If you said yes to either of these questions, then perhaps you should consider applying for the Hourly Beer Decoy position
with the Salt Lake City Police Department.
This is a real job, one that you can actually apply for—not a punishment reserved for those forced into it by a court order.
The position of Beer Decoy pays pretty well: $11.33 an hour, which is more than minimum wage but certainly not enough to stutter through the words, "Hello convenience store clerk, sir. I would like to purchase this ice-cold beer, please, sir."
There's no drinking on the job, so you can't keep what you buy. You have to be 18 or older but under the age of 21 and, aaaaand pass a 10-year personal, criminal and employment background check. In other words, if you robbed a bank when you were 11, you're screwed.
Here's the official job description:
"Under constant and direct supervision of Police Department detectives, incumbent enters establishments that sell alcoholic beverages and attempts to purchase alcohol and items that cannot legally be purchased by someone under the age of 21. Similar attempts are made to enter taverns, clubs and bars or other establishments licensed to serve alcohol and that should not allow entrance to those under the age of 21.
NOTE: Consumption of alcoholic beverages is strictly prohibited and is not an associated job requirement.
Must be age of 18 or older, but under the age of 21.
Must be able to pass a criminal background check and drug screen.
Ability and availability to work a flexible work schedule consisting of 4 to 8 hours per day, two to four days per month."
Basically, this job entails strolling up to any establishment that sells alcohol (not a bar) and, after you gather your composure, attempting to purchase an alcoholic beverage.
Why anyone would want to do this is beyond me. $11.33 an hour is not enough taxed income to entice me to drive around with a couple of cops all day searching for gas-station clerks to bamboozle into selling me a Chelada.
Dennis McGowan, a detective with SLCPD, says that the Beer Decoys "are closely monitored by plainclothes officers from our organized crime unit. They're right there with them. All the decoy does is go in and purchase whatever it is and walk out, then the police go back in and do whatever they need to do. It's safe for the decoys."
"But isn't it scary?" I asked Detective McGowan.
"Yeah, I guess if we put ourselves in their shoes. But you can see it pays $11.33. To me, that appears significant. I would think they would have enough people to draw from—mature young people that are willing to work with the police to stop a social problem."
Yeah, you are doing the community a favor, getting rid of shopkeepers that don't give a shit about selling beer to teens ... .and, let's be honest, some who unknowingly/stupidly sell beer to teens.
But you're a basically an undercover cop, just without any of the cool benefits of being undercover (stakeouts, shoulder holsters, flip-out wallet badges, over-use of the word "buddy," aviators). Hell, I'd rather be a secret shopper at Olive Garden; at least then I'd get to pass judgment on a Tuscan Trio.
You have until Monday, Sept 29 to apply online for this exciting career.
Were you one of those kids who went through puberty way too early? Are you between 18 and 21 and wondering what it's like to buy beer... illegally?