Odd Jobs from Jenn’s Tues. memoir

I really don’t remember how long it was before I removed my head from the sand to take a peek at the wonderful world of telemarketing again but believe it or not, I wound up answering another tiny classified ad for magazine sales.

They’d been quick to point out that these were popular, reputable magazines, I guess just in case anyone was worried they might end up selling porn. In retrospect, maybe that might have been an improvement.

The office was located just outside of downtown LA in what might have once been a cool building. Now it was just another faceless run-down low rise. I don’t remember what the actual outfit was called and I’d be amazed if they were still in business.

It wasn’t much of a workers paradise, but the guy showing me around seemed pleasant enough even if he was a little gung-ho. After the Leukemia lady gung-ho was fine with me. And as far as truth in advertising went, they did actually sell magazines. I’d only heard of a few of them like “Jet” for instance. They were all geared towards different minority communities with names like “Asian weekly” or “Chicana”. Okay, so far so good.

After filling out the requisite piles of new employee paper work I was shown to my little area, one of a handful with a battered second hand desk and a simple black telephone. There was a long legal size ‘cheat sheet’ with a suggested rap that was supposed to be a real crowd pleaser. Where it started to get confusing was the list of suggested names we were supposed to use for each magazine. Apparently we were supposed to use an alias for each one. A matching ‘minority’ alias.

It went some thing like

Hello Mr/Ms /Mrs———- this is– (see below right)* from– ( see below left)

*Adrian Gonzalez
Chrissy Chung
La Shonda Williams

*Chicana
*Asian monthly
*Jet

Eeeeyew. How totally humiliating for all of us.

Looking around me, none of my fellow workers seemed to have a problem with it. Seasoned hustlers, I watched in amazement as one woman not only hopped from name to name but accent to accent as she racked up the sales. She looked like the girl next door, if the girl next door weighed 300 pounds.I sit with my black telephone and my leads dialing for dollars and counting off the minutes ’til it’s time to leave.

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Comments
3 Responses to “Odd Jobs from Jenn’s Tues. memoir”
  1. Haha, Thea! Nice details like the description of the building and the bland cubicle really bring this weird world alive.

  2. Natasha Beck says:

    Thea–Another great work story. I like the last paragraph.

  3. I love it that selling porn would be an improvement than using a minority alias. The names to magazines are great! Also like: "seasoned hustlers" reference back to porn and Hustler mag. As always, funny on top with dark undertones.

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