My Fake Job


"Our team works hard to bring you the highest quality products."

If any of you don't know what I look like, you will now. I am the short dark-haired one in the first row. I am not part of a large staff. I work in a small home office with one other person. There are no red bricks on my sidewalk. I make high-quality products, but not the Mean Green Machines, Pak-A-Punches or 2-in-1 Automatic Cutter/Strippers that most of the folks in this photo do.

In the above company photo for A1 Security Manufacturing Corporation, my job is General Team Member. On the day of the lie, I was at A1 for a meeting. My client, Frank was pulled outside with the rest of the crew for a company photo. Standing to the side and content in my own world, I was summoned to duty.

"Sandie, get in here! A1 needs to look bigger. Over here... Yes, front and center!"

"But I don't work here. Ah... Um..."

"That's okay, we need more people. C'mon. Get in here!"

In less than 2 seconds the image was captured and a few weeks later the About A1 web page went live. I was officially a member of the A1 Crew (at least in cyberspace).

I took the liberty of writing my own job description:

Title: General Team Member
Salary: $100,000/yr + bonus
Benefits: full medical, dental, life & disability, travel & meal expense account, company car, free parking, Eames office furniture, coffee and scones provided in mornings, chocolate provided in afternoons.
Part-time hours: determined by employee

In this challenging role you will be responsible for:

— Effectively representing the company and its mission to clients and prospects via purchase of good-looking postage stamps adhered to estimates, invoices and other mail
— Working closely with the management, sales and manufacturing teams to determine list of movies staff should see
— Reviewing new movies as needed
— Supporting sales team with client outreach by trying new restaurants
— Reviewing, updating, and maintaining list of acceptable restaurants around the world
— Functioning as dog walker for staff dogs
— Purchasing ice cream for company freezer
— Maintaining magazine subscriptions for lobby
— Suggesting additional General Team Member duties as necessary

paul, May 11 2005 1:39PM

my last job we had family and friends fill in non-existent seats at work, to make us seem bigger. i hated that deception and always felt that we weren't really fooling anyone. i thought wouldn't it be better to represent yourself truthfully and say we are growing our company. what happens when they people your lying to decides to drop in unannounced, which happend to us in my past company.

Ann, May 11 2005 2:29PM

The agency that I used to work for called me in a couple months ago for a day to look like I was working. They were courting a potential new client and called in me and several other warm bodies to fill up the space. Itwas funny how they decorated my desk with photos. For that day I was the owner of a horse named Sailor and I had a 9- or 10-year old child. It was actually a really boring day.

Sandie, May 12 2005 10:15AM

wow. i had no idea that a company would go to such lengths to impress clients. i've worked at a couple of large agencies, but we never had to call in fillers for a client visit. the management just asked us to clean our desks and "look busy"