get off my lawn & on my couch #9 - help me, maybe?

Um, excuse me, ma'am. This is not the way to the interview...

picture looking out the back of a car window on an empty road after a rain
Photo by Devon Janse van Rensburg / Unsplash

College in Four Questionable Paragraphs

This post wasn't planned. Honestly, that's no surprise because they hardly ever are. But this one really wasn't. I was actually typing a different post when this memory came to me and I had to get it out.

I graduated from the University of Florida in August of 2004 with a degree in Business Administration. Why? Because I hated college. Hated every minute of school. I went in majoring in psychology, pre-med, because I was totally going to figure out what was wrong with me! Then I took advanced Chemistry and noped the fuck right out of that plan.

Honestly, all I've ever wanted to do was "write," which is not technically a solid career goal because what does that even mean? So maybe get a degree in creative writing? "OR how about something practical?" mom wants to know. So business seemed easy enough.

Graduated in 3 years. Bing bang boom. Bachelor's degree. I'm sure it was all that neat and tidy. When is life ever not?

gif from Friends. Monica hugs Rachel and says "Welcome to the real world! It sucks. You're gonna love it."

Time to Get a Job, or Whatever

During my last summer session in undergrad, I decided I'd go on an interview in D.C. I'd been in Florida my whole life and just wanted to move, even though I had no "reason" to go any place particular.

I settled on D.C. because I like public transportation, and it's cleaner than NYC. This move... never panned out.

What did pan out was the weirdest "job interview" I could've ever imagined.

gif of a man eating and saying "the power of marketing"

For Leaders and Sports Minded Individuals

In the early 2000s, there was a trend on job boards, like monster jobs or whatever else was around at the time (?) for these positions from agencies always classified under marketing. They usually sounded too good to be true, i.e. the "qualifications" were more about personality traits and work ethic than a list of boring crap you'd be doing. Probably a red flag. Whatever, I was 21.

It basically sounded like what we all want. Work hard. Get paid. Get promoted on merit. You know, apparently delusional daydreaming type stuff.

So I get to this building and there are maybe 50 people around for this big group thing. I interview with... someone. I legitimately can't remember this part at all, other than to say the "job" was still very vague.

But they were going to pair me up with a recent grad from Georgetown who would show me what the whole thing was about! She was about 25 and really kind. Sure, sounds good.

gif of BoJack Horseman saying "where the hell are we now?"

So We're Just in This Now, I Guess

We get in her tiny sedan and go! Away from the city and (unbeknownst to me) toward Fredericksburg, VA. You know, a good hour away. (You probably didn't know. I didn't know. You know?)

It's getting less and less "city" around. Apparently this is some kind of territory she works? I have to be honest; To this day, I don't really understand what the company did. The "job" turned out to be door-to-door business sales for personalized swag, essentially. And I'm sure there was an element of MLM to it all. The way you get promoted would be to bring other people on, I'm guessing?

I never got that far into it. I was so blown away by the fact they never did tell people anything until they basically have you trapped in a car with a stranger, quite a distance away from anyone you know, that I just wanted out.

This was also pre smartphone, so I was getting more and more anxious. I had no idea where I was and was panicking about how I'd even get someone to come get me if I was able to separate from this girl.

I finally convinced her this wasn't going to be my jam and she did take me back to my car, so there's that, I guess.

Anyhoo, this all took place in the span of about 4 hours, but it was scary and weird and what are peoples' deals anyway? Does that tactic get people to sign on to your funky cult? No idea.

a gif of Scooby and Shaggy in the mystery machine with Shaggy saying "like later dude!"

Could've Been Worse, But Never Needed to Happen at All

The situation was actually benign. I got back to my car and moved on and it just became one of those wtf incidents you remember every now and again. Honestly, I'd be much more afraid of a story that started that way here in the Year of Our Lord 2023.

You know what I learned that day though? Sure, it took a long time to really sink in, but I learned when something makes you uncomfortable from the get-go, maybe don't see how far down the rabbit hole it goes.

I mean, as all true crime fans now know, NEVER follow someone to a second location.

But it's not just about potential crime. I held out because it seemed like the polite, and even professional thing to do. No more, friends. No more.

Here's what nearly-40-now beep knows that kiddo beep did not: You don't owe a random company or person anything. The minute you walk up and it's a renovated house that fronts as a business no one will explain, you're free to vamoose. Simply because you want to. Later days, weirdos!

Seriously, walk the hell out of any situation you desire. It's never led me to regret.



Find me on the twitters: @beepsplain