You Too Can Make $15 an Hour as a 'Hair Angel' in California

The job description is simple enough:

The Hair Angels, A Head Lice Removal Service is looking for independent contractors, based in the East Bay area, to travel to people's homes and remove head lice and eggs from those who are infected.

Would-be applicants must have their own car and insurance, have a fluent command of English, "own a cell phone and be able to text," and live in California's East Bay. "Squeamish people need not apply. A good sense of humor and experience with head lice is a plus," which, fair enough.

After undergoing a background and references check ("please do not send a generic resume, they will not be considered"), you may qualify for "very inconsistent work, averaging from 5-15 hours a week." The "further you are willing to drive, the more you will work," but at least you get to set your own hours (you must be available "at least a block of time every day," but there will be no work in the evening and on weekends).

Compensation is listed at $15 an hour ("plus travel, plus product sales commission"). Minimum wage in the state of California is $8.00; minimum wage in the nearby city of San Francisco is $10.55. Should you find yourself working the busy season, you might hope to clear $225 in a week. And then there's always that sales commission.

A job is a job, of course, especially in these dark days; I once spent an hour in an informational interview with a man who told me to put my height, weight, current health status and father's occupation on my resume in order to increase my chances of getting hired because I was frantic for work and I thought the conversation might lead to a job (it did not). I spent thirty dollars on a round-trip train ticket and spent about four hours traveling to see him, but I did get a free Diet Coke out of the encounter.

He didn't even drink his Diet Coke, come to think of it. He had a woman bring him one and pour it into a glass over ice and leave it there, just because he could. That's how you know you've made it, I suppose.