Ironically, this was in math class.

So I’m talking to a classmate last night, and he’s telling me about a job he interviewed for.  Apparently the interviewer told him that there were guys with “ten years experience” applying for the same job, but the interviewer “really likes” my classmate and he’s going to “put a word in with the boss” on my classmate’s behalf.

This raised some red flags in my mind.  So I ask him what he’ll be doing, and the answer is “Sales”

“Commission?”

“No, I get a salary.  20K a year!”

…it turns out that getting this 20K a year involves 50 – fifty – hour work weeks, making 150 cold calls a day to people asking them if they want to buy stuff.  But he gets a 10% commission on – and I asked him about this – the net, not the gross, of any given sale, so, hey, he could make lots more than that… though he admits that they’ve told him that he probably won’t make any commissions for the first few months.  And people must be making big money, because there were lots of new cars in the parking lot!

So.  He would be putting in 50 hours a week, but he would be classified as “Salary”, so they won’t be paying him overtime.  This deal’s looking worse all the time.

We do some math together.  50 hours a week at an hourly job would mean 40 hours, plus 10 hours at time and a half, so working 50 hours in a week would mean getting paid for 55 hours.

52 weeks in a year means that, in an hourly job, working 50 hours a week, over a year, he’d be paid for 2860 hours worked.

A salary of 20000 a year divided by 2860 hours makes… $6.99 an hour.  I’ll point out that the  minimum wage in our state is $7.80 an hour.

I didn’t really want to come out and say “Look, there is nobody with ten years experience trying to get this job.  They will call you in a couple of days and tell you that they’ve talked their boss into it and they’ve decided to take a chance on you.  You will be chained to a headset, making less than a guy flipping burgers at the local McDonald’s, until you eventually realize you’re being screwed and leave.  Those Porsches and Mustangs you saw in the parking lot?  NOT YOURS.”

But I left it at “So, you’d be making seven bucks an hour… does that really seem good?”

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