Meat Truck

I examined many possibilities for employment all morning and feel a little scammed. There’s so much out there that is not even real, just bad people taking advantage of a bad situation.

Last week, I was invited to interveiw with a company that emailed me specifics on how to dress for the interveiw and I knew immediately it was a scam. Now what kind of scam, I don’t know, but I’ve been scammed before, so I’m super careful now and I try to research every company I consider before I take the time to apply.

I wanted to share with you a short story I wrote after finding myself involved in one of these job scams. I had applied for a driver’s position, and at the interview I was told that I had the potential to make more than drivers do if I would sell what the drivers delivered and that was meat. So of course, I took the offer.

They sent me to train with their top salesman. I wanted to run away from him when he took me back to his house (a.k.a., his sister’s basement) so he could smoke pot out of a bong before we headed up north to Green Bay (my house was only blocks away from his, so it would have been an easy escape, but I worried about how I would retrieve my car, so I stayed on).

It was an acting job, a really bad acting job. The guy would play “stranded at the side of the road and meat is de-thawing” to get people to buy. There was one man who bought who had no arms and I felt so terrible for him.

The meat is grade D icky stuff. If a stoner stumbles out of a meat truck and to your door, don’t buy his meat. It’s a scam.

The meat boy/top salesman was caught in his scam publicly at our last stop out of town. It was at a bar. They booed us out the door and asked us never to come back to Green Bay.

I still see the meat truck every now and then, white and painted with the words, “MEAT U.S.A.” on it and the same stoner behind the wheel. I also saw the meat boy at a street festival, drunk and trying to cause a fight. He had a pit-bull on a chain.

Like I say about many of these strange and uncomfortable instances I find myself in, at least I got a story from it:

MEAT TRUCK. USA

I waited in the meat truck. He was thoughtful enough to leave the keys in the ignition so I could listen to the radio. I knew what I had gotten myself into and I had to bide the time and make the best of it. He ran up the walkway of a randomly chosen house and knocked at the door. A woman answered. I could hear his voice and vaguely make out his words as he began his spiel.

“Good meat,” “broken down,” “selling cheap,” …the words I could decipher in between the indecipherable, lower-toned words. The woman who answered the door looked out at the truck and examined me. She looked concerned and invited him in.

I began to think my coming along was to his advantage; I was softening his gangster characteristics with my pink cardigan and round face and I wished for a moment that I would earn a cut of his day’s commission.

I watched the screen door spring shut and sagging pants disappear into the darkness of the entrance way. I turned my attention to a tiny, chubby girl on a scooter, riding across the street. She had taken obvious precaution and looked both ways before crossing, even though the street was as wide and as empty as the large expanse of field and sky above and between the houses here.

It was not long after the 9-11 attacks on America and a new batch of patriotism had entered into the hearts of most Americans and the fashion industry. The girl was wearing red, white and blue. Her sneakers were the whitest that white could be and maybe a size too big for her feet, or at least they looked that way. A big letter “A” was sewn onto her skirt.

The music on the radio stopped playing for some commercials and a news brief. Annoying jingles to get people to buy and then the announcer reported about a terrorist attack in Pakistan. They had tied and gagged 7 children and then killed them with a single gunshot to each of their heads.

I watched the girl ride on down the street as the news aired and I felt dirty and ignorant. I felt white and awkward, like the chubbiness and the size of the girl’s shoes. The sun and sitting all morning and afternoon in the vinyl interior of a commercial meat truck was getting to me. I had overdressed for an unpredicted heat wave in a vain attempt to look like a professional meat salesperson. I cursed myself for my stupidity and regretted not ditching this effort the minute the meat truck boy pulled into a park to take a hit of marijuana from his bong that he kept hidden underneath his seat (which I had politely declined when offered).

The smell of my hair product, the stagnant sweat from my skin and the heated vinyl interior intertwined and nauseated me and I began fall outside of myself. I felt like a stranger, like I was putting on an act and it was then that I realized I was, in order to make it through the rest of the day and back home again. The thought of home never felt as wonderful to me as it did at that moment. I decided to keep my focus there….home.

The meat truck boy came jogging back to the car. “No sale” he said.  He was pissed. He started up the car and jerked it into drive and set off fast, steering quickly through the subdivision’s twists and turns. My body swayed back and forth in the cab from the centrifugal force of his crazy driving, as the radio announcer finished up with sports and weather.

I pretended not to notice his slight temper tantrum and tried to grin pleasantly, as if I was enjoying myself. We passed the little girl on the scooter. He was still driving fast and seemed to take no notice of her. I watched her face from the side view mirror once we had passed her. She was grinning in the same manner I was, despite the wind from the speed of the truck that barely passed her tiny body and blew her hair across her face, so that for a moment, she couldn’t see. She had to put her foot down to stop herself and smooth her hair back from across her eyes. She looked back out at our truck, just as we turned onto the main street and towards the next set of houses, where we would try again to sell some meat.

Anyone have a job lead for me?

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About clutterheart

You don't know me, but you will.
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4 Responses to Meat Truck

  1. lisa says:

    as an advertising gal (ya, one of those creative types… or though i think i am), i think you’re writing is wonderful! you really should be doing this for a living, not scammin’ sides of beef. as an out-of-work gal myself, trying hooking up with this group out of chicago. they place creatives… http://www.creativecircle.com
    i think you should write a screenplay for your meat story, it would make a great indy film. i have lots of connections for you!
    thanks for making me smile during these awful economic times! and thanks for turning me on to “hooping”! i’m so glad nice weather is approaching!

    • I shot soda out of my nose when I read your comment (laughing so hard about scammin sides of beef). Thanks for the lead, I’m going to look into it today. And thanks for the super sweet and encouraging comment Lisa. I’d brings me great comfort imagining my future as a screenplay writer over selling meat door to door.

  2. I agree with Lisa — this would make a great screenplay. Who would you want to play your role?

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