As part of my “exploring different life options” thing, aka unemployed, and searching for anyone who will pay me; I have signed up for 2 different temp agencies in my area. After a long process of tests, questions, interviews and waiting, yesterday I took my first assignment. An assignment my recruiter Chris described as “a day job that will be kinda fun”.
Yippee! I thought as I returned Chris’ call. I was picturing myself running around in a flowery field while a photographer was taking pictures to use for an up-and-coming magazine spread on “The World’s Most Interesting People”.
That was not the assignment. The assignment was to drive around to “select businesses” and try to buy tobacco products to see if they’d card me. If the teller asked for I.D, I’d give them a green card. If the teller did not ask, I’d hand them a red card. So basically I was paid to Narc.
I watched a 12 minute training video on how to properly execute this. I was not allowed to say “Ha ha, got you!” when handing out a red card. Like I would anyways, my first 5 stores were in Vallejo.
I was given a list of stores, a route, and a log sheet. I would go up to the register, ask for a specific brand of cigarettes and depending on the cashier’s response, I’d hand them a green or red card instead of my ID or cash. If the cashier received the green card I’d ask for their name to record on the log sheet. I’d also record the time I was at each location. Simple enough.
Being a little pessimistic about the assignment I dressed myself in a dress with a bow in my hair, trying to look as underage as possible. I did not want to get shot because an unstable 7-11 cashier didn’t appreciate their red card.
I was obviously a little nervous at my first store. Luckily, I look 17 years old. After cashier Maribel asked for ID, I handed her a green card instead. She lit up with excitement! This is when I knew 7-11 must have some incentive for these cashiers receiving green cards.
By store 10 I was in my groove. While I do say that handing out green cards to all the multicultural 7-11 employees did feel a bit odd, I was beginning to feel less like a Narc and more like the 7-11 Angel.
“Great job Rakesh!, Congratulations Cheryl!” I’d sing their praise and glide out the door, before they had the opportunity to thank me. Sometimes I’d shoot them a little wink and a smile.
By hour 4, the enthusiasm faded and I was ready to be done with this “kinda fun” assignment. I had driven a full circle- Fairfield to Vallejo to Benicia to Vacaville to Suisun and back to Fairfield. I was exhausted and bored.
I wanted to hand out a red card, just to see what would happen. The danger of it intrigued me. The opportunity never presented itself and by hour 5, I finished. 24 stores and 24 green cards. Really? My day as a Narc started out dangerous and ended as tedious and boring. I think I’ll retire.