Maybe it was the tie-dye paper I used to print off my resume that impressed them. Or maybe the fact I was so confident in the interview, I wore my running shoes and wife beater tank top. Or the fact I demonstrated to the interviewer how I could armpit part the national anthem. Well, no. I wish. Actually I didn’t do any of those things but, I might as well have because, for the fourth time in five months, I was passed up yet again after the interview process.
Anyone that has had to look for work, especially in the last three years of the latest good, old fashion recession, knows how frustrating the process has become with all the hoops of fire one has to jump through to join the loco circus. Gone are the days where you would drop off your neatly typed out resume with some mom and pop owned establishment in person where they would look you over and ask a couple simple questions like “Do you know how to use a telephone?” or “Do you know how to count to ten?” You’d enthusiastically say “Why yes. I have a PhD in those!” Next thing you know, they’d cut you a crisp check you’d end up showing off to all your slacker high school friends.
Not to say I didn’t try this method of walking in and asking to meet with the “manager”. “Oh, sure. Let me get the funeral director,” responded the man in the doorway at the back of the building. I figured it wouldn’t be such a bad idea to try out the local funeral home considering I would probably need such services after all this job hunting killed me.
“Hi, I’m Ron Reaper. So, you want to enter the world of funerary services? Well, let’s step outside for a minute while I smoke a cigarette where we can chat. Wow, I remember the time I began my career.” Next thing I know, I get lessons in how to break into Hollywood as a horror film makeup artist, how to put up listening to widows, and how to live upstairs from corpses a director has to perfume up. Unfortunately for me, I never got a call back from Mr. Reaper.
“So, why do you want to work for the House of Blues?” the skinny, white kid asked. Was I really going to tell the box office manager it was because Shelton Hank Williams III (Otherwise know as Hank 3) was set to play in their venue the following month…how I wanted to get backstage access to meet him face to face in order to hand off a couple of my books of poetry so that their could be a fart in the wind of a chance one of my phrases might inspire Hank or be used in a future song to be listened to by millions for the next billion years of human existence? Insane? Yep. Of course, as we all know, with Hank’s pedigree, he needs a hell of a lot of help from a virtuoso finger drummer like me with songwriting.
“I’m an artist. I write poetry. I started writing due to music lyrics so, I want to support other artists and musicians because they inspire me.” This answer I gave was also true, but, I admit, sounds “staged”. I really did want that job. I didn’t read bios on Led Zeppelin and David Bowie for nothing. Maybe I should have put that into my pitch at interview time. I could hear it now:
“So what qualifies you to work at the House of Blues?” asks skinny white kid.
“Well, I know Jimmy Page handcuffed his girlfriend to a toilet once and David Bowie used to read books on Nazis,” I’d respond intelligently enough.
“Well, my God. We need people like you here. You’re hired!” he’d conclude.
One interesting thing I have found is how the experience of job seeking exposes which of your friends are dummies and which actually just might be higher up on the food chain. ” I hear Target is hiring team members,” advised one of my “friends”.Yes, I am sure I would love to help some fat, old lady in the appliance section get down a boxed turkey deep-fryer while I’m making $8 per hour with a crackling walkie-talkie mumbling “Copy that” and “Amanda, need assistance in toys!” after one has earned a bachelors degree and put up with night school classes learning computer programs that make geek billionaires. Not to mention sitting through a whole year of tenth grade typing class with a teacher who made you sing a song called “A,S,D,F…J,K,L,;” as you keyed in the letter strokes. Yes, I would love that, love it so much I actually attempted it already two years before. I failed to mention this to my brilliant friend.
Still there are the friends who do this thing called thinking. They are friends that at least pretend to believe in you. They email you a link to an actual job position that requires a degree and pays more an hour than you would spend getting a combo meal at some fast food joint.
“Hi, Welcome to Yuck in the Box. Can I take your order?” asked the colorful sign.
“Uh yeh, I’d like to know the art of living off $8 or $9 per hour. Can you explain that to me? Oh, and I want your two tacos for 99 cents,” I’d ask politely.
“Why yes. I live with my parents and Mexican grandmother and my 36 yr old schizophrenic brother who lives in a trailer out back. I make my bed in a tree house left abandoned by a flock of ravens, except for half a drinking straw left behind, used for who knows what by those birds,” he’d respond in my mind.
“My God. That explains it,” I would think. Oh, no, that’s actually my reality. Maybe I should consider including this tidbit as well in my verbal pitch at the next interview because, we all know tie-dyed resumes, wife beater tanks, and armpit farting the national anthem just don’t cut it.
So how do you prepare yourself for an interview? “Just consider the person who going to interview you. Where would you take the interview if you were them?” one of my overly-paid, very employed old high school friends suggested. Well, I’d take us straight to the pub and order us both a Blue Moon and ask the interviewee what their funniest job seeking story had been and hope I could top it.