Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Haley Scholars (Group B) Rion Amilcar Scott's “A Rare and Powerful Employee”

[Haley Reading groups Fall 2021]

Rion Amilcar Scott's “A Rare and Powerful Employee” focuses on the first-person perspective of a man who has the job of motivating and supporting women, but he secretly gets over on them. The story is fictional but disturbing because of how real it is that a powerful figure could take advantage of people the way this unnamed character does. 

At one point, the narrator imagines what will happen yet again after he gives a speech: "A line of women will position themselves to talk to me, saying things like my speech restored their faith in men or that my writings are so profound and I nod and say something that seems thoughtful, but is really canned and trite" (73).

What captured your attention more -- the deceptive man at the center of the story or the idea of those vulnerable women? Why?

28 comments:

Linda H. said...

The man who made a career and life around women who have been victimized really left a bad impression on me. I feel like he could at least respect the people who finance his lifestyle but instead he just uses them to get what he wants, which is their problem in the first place.


Linda H.

Samantha A. said...

The deceptive man caught my attention more as the story is centered around him, and the story told more detail of his manipulation of those women. After reading the story, I felt disgusted and confused by than man more so than my sympathy and heartache for those women as the man acknowledged how these women are broken due to their trauma, yet he still felt no true sympathy. The story clearly illustrated how the man only thought about sex and does not have respect for women as humans, but more so as just objects to sleep with.

-Samantha A.

Alexis S. said...

The deceptive man at the center of the story captured my attention more. This fictional character captured my attention because of how evil it is to take advantage of others vulnerabilities for your own gain. His audience put their trust and faith into him, in hopes that he will be an example and leader in society, but instead is just using them for profit. Furthering their point of not being able to trust men.

- Alexis S.

Tymera W said...

The deceptive man definitely caught my attention more than anything. It shows how much of a horrible person he truly is based on his actions when it comes to these women. He clearly has bad intentions and that shows from out point of view. One of the craziest parts is when he said "really, I get tired of being trite but I must admit as much as I hate this job the fringe benefits are amazing." This just shows that he knows that he is wrong but he truly does not care. Although its just a book, these things really make you second guess people even more when it comes to them being genuine or not.

Keiahjah said...

The thing that caught my attention was him acting like he really cared for these women's stories and just doing it for the money. You saying you know what these women feel but you really don’t and you fake it basically for money and you lying to them saying you listen and giving them this fake advice that’s mind-blowing to me like who does that. Another thing this is why I don’t do counselors because I feel at times they be lying
and they just be listening just to be noisy.

-Keiahjah M

LaTrina Brown said...

The deceptive man caught my attention more than the vulnerable women because it just shows are manipulative people in a higher power can be. These type of situations happen everyday worldwide, where men abuse their power and authority by victimizing women who are followers of them. I don't like knowing that there are people out there like this.

Mark S Lewis said...

The deceptive man definitely caught my attention more, given the amount of focus they gave him. While I can't believe he doesn't feel a little sympathy, I hate that he considers their stories even a little silly. He caught my attention more because I do feel some sympathy since his constant deception is clearly draining him.

Kayla Person said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chaianna Curry said...

What captured my attention the most was the idea of the vulnerable women in the story. I expected them to be much more hesitant and cautious towards him, considering the circumstances that caused them to meet one another. They should have been right in trusting him, but unfortunately, they weren’t. And the deceptive man himself did not surprise me. Greed will make people do anything, regardless of how immoral it seems to anyone else.

Z'Kya Dixon said...

The deceptive man caught my attitude. The way he zoned out at the end really showed that he does not care in the tiniest bit. He would mean what he says and he could be honest. But he's ran my money, sex, and greed and it personally disgusted me. And the woman, it goes to show how damaged and broken they are to not see the decption even though they probably know what it looks like.-
-Z'Kya Dixon

Kayla Person said...

The deceptive man caught my attention more. The way he has made a career out of something he doesn’t care about is very distasteful. He has women that trust him and he abuses it without care. It’s important to not idolize people without knowing who they truly are.

- Kayla P.

Paris S. said...

The deceptive man definitely caught my attention. The way he takes advantage of the vulnerable women for his own benefits and financial gain is very disturbing. He does not pay attention to the women's stories, which shows that he does not have any sympathy.

Ta'mya Cummings said...

The deceptive man caught my attention more in the story. It rubs me the wrong way how he knows that what he is doing is wrong, but he doesn't care about the people and women it affects. He shows selfishness in his actions and is doing whatever it takes to get what he wants.

Mahlik G said...

The deceptive man catches my attention most in this story. I find it interesting how he, seemingly, is used as a puppet by his boss, to manipulate vulnerable women into pouring their money and heart out to him, feel a fake sense of connection, and even sleep with him. It is clear and explicitly written that the man hates his job (Scott 73). I also see the dread he has in what he does, though as he states, "the fringe benefits are amazing" (Scott 73), which leaves him too, vulnerable to his boss while being caught up in the benefits. I challenge the readers of this story to look beyond the speaker, but at the root of the deception and manipulation. The speaker narrating this story is nothing less than a pimp for their boss. The narrator is indeed wrong for what he does, but who the main problem is? Would one not find the boss to be the head of this madness?

-Mahlik G

Kelsey H said...

The deceptive man caught my attention more. I say this because at first I wanted to feel sorry for the man who had to say these speeches. I thought the man who created the speeches was using him until the very end when he was at the restaurant with the lady. This is something he wants to do by not caring about the importance of the topic he talks about, just to use these women for his own pleasure. He knows what he’s doing and it’s very disgusting.

