Thursday, October 4, 2007

Led Schleppelin II: Dial K for the Kids

Another schlep job has come and gone, and still no legit gig in sight. After my brief tenure at Crestwood Suites, I took a job with A.R.K. Media Services in Cedar Park. The protocol was this: armed with a torn-in-half phone book (the Abilene, Texas White Pages), I was to call local businesses to sell them, at grossly inflated prices, anti-drug radio spots to run on KFGL 100.7 "True Oldies."

My pitch went something like this:

"Throughout the month of October, we're going on the air with all-out effort to keep kids off drugs. With the children back at school, and the holiday season coming up, more kids are going to be tempted to try drugs. We want to help our young people make the right choices. I have prepared a message for your business that goes something like this: 'And now, your friends at Federated Mud Service want to remind all parents that kids are being approached at a younger age to try drugs. Parents, educate your children to the dangers of drugs and alcohol. Teach them to deal with life's problems sensibly, never chemically. Don and Cletis and all the gang at Federated Mud are on the air wishing our kids a drug-free school year.'"

Apparently, the kids are on their own during school vacations.

Drew, the CEO of A.R.K., tried to lead by example, booming his rapid-fire pitches at top volume from the office next door, always emphasizing that "we're puttin' it on for the kids." He bulldogged half a dozen small businessmen a day into buying the overpriced PSAs, while I must have made a thousand calls, and managed to sell but one in the three days I was working for him.

Last night, as I tried to fall asleep, I heard the same phrase repeating over and over in my head: "We're puttin' it on for the kids...We're puttin' it on for the kids...We're puttin' it on for the kids."

I went into work this afternoon for another session of telemarketing tedium and futile phone work, but when I sat down at my cubicle, I could not bear to don the headset. I tendered my resignation and went home to face the music.

And it sure as hell wasn't "True Oldies."

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