My latest venture to find employment that pays more than peanuts just got a big, grubby thumb down.
Or a clammy-fishlike-end-of-the-interview-handshake followed by the obligatory “if you don’t hear from us in twenty-four hours, consider it that we’ve decided to go in a different direction” send off.
I’m nearing the forty-eight hour mark.
Needless to say, I am not holding my breath.
Not sure where to file the results of my most recent interview.
Perhaps I should stuff it in the file folder holding my “you-have-got-to-be-fucking-kidding-me” experiences.
It certainly qualifies for a spot in the “fifteen-minutes-of-my-life-I’ll-never-get-back” folder.
Instead, I think I might earmark it for a drop off in the “another-hard-lesson-learned” inbox.
I was so sure of landing this job. Man, I had a good feeling that this.would.be.the.one.
Silly old experienced chubby lady.
Tuesday I got a ding in my inbox from indeed.com. Apparently there was a job in my zip code with my name written all over it.
Orland Square has been doing some major renovations since last summer anticipating the arrival of this “anchor”.
The locals have been practically wetting their pants over this “score” so much so they have almost forgotten to drool over the equally anticipated Whole Foods arrival down the street.
I quickly clicked on the APPLY NOW button and got to work typing in my info.
Following the basics, I was prompted to take a timed-ten-minute skill test. Mathematical word problems were included along with “which one of these words don’t belong” and what is the opposite of this word” type queries sprinkled among them.
Next up was the dreaded “personality questionnaire”.
Not sure if you are familiar, but this is the part of the application process where a computer asks you twenty different ways til Sunday if you think putting silverware in you apron and taking it home is “deceptive”. The trick to these things is to answer these bad boys in a hurry.
The shortest pause in reflection of any given question posed causes the computer to ask you the same question a zillion more times in hopes you might answer it differently leading to the conclusion that in addition to being void of values you are also a big, fat liar.
The question that kept haunting me: Do you think it is important to be recognized for good work? I stopped counting when the computer asked me at least a dozen times. More on that puzzler later…so remember that, okay?
A mere three hours later my cell phone rang. Did I have time for a phone interview?
This back-and-forth resulted in a confirmation of another interview the following day at 12:30.
Later that night and into the next morning, I entertained facebook messages from a high school friend/fellow server who had also applied and scored an interview. I was feeling pretty good about the entire situation; as if it were meant to be.
Late Wednesday morning I blew out my hair, put on my standard black interview slacks, blouse and black sweater and headed down the street for what was sure to be the interview that would change my life.
Silly old experienced chubby lady.
Interviews were being held in a rented out store front a mile away from the restaurant still under construction.
I opened the door and walked in. At the front of the store were about forty eager beavers attending a kitchen-help orientation. In the back were about twenty cubicles set up for interviewing purposes. In the middle were about ten empty chairs. I took a seat next to a twenty-something holding onto her purse as if her life depended on it.
While I waited, I eavesdropped on the orientation. Apparently these forty peeps were chosen from the five THOUSAND (yes, thousand) applications that had been forwarded to the company.
Next thing I knew a young fellow approached me. I gave him my name and let him know I had a 12:30 interview. He scratched my name off the list and lead me to a cubicle.
It was 12:24.
He asked me the first question. Name a time you had a customer that was having a bad day. How did you turn it around?
What the WHAT? No warm up questions?!? Nope~right down to business.
Not sure what this guy was thinking about my “deer-in-the-headlights” stare, but whatever it was he started documenting it on the paper in front of him.
I started stammering about customers in general I have waited on. Many just want someone to listen to their troubles. I issued the standard “I always try to have a listening ear when waiting on guests”.
Now is the time for you to start remembering.
Remember the personality questionnaire? The good ole “do you like recognition” question? Well, let’s just make it a bakers’ dozen…shall we?
The young guy behind the desk…a guy so young my guess is I probably asked his mother if she needed a booster seat when I waited on them when I first started working for tips…asked me “do you think it is important to be recognized for your good work”.
This time I looked him dead in the eyes with my “listen buddy” look.
I let him know I had over twenty years of serving experience under my belt. I was old enough to know that my schedule was my schedule and I was to follow it. My hard-core drinking days were behind me so there wasn’t much of a chance I’d be calling in or leaving customers hanging in my station to get to the local tavern before last call.
Furthermore, my kids were grown. If they had a sore throat or fever they could fend for themselves at home while I honored my commitment at work. Not only did I bring experience to the table I brought plenty of loyalty and dependablity as well.
Oh, I kept going.
I told the guy (who at this point gave up on the note taking) that I was from the old school way of thinking. It wasn’t what the company could do for me, it was more what I could do for the company. And, that meant giving 110% from the time I punched in until the time I punched out. I certainly didn’t need a gold star at the end of the day to prove a hard days’ work to me, him or any other employee, for that matter.
Uh Oh. Wrong answer.
Stupid silly experienced chubby lady.
Junior stood up and offered me his clammy paw and offered something about twenty-four hours and a different direction.
By the time I got back in my car the clock read 12:34.
Yeah, that didn’t go well.
I sat in the car and licked my wounds…as I waited for that lady I remembered that was sitting in the holding tank with the death grip on her purse.
Ah, crap. It hit me. The holding tank was for people getting a second interview…or a tentative schedule…or a god damn uniform.
No one was calling me in 24 hours. No one was calling me, ever.
I watched for the next half hour as sassy twenty-somethings and chubby gals with years of expereince written all over their faces walked in. None of the sassy gals came out.
The chubsters came out every ten minutes like clockwork.
Silly experienced chubby lady.
Clearly this joint wasn’t interested in an old broad with experience.
On the way home I remembered an answer to “Clammy Paws'” question regarding a customer having a bad day.
Wanna hear it? Hey someone should…it is a good story.
I will leave you with this…I passed the story along to my cohort who had an interview the next day. And I’m a giver…told her she could use it for her own…seemed a shame to let it go to waste. Here was the e-mail I sent her…p.s. she doesn’t think she got the job, either.
Yowza ~ think I might have effed that up~royally. Be prepared to answer this bad boy: Give an example of when you helped a customer in a bad mood/having a bad day get over it. I completely froze on that. Driving home I remember the lady at bogart’s that brought her dead beat boy friend in for her “birthday dinner” (she planned to pay w/a gift certificate she got for Christmas)…anyway, somewhere between the salad service and when my bell rang to alert me two surf and turfs were ready for pick-up…Creepy McCreepston dropped a birthday surprise on her…he was married. We wrapped up both dinners and bagged them and got the owner to sign off on the check. I presented her with the to go bag along with a slice of cheesecake in the bathroom where she was reduced to a puddle of tears.