Kalonji said...

This story is centered around Copernicus Reid (a lady mentions his name on page 74, paragraph 2), so naturally, he ended up catching my attention the most. On page 75 he says, "I've heard this story before, The details change, but it really is always the same... Somewhere during her story, I zone out and think about the movie I used to watch as a kid". This was interesting to me because it seems that despite how traumatic the nature of his work is, he was able to become desensitized. I think that the state that Copernicus is in goes beyond good or bad. Throughout the story, he displayed a sociopathic nature. The story also serves as a reminder to beware of false prophets.

Zaria Hankins said...

I would say that the deceptive man at the center of the story captured my attention more because of how selfish he is. When he says “... as much as I hate this job, the fringe benefits are amazing.” (73) it became clear that he was fully aware of how terrible what he was doing was but he continued doing it. To me this reinforced the fact that this is very common in our society. Men, specifically men in power often take advantage of vulnerable people for personal gain and also just because they can. He convinced these women that he cared about them when he just wanted to profit off them. He presents himself as a good person when in reality he is the complete opposite. His selfishness not only made me feel sympathy for these fictional women but also for the women who face similar situations every day in real life.
-Zaria Hankins

Elizabeth Kyande said...

The deceptive man had my attention than the vulnerable women. The audacity to use someone for one's sole benefit is just absurd. However, it had me relating the story to real-life situations and it is sad that it happens far too often just in different ways be it at our workplaces or even school. The man truly just didn't care for those women.

Elizabeth Kyande

David Bankole said...

The story that caught my attention was the deceptive man known as Copernicus Reid. As he did not feel a thing for how he was using these women. He even acknowledges how these women act because of their trauma yet he did not care. Even though he hated his job, all he cared about was the benefits.

Kai Binta Steward said...

There is an amount of self-honesty and reflection that is admirable, but this has gone beyond that for me. This man feels like another type of predator, preying on these women's longing to trust men again. He puts her into a category of people that he's been able to fool, he mentions the urge to tell her the truth but ignores it and follows another to sleep with her. Like many others in the responses before me, I just felt angry for the women that he has taken advantage of. Women that are taking steps towards a better future fall into his well-adjusted trap.

Tamia Flowers said...

The theme of the defenseless women in the novel was what drew my attention the most. Based on the circumstances that brought them together, I expected them to be much more skeptical and guarded towards him. They put their faith into the deceptive man which was a mistake. I was not surprised by the dishonest man himself. Avarice will push people to do anything, no matter how wicked it appears to others.

Justin Jubert said...

The deceptive man caught my attention the most because of how conniving he was. He is willing to give up all of his morality at the expense of others for his own gain. This reminds me of many different contemporary figures in our current era who sell certain ideas and principles without actually believing them. Many of our politicians are also guilty of this, feeding off the concerns and troubles of their constituents for their own gain.

-JJ

Kiya R. said...

The vulnerable women in this story had definitely captured my attention more. In our society, people, especially men, who have bad intentions typically go into professions where they can easily prey on the populations they want to, and it hurts to see that the women in this story are getting into unsafe spaces that they are supposed to be safe in. A lot of institutions are set to focus on creating profits and not make it safe and comfortable for their consumers, and we need to do a better job at creating actual safe spaces for people to learn more about the world around them and how they can process their trauma.

So, the women in this story capture my attention more because this is something that is a huge issue in our society, and we are always suffering because of it.

Kahleea Washington said...

The deceptive man caught my attention more because his personality is centered around manipulation. Instead of allowing his true self to come out, he is forced to portray fake emotions and actions. He has been trained to know exactly what to say and do to make people vulnerable with him. I am more interested in his boss because he provides Copernicus with his script. His boss knew exactly what audience to target, what words to use, and how to get people’s attention. This chapter proves that knowing the right words and how to say it, is a powerful tool.

Kahleea Washington

Kahleea Washington said...

The deceptive man caught my attention more because his personality is centered around manipulation. Instead of allowing his true self to come out, he is forced to portray fake emotions and actions. He has been trained to know exactly what to say and do to make people vulnerable with him. I am more interested in his boss because he provides Copernicus with his script. His boss knew exactly what audience to target, what words to use, and how to get people’s attention. This chapter proves that knowing the right words and how to say it, is a powerful tool.

Kahleea Washington

Unknown said...

The deceptive man caught my attention more because his personality is centered around manipulation. Instead of allowing his true self to come out, he is forced to portray fake emotions and actions. He has been trained to know exactly what to say and do to make people vulnerable with him. I am more interested in his boss because he provides Copernicus with his script. His boss knew exactly what audience to target, what words to use, and how to get people’s attention. This chapter proves that knowing the right words and how to say it, is a powerful tool.

Kahleea Washington

Shantal Terrell said...

Mr. Reid seems to almost have gotten trapped in this other life this person who is both him and an alternate personality. For a split second he seems remorseful for the deception that he has caused, and for being like those who is pretending to denounce. But he is not a victim he is a willing and able participant in this charade that both gives him access to women and financial gain. He has become comfortable with removing himself blame, by saying he reads the speeches his boss gives he and tells the stories that the women want to hear.

Shantal Terrell

Torian henry said...

The one who caught my attention more was the deceptive man. His action were very suspicious and rather manipulative because he was using others just for his own agenda. He showed every characteristic if an awful human being and it was very alarming.
Torian H.