Thursday, January 6, 2011

Firm handshake or warm hug? Which one gets me hired?

I'm kinda low on inspiration today because my body is slowly being taken over by the plague.

My throat is burning and it feels like I swallowed cinnamon flavored steel wool. I also feel generally achy and grumpy and gross.

No one wants to hear about that. So, I decided to check out The Daily Post at They offer up daily topics that you can use if you are stuck or succombing to the plague or whatever.

Today's topic is: Share a story about a memorable job interview.

I happen to have a cute and completely humiliating story about just such an event. I promise there is no phlegm involved.

So, I was just out of college and working as a soda jerk in this little 50's drive in style restaurant at the beach. I was still living there with my parents and had been slinging milkshakes since I was 14. Given that I now had a bachelor's degree, it was time to find a 'real' job.

I was pretty much interviewing everywhere. I wanted to put my social work degree to use. Bad.

I had no idea what I wanted to do, but if anyone was hiring and it sounded vaguely like I was qualified, I applied.

The interview I most remember was for a program call Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs or something. I don't even remember what the job was but I remember that it involved working with kids because that was part of the humiliation.

When I arrived to the interview, I sat downstairs and waited for them to come get me. I was prepping myself for the best damn interview I was ever going to give. Seriously. The stench of milkshake (sling enough of them and you'll know) on my clothes was getting really old.

Someone comes down the stairs to get me. I look up and see that it's none other than The Fiddler! Omg! I totally know this guy and could possibly even be related to him!

Let me explain. The Fiddler is the guy who coordinates and emcees and performs at the local Fiddlers Convention in my home town every year. It's the annual gathering of all things bluegrass and I heart it. The Fiddler is also from my Dad's hometown where I am related to 99% of the population who pretty much all play bluegrass. The Fiddler has had many a jam session with my cousins in my Dad's old log cabin in his hometown.

What luck!

I introduce myself. We catch up. What a small world. Blah blah blah.

I'm totally in.

Or not.

The interview goes pretty well. It's me versus The Fiddler, The Head Cheese of the program and a bunch of others who are less significant. I answer every question with perfection until it comes to one.

They ask me what I would do if a child wanted to give me a hug.

I froze.

I had no idea what to say. I've worked with kids. I've been around kids. I'm not a pedophile. Why the hell couldn't I come up with a coherent answer?

I continued to remain frozen.

After a very awkward silence, I finally started rambling about how I would discourage it because it's inappropriate. Then I started rambling about how I maybe wouldn't discourage it completely if it was really important to the child. Then I started rambling about God knows what, just trying to match the facial expressions of the interviewers in response to my ramblings.

Ugh. It was brutal.

I'm pretty sure they thought I was a pedophile after all that.

I tried to salvage the rest of the interview and left them with my best confident smile and firm handshake.

I knew I was doomed though. Who the hell is going to hire a weirdo pedophile to work with kids?

A week went by and I didn't hear from them. Surprisingly.

One day, while I am slinging milkshakes at the restaurant, my boss asks me to wait on this table that had just come in. I head over there and talk about the specials and whatnot and I froze.

Who has decided to grace my restaurant but The Head Cheese herself. The very woman I had humiliated myself to a week earlier.


I made small talk and took their orders and then scurried along to whip up their milkshakes. Sweating the entire time and wishing I was anywhere but there.

As I go to serve the milkshakes to The Head Cheese and her group, I make the fatal error that definitely sealed my fate with her.

I spill the milkshake. All. over. her. lap.

Holy sh*t! Somebody kill me!

As if that wasn't bad enough, I started laughing.

You see, I tend to laugh uncontrollably when witnessing moments of such physical comedy.

As I'm desperately trying to wipe up the milkshake from my prospective employer's ice cream covered lap, I'm laughing right in her face.

After a few minutes of that, my boss rescued me and I went in the kitchen where I busted out into hysterical laughter at the complete farce that was my life.

Needless to say, I didn't get the job. I don't even think I got a tip.

Thinking back, I should've tried to hug her and then asked if it was appropriate or not.

What did I have to lose?

So, what was your worst job interview like?

True story: As I was getting one of the links for this post, an error box popped up that said "Children of positioned element are unclickable". I'm not kidding! I have no idea what the means but it's super appropriate, don't you think?

1 comment:

  1. Ha ha ha ha! What a really funny story. I was in a bad mood but you've made me laugh. Thanks! :)


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