My Name Is Jonas
By Jennifer Roehm
My first job hired me on the spot. All it took was an interview to prove I was alive and breathing. I sat at a computer and sold Direct TV upgrades over the phone. My trainer taught us how to go off script and to trick old people. “I’m gonna go ahead and get this set up for you, okay?” People fell for it. “While we’re on the phone, I’ll add Showtime and Starz, okay?” It was so easy. On multiple occasions, people stopped me in the middle of my telemarketing spiel to say, “You’re really good at this, but I’m not going to buy anything.” But they totally did. And I set a record two days in a row, and they put my name on a scoreboard. I won an inflatable chair. We got one smoke break every two hours, and I would just go stand outside with everyone so I wouldn’t be alone.
I was scheduled for work in an hour. I sat in my car in the Honey Creek Mall parking lot and cried. I had never had a job, but I was really good at scamming old ladies. I drove home and never went back.