A tale of two ambassadorships…

Occupational Hazard: Smartfood cheese dust never leaves the fingertips.

I was once a “brand ambassador” in my youth — but the puffy suit didn’t help me on the dating scene.

This was during the Pre-Frito-Lay Era for Smartfood, when the popcorn was all the rage on college campuses.

As a short-term gig, the job was entertaining and it paid no worse than any other minimum wage opportunity available to me at the time. I much preferred it to bagging groceries or corralling supermarket carts. Unfortunately, the assignment only lasted a few days before some other lucky hiree in another city slipped inside the foil bag.

In this week’s “Working Stiff” column, you’ll meet two 20-something guys whose personalities scored them a six-week ambassador job with Gillette. Their mission: Convince thousands of strangers to shave in public and sell them on the idea that a five-blade razor is much manlier than a four-blade one.

They got paid $25,000 each, which is the pro-rated equivalent of $217,000 a year. At that payscale, they should have been required to shave their legs, too — Gillette also dominates that stubble-free universe.

But the pay was really secondary. For six weeks, these guys were sent on a cross-country VIP vacation with special celebrity access to the Major League Baseball All-Star Game, WWE wrestling events and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Am I jealous? Heck, yeah. At the end of my ambassadorship, the only fringe benefit was a complimentary snack.


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