Once upon a time, I had a job interview at a small company that purported to take funds for charity. I didn’t get the position, which entailed collecting money on the street. I didn’t really think about the company until later when I started to wonder if it was even legit. We had to take a personality test to find out if we would be a good fit for the job.
My group job interview consisted of four other people, all of whom looked like extremely good prospects for a methadone program. I was the only one dressed in semi-professional attire--everyone else was dressed in backpacker hippie clothes and no one seemed all that lucid.
The interviewer explained how the process worked. We would go out in teams and collect money for a specific charity using debit cards with re-occurring payments. I wasn’t suspicious at this point, but was nervous about the idea of asking strangers for money.
We then went to a one-on-one interview process. He asked which issue I would eradicate in the world if I could: I said that I thought it was important for each and every person to have access to clean water and food. The basics.
It wasn’t a bullshit answer, but it’s not necessarily what I think about all of the time. The guy seemed pleased by the answer, but the woman in the background was glaring at me for some unknown reason. He said that the teams had a high turnover rate when I asked about the quota system. He also said that Seattle was a tough crowd for fund raising.
I never heard back from the guy or the company and I didn’t call back. It was the second fundraising interview that I’ve had where I questioned the integrity of the fund raising. Was the money getting collected really going to help the charity? If it was, how much was going to the business?
To this day, I have no idea if the job or the business or charity was legitimate or not. I would have hated to learn that I was collecting money for a charitable cause that was not. The only saving grace for the whole organization was that it was supposedly giving people who would normally be panhandlers a chance at employment.
The key word is of course supposedly. Who knows if any of the hires actually ever got paid?