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Bell Curve


Border Agent GS-5. Salary: $45,000 

After an all-night probation-passing celebration, you fall asleep at your post and wake up without any clothes on. You find a note telling you that your clothes can be found across the border. Now you have to decide whether to go back to your base without your uniform or cross the line and chance causing an international incident.


Border Agent GS-7. Salary: $60,000 

Today's intense coordinated raids have led to the arrest of hundreds of undocumented persons. The raids were conducted professionally and successfully by teams of law enforcement officers in three states. The closest you got to any of the action was being handed all of the paperwork the team is expecting you to file.


Border Agent GS-9. Salary: $80,000 

While doing a routine inspection in the trunk of a car, you find a huge bag of white powder. Unsure whether it's drugs or anthrax, you call in both the DEA and Homeland Security just to be safe. Lab tests show the substance is actually laundry detergent. That would explain why the guy in cuffs kept telling you that he owns a laundromat.


Border Agent GS-11. Salary: $90,000 

As part of a team of specialists, you spend a lot of your time doing community outreach. Being involved with the people means you have valuable local allies in the war on drugs, weapons, and gangs. You also have connections to some of the best food on this side of the border.


Border Agent GS-12. Salary: $110,000 

You've intercepted millions of dollars' worth of drugs from a dangerous cartel and are formally honored for your courage and effectiveness in the line of duty. You feel privileged to receive such an honor, but you wish you didn't have to wear a tie. Oh, well—that's what the uniform allowance is for.