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Commentary: College Grad Laments Frustrating Job Hunt

By Kathryn Quinn

Buffalo, NY – I have a theory. If a job description seems too good to be true - it is. Just as you might embellish on your resume employers are prone to exaggerate the greatness of the job.

This is how you can tell if an employer has inflated the prominence of the position. If the description sounds wonderful and then states that there is no experience necessary the job sucks.

The best example of this is the management trainee program or what I like to call the schmuck in training program, STP for short. The job description calls for an interest in marketing, management, promotions, public relations and advertising. Of course no experience is necessary. This is really a ploy to lure unsuspecting applicants to the office where they “explain” what the job entails and to sign up for a full day to shadow an existing employee.

I came away from this experience having no idea what the job actually was or what one does while performing it. I should have known that this was a shady business when the name on the door was different from the name on the answering machine that was not the same as the name of the company on the job description. Now I find myself in a position where I will be doing god knows what for a company whose name I don’t know. And yet I actually go back to the place for my day of shadowing.

At this point I am officially a schmuck in training whether I get the job or not. It is 7am and I am wearing my comfortable shoes as instructed. Then I and about 5 other STs get into various cars with the people who are finally going to show us exactly what we will be responsible for.

Apparently, this too good to be true job consists of being dropped off in a foreign neighborhood and going door to door, trying to sell people coupons. Let me repeat, trying to sell coupons!!!

If you find yourself falling victim to this scheme I am selling t-shirts that say “Official member of the Schmuck in Training Rehabilitation Club” they sell for $29.95 and have no head or arm holes.

Kathryn Quinn is a Buffalo area writer.