If you’re trying to get hired, one company wants you to hire a paid liar as a professional reference to score the gig. No, seriously.
Timothy Green is the founder of Palladin Deception Services, based in Forest Lake, Minn., and he will lie to anyone about anything you want … for a fee, of course. Green’s services, according to CNN, will cover your behind from everything from cheating on your spouse to playing hooky, but Green insists that about 60 percent of his business comes from job seekers.
If you had an acrimonious exit from a prior position and need a new job, you may feel stuck, and that’s where Green and his Paladins–we’re pretty sure they’re aware their name is ironic, by the way–will come in to rescue you. Green and his team, comprised of professional actors and voice actors he snags on CraigsList (gosh, this gets creepier and creepier, doesn’t it?) will make phone calls as previous employers from a company you invented.
Why a fake company? Legal reasons: Green doesn’t want to impersonate an actual person or company, because that’s, well, fraud.
Here’s how the process works: A customer consults with Green or one of his underlings by phone and describes their predicament. For example, I could call and say, “Mr. Green, I got fired from my last job because I refused to wear pants. I want a job writing for XYZ Magazine, but I can’t list my last boss on my resume because she’ll tell them that I refused to wear pants.”
I would then fill out a form telling in more detail how I refused to wear pants and what I did at my previous job, as well as more about the job I’m currently vying for.
Once that’s done, Palladin will create a fake email address and phone number for their fake business and fake boss that you’ve conjured up together. When XYZ Magazine calls, someone at Palladin will pretend to be Blake Jackson from ABC Magazine and tell them all about how great I am and how I totally wore pants like, every single day.
Of course, there are consequences to all of this. For one, you run the risk of getting caught immediately by your potential employer or recruiter, who usually take steps to research you. That would all but guarantee that they don’t hire you.
But a more likely scenario is that you do get hired and slip to a coworker, or that your skills don’t match up with what Blake Jackson adoringly told your new boss. You’ll be sweating and anxious and gross–and ultimately probably unhappy, because you’d have this stress hanging over your head as well as in your professional network should word gte out.
Personally, honesty is the best policy. Of course, that’s because I think they’d be onto me right away. Because I probably wouldn’t wear pants. And if I did, they’d most likely be on fire.