A few weeks ago, I accidentally stepped into an alternate universe and got a job as a traveling mop salesperson.
I read about the auditions on Craigslist and tried out on a whim, channeling my inner Billy Mays. I had no idea that screaming "ONLY TWENTY-NINE-NINETY-NINE" would land me a follow-up interview, but it did. Somehow, I managed to leave a good impression and they offered me the job.
I didn't know whether or not I actually wanted a full-time job that required me to travel around the city with a truck full of mops, but I said "yes." I thought about all of the money I could potentially make from working a lot. I thought about how people would finally take me seriously if I had a full time job, even if it was something I didn't care about. And so I put my rock and roll dreams on hold and picked up an eight-page script about a revolutionary product that will change the way you clean your house.
The first day of mops was a bit stressful. I was being trained by a very intense woman who looked like Sarah Palin. She introduced herself as the highest grossing salesperson in the country and the amount of enthusiasm she had towards mops was frightening. She spent the day drilling me on a script that I barely had memorized.
"No, no, no, Lauren! You never say 'BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE.' That's what they say on cheesy infomercials! Now, don't forget to throw a couple of 'you want ones' in there."
I soon remembered that I hate public speaking. On day two of training, I found myself practicing the mop speech on a little stage in the back of a department store. Real people were walking by and looking at me as I spouted off facts about mops. I felt as though I might throw up.
But the real wave of nausea came when I looked at the contract I needed to sign for this job. My wages would be 100% commission based. I would have to sell a lot of mops just to make minimum wage.
At one point, the CEO of the company randomly happened to visit the store I was at. He was a rather large man and probably made a hobby out of being intimidating. He took me aside and gave me a lecture.
"So you're new," he said, glaring at me. "Let me give you some advice: Don't screw this up. This is a golden opportunity."
The whole scene was so surreal. The CEO kept talking to me, but I stopped listening. What was I doing here?
Day three of training didn't last very long. I got halfway through it and quit. "I don't think I'm meant to sell mops," I announced. Then I left, grinning. I could focus on my musical dreams again! I was still broke, but at least I got a free mop out of the ordeal.
Lauren graduated from college two years ago with a degree in Cinema/Media Communications. She has done absolutely nothing with this degree and currently can't even find it. To learn more about Lauren and her various creative pursuits, visit www.laurenhatchmusic.com. You can also follow her misadventures on Twitter (@lalalalauren87).