Bait and Switch


I was looking through job ads on Craig’s List under the heading of “general labor”. I found ad for entry-level “event representatives”. This sounded fairly innocuous to me, so I called the phone number that was provided and made an appointment for that afternoon at the company’s office in Carson. When I arrived at the office, I found a waiting room with a large TV set at one end playing inspirational videos. Based on my previous experiences with job interviews, this struck me as a bad sign. However, since I had driven all the way there, I figured I might as well give it a chance. The receptionist asked me to fill out an application form. I had to go outside to do this, because it was impossible to ignore the TV. After I handed the form back, I sat down and waited. After several minutes, a man came out and introduced himself. (I’ve forgotten his name.) We shook hands, and then he showed me into his office. I sat down in an ornate lime green chair. The man sat on the other side of a plain wooden table. He proceeded to describe the job in vague terms. He mentioned going to events and doing demonstrations. He then asked me if I had any questions. After I plied him with questions for several minutes, he finally admitted that it was basically a sales job and that the pay was entirely by commission. If I had been given that information in the Craig’s List ad, I would not have wasted my time driving down there.

I don’t know what these people were thinking. Is the idea to lure people to their office, and then try to persuade them to take a sales job that they don’t really want?

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