Back when I was looking for work, I stumbled across an ad on Craigslist offering $200 for someone to take a biology exam for an Asian female, assuming they received a score in the 85-95% range.
I laughed. It reminded me of a class project I did years ago. Between grad school attempts one and two, I took some HR-related classes through the local university extension (where I am currently taking my copyediting classes). My favorite course in that series was a “how to be a trainer” course.
Normally I dislike group projects, but the one for this class was awesome! We had to create a company (on paper) and then develop a half hour training for current or potential employees.
I normally avoid taking the leadership role, but no one else stepped up, so I took control of the brainstorming. Between the four of us, we built off each other’s ideas until we developed the best ever (albeit unethical) company: Substitute Students.
Our target market was people too busy to go to class. They could hire us to sit in and take notes for a single class session or for busier (we preferred that adjective to “lazier”) individuals, we would take the entire course … or all the degree requirements for them.
The training we decided on was a new hire orientation for our substitutes. In it we explained how we matched our substitutes to our clients based on six physical characteristics: sex, age, ethnicity, height, weight, and hair color.
For the example client, we put up a picture of Cindy Crawford and asked everyone to stand up.
One by one we called out the qualifying characteristics, and people sat down when they were out of the running. We did end up with one member of the class, our “new hire,” who would have that gig. The young woman was both embarrassed to be singled out and flattered to be picked as a sub for Cindy.
That was one of the most practical, hands-on classes I have ever had in my professional development. They didn’t tell us what to do: they showed us how.
What celebrity have you been compared to? (I get Mary Louise Parker comments all the time.) or Would you have been more likely to be a client or employee of Substitute Students, Inc.?