I had another one of those “really?” moments the other day. I was minding my own business in the grocery store when my phone rang; a mysterious (301) number was calling. “Hello, this is ‘so n so’ from =++===+ Corporation in Washington D.C. Are you still interested in our research position?” I couldn’t hear the name of the organization, or the person who was calling, but I was so thrown off that I said yes to an interview time, got the address, and figured I could work backwards to see who had just called me.
After some detective work, I found out it was the Valbin Corporation, and vaguely remembered sending in an application in October. Now, I try to research every company I apply to; I stopped writing form cover letters and really have improved my abilities to incorporate my knowledge of the organization into my every plea for employment. Yet, I guess I missed the mark on this one. I looked up their blurb on idealist, and here is the description of the organization:
Valbin Corporation is devoted to international development and cross-cultural understanding around the world. Valbin achieves its mission by providing foreign language and cultural training services in over 60 languages to non profit organization, government agencies and the private sector.
Sounds right up my alley, no? I probably skimmed their regular website before putting some sort of letter together, attaching my resume, hitting send, and picturing my email being hidden among a thousand others in overflowing inboxes.
Yet, alas! Two months later and I get a call while in aisle 6! Could this possibly be my big break?
I went to their website, and was caught offguard. I read their mission statement, which was worded, shall I say, slightly different from idealist’s?:
Valbin’s Mission Readiness Support Services (MRS) has the capacity to provide Foreign Language Speakers (FLS), Civilian Role Players (CRP), cultural experts, Subject Matter Experts (SME), and experienced project personnel to support military training exercises that maximize training effectiveness and soldier readiness for changing cultural environments. Among the many Foreign Language Speakers provided by MRS are speakers of Iraqi Arabic, Pashto, Urdu, Farsi, and Albanian.
Okay. Military. Maybe this isn’t so bad. It doesn’t sound too terrible. I mean, soliders need to be ready to adapt to new cultural surroundings–something I’ve been interested in and have studied for years. Maybe I can be a part of some sort of change; I can teach them about cultural relativsm and emic points of view! Who knows. It’s a job, and maybe they’re not all about the military.
Then I saw this:
Army simulation? That kind of scares me. But no, let me do a google search, and give this company one more try. Alas, my favorite:
VALBIN Corporation is HIRING!
Hiring: Amputee Casualty Role Players for Army simulation exercises at Ft. Irwin, CA (in San Bernardino county- between Death Valley and the Mojave National Preserve).
Applicants must be 18 years of age or older, have a clean background check & credit score, and be physically fit to operate long hours in all types of weather. Amputee Role Players will portray insurgents.
Schedule: Up to 12 hours per day, with work beginning in late October 2010.
This here was the icing to the cake. No matter what pay, benefits, or knowledge I’d gain, I know that I never want to work for a compnay that hires amputee role players-even if they have good credit scores.
In other news, a Christmas tree was just lit in my hood.