Being Smart But Playing Dumb (or Adventures In Job Hunting)

I’m still on the lookout for another day job to help pay the bills. Until the season starts at my box office job, I’m only going to get a few shifts a month (hopefully during the season it will be more like 2 or so a week).

I’m applying a lot through various websites and I’ve been letting people know that I’m still looking. Sometimes other people know of jobs that I can’t find out about elsewhere.

And that’s what has happened over the past few days. The aunt of a friend of mine was at a store and overheard a woman saying that she really needed to hire an assistant and fill some other job openings that she had. So my friend’s aunt sent me a message on Facebook telling me that I should email this woman (I’m not saying her name because I don’t want it to come up if someone searches for this person online). I felt weird emailing someone when I had no idea if they were looking for full-time or part-time employees or even what they were paying, so my friend’s aunt called me so I could talk to the woman on the phone.

For the first few seconds she was very nice. Then she asked me if I was looking for a job. I was very upfront with her and said that I was looking for a flexible day job because I was an actor. I said that I wanted to be honest with her in case she needed someone to work more stable hours.

That’s when the call went bad. She told me that I was putting my negativity on her and that I should never assume that a job wasn’t going to be flexible. I apologized and said that I just didn’t want to waste her time if I wasn’t what she needed, and since I had literally zero information about the job I didn’t know what she was looking for. I tried to get some more information out of her, but she said that she was very busy and wasn’t expected to be on a phone call about the job (which I understood) so she asked me to submit my resume to her. She then kept saying to me that I needed to understand that she wasn’t offering me a job at that moment but offering me a chance to apply for a job. That was weird. Of course she wasn’t offering me a job. I had no idea what the job was yet!

I submitted my resume to her and figured that maybe I wouldn’t hear back from her. I tried to look her up online (she said that she had done a lot of film and tv work and was creating her own tv show), but there was nothing online under her name. Not just nothing useful, nothing at all. I figured that maybe I had the name written down wrong or she used a different name publicly, so I let it go.

Then the next morning, she called me at 9am as I was about to run an errand. She asked me if I could talk and I told her that I had 20 minutes.

She was very upset with me for telling her I only had 20 minutes. She said that if Oprah had called me that I wouldn’t tell her that. I responded by saying that I would and I would hope that Oprah would respect me enough to not take up time that I didn’t have.

She said that I had a lot of education and experience but that I wasn’t a very smart person as far as street smarts go. She called me classless and without grace. She didn’t want me to talk for a while on the phone so I just listened. She never said anything about the job or what her show was about.

Finally, I had a chance to talk and explained how I tried to look her up online the night before so I could become more familiar with her work. She told me that her team was a very powerful group of people and that they removed her from being in online searches so she could re-brand herself. She didn’t want anyone to know that she used to be a successful actress.

That’s when I started to realize that this woman wasn’t being truthful with me. You can’t erase everything about you from the internet. If she was in a lot of film and TV work, you would be on IMDb and have reviews about your projects. You can’t delete everything.

I specifically asked her about IMDb. I asked her why she wasn’t on there. She said that her team was able to take her entire page down.

I’m sorry, but that’s not really possible. There was recently a lawsuit about someone trying to get their birth year taken off of IMDb¬†and that woman lost her lawsuit because IMDb said that they are an information site and have a right to show truthful information about people. So for one person to claim that they had their entire IMDb page deleted to re-brand themselves seems pretty much impossible.

At that point in the phone call, I decided to start playing dumb like I didn’t know that what she was saying was pretty much false information. She told me that I just couldn’t understand because I’m not on her level.

She also told me that I should have my IMDb page deleted and that actors at my level should not have a page yet. My page was not created by me. I was in a show and the producers submitted my information. That’s how a lot of information gets on IMDb. This woman told me that showing the world the stepping stones of my acting career is not going to help me at all. It’s only going to show people that I’m not worthy of a big career.

I could go on and on about what this woman said to me, but honestly I realized in the end that she was pretty much saying lie after lie. Or maybe she honestly believes it but I know that it’s not correct information.

She asked me if I still wanted to interview with her and I said yes. Not because I want to work for her. But because I’m wondering if she’s running some sort of scam that more naive actors might fall for. I don’t know if she’s trying to get people to work unpaid or something, but something isn’t right about this. Even after the second phone call, which lasted about 45 minutes, I still don’t know what jobs she’s hiring for, how much they pay, what the hours would be like, or anything else.

I posted this story on my Facebook page on Saturday after the second phone call. I got a lot of responses from people. Some people want me to go to the interview to see what her deal is and to turn it down in person (I even have some friends who want to come with me and see what happens). I have other friends who said I should just drop this whole thing and not to waste my time with her.

If I do meet her, it’s going to be in a super public place like a coffee shop. I would never meet someone who I don’t know (and who technically doesn’t exist on the internet) somewhere where there aren’t other people around.

And now that I’m thinking about it, she might end up googling my name and finding this blog and this post (don’t worry, I did some research online and there’s no way she can sue me for libel because I didn’t use her name or any identifying details about her so there is no way I’m ruining her good name). And she might decide that she doesn’t want to talk to me again. And if you are reading this, I’m sorry if I wasted your time on the phone. I really was interested in a job at first, but I can’t work for someone who insults me on the phone several times and lies about things.

I actually have a very busy week this week and pretty much no time to go to an interview, so chances are I will never get to meet whoever this person really is and decline the job in person. I have a feeling when I tell her that I can’t meet her this week, she will say that I should be willing to cancel my plans to meet her. I’m not willing to not go to a paying job to meet her to turn down her job in person.

But I’m hoping that even without saying this woman’s name (or at least the name that she gave to me) or saying really any identifying details that this story will be a warning to others. I’m sure that she has spoken to other people about the jobs that she’s hiring for. She said that craigslist is not a good place to find people (which I don’t believe) so she won’t post the jobs on there. So I have no idea how she is finding people.

But if this story sounds familiar to you, this is my warning. There is no shame in asking someone questions. If you get shamed, there is something that they are hiding. When I had asked about IMDb and wanting to do some research about her, her response was that I would be so embarrassed that I ever questions who she is when I meet her. People who are really that famous or in that position don’t need to talk themselves up like that.

I’ve had so many horrible jobs and job interview situations in the past. I’m just glad that know I have this blog to document them on and hopefully give you all a good laugh. And if you want to read some more about what happened on the second phone call (I typed out some direct quotes), they are on my Facebook page.

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