High School Job to Consider: Being a Narc

‘Does it matter which brand?’ I asked.
‘No, just act like you’ve done this before,’ she said.

If asked for my ID, I should say these exact words: ‘I don’t have it with me.’

‘Don’t tell them you’re 18, or say anything like ‘C’mon, just this once’ or ‘Give me a break’ in there,’ Kelly told me. ‘Then they can claim entrapment if the case goes to court.’

If I was turned down, we logged the inspection as ‘compliant’.

If the buy was successful, I should come back to the Caprice, give Kelly the pack, the receipt and a description of the clerk, then wait while she went inside and issued a $500 fine to the clerk, plus another $500 to the owner of the store.

When he was 16, the blogger behind Rottin’ in Denmark called up the Seattle Police Department and asked if it was true that they hired teenagers to help cops bust stores who sold cigarettes and alcohol to minors. He discovered that, yes, it was true, and also they were looking for a new kid, and asked him if he looked older for his age, which was true. He got paid $8.50 an hour, plus overtime, which was pretty awesome for a kid in high school during the mid-’90s.

I, unfortunately, would not be up for this job because I looked very young for my age when I was in high school, and even last summer, when a security guard questioned the validity of my driver’s license while I was waiting in a line to get a wristband to buy beer. I remember my response being: “But I’m almost 30, and I have a 401(k)!” The security guard laughed and said, “You have convinced me!” But this is besides the point.

The most fascinating part of this story is when the teenage narc does a 180, and begins to sympathize with the clerks he’s busting after one of them loses her job, and the agent he’s with cold-heartedly tells him that she may not be able to pay the fine, and: “If the state takes away her kids, that’s your fault.” Harsh.

It’s a must-read. And if you’ve got a kid brother or sister in high school who is looking for a part-time job, it’s something they might consider!

Photo: Guy Schmidt

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