You have to want the job

By Steve Estes

Strictly Drivel

Before I begin, let me use the disclaimer method.

The stories you are about to hear do not in any way shed a negative light on any particular group of persons. Every group has its poster children for cranial-rectal-inversion, and its sufferers from hedupyerassitis while the reminder are, for the most part, relatively normal.

These stories simply point out some truth-is-stranger-than-fiction instances.

A business acquaintance of ours recently had to try and hire some help. The job market is slow. Jobs are at a premium, and the competition for those few jobs is intense. The way to get hired is to put your best foot forward, not your foot in your mouth.

One fellow member of the business community needed a delivery driver for short runs. Delivery of food is often a lucrative undertaking for the driver. People who order in generally are willing to tip well to avoid the hassle of going out for something to eat.

But they do expect some consideration.

This fellow got an applicant on the second day of interviews who showed up on a bicycle. Come to find out, he didn’t have a license to drive a car, but he was willing to do deliveries if the company could supply him a vehicle, and he would only occasionally use that vehicle to run errands, and only while he was supposed to be using it.

Oh, and he’d need a place inside to store his bike so it wouldn’t get stolen—it was after all his only means of transportation.

I don’t think I’d have let the interview go that long.

He got another applicant who showed up walking through the door talking on his cell phone. Not only did he finish that call before he inquired about the job, he answered the phone three more times while filling out the application. And he made two calls.

One of the calls was to a friend to check on the address where he was living at the time so he could put it on the application. The other call was to his mother to get his phone number. Because he never called himself, he said.

I’d call that a severe case of hedupyerassitis.

Another fellow business owner needed someone to work on a loading dock, with some time at a retail counter where unprocessed food was bagged and handled for customers.

The kid who showed up to apply had a pierced lip, tongue, ears and eyebrow, a tattoo of a raised middle finger on his neck visible above the collar, and a dirty bandage around his own index finger.

He was told the job was filled.

Another young man came in to apply. His shorts were so low on his hips he had to hold them up to keep them falling off. He couldn’t finish filling out the application because he only had the use of one hand. When he tried to hold the paper in place to write, his shorts fell to his ankles (at least he was clothed under the shorts). He answered three text messages while the tried to complete the application.

He was told the job was filled.

I once talked to another business owner in the area who was located in close proximity to a restaurant that served alcohol. He went there for lunch, intending to grab a bite to eat before conducting interviews that afternoon for a job opening he had.

He sat at the counter next to a nicely dressed young lady, nothing showy, just clean and well tailored.

His interviews that morning hadn’t gone so well, so he offhandedly remarked to the young lady that he wished he could get people to show up for a job interview looking normal.

She told him that she hoped her prospective employer felt the same way because she had an interview in just a short time. She was nervous about the interview because she hadn’t worked in more than a year, so she had stopped in the eatery to slam back a few to calm her nerves.

She got up and left, presumably for the interview. He got his food and walked across the parking lot to his own office. In the waiting area was the lady from the restaurant, eyes glassy and slurring into her cell phone.

She looked up, met his eyes, and just got up and walked out the door without even bothering to stay for the interview.

Another friend of ours said that when a prospective employee opens the conversation with “So, are you one of those places that drug tests?” he usually ends the interview at that point.

They say good help is hard to find. I say, it’s easy if you’re the first visit for the prospective job seeker.

General rule of thumb, if the applicant tells you they’ve applied all over town and just can’t seem to get anything, there’s probably a reason—a good one.

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