Boss’s advice for landing the job

February 8, 2018

I celebrated 5 years at my current day-job just days before I ran into a former co-worker.  We almost didn’t say anything to each other as we did the “shit, did I just see someone I know double-take glance?” in the aisle at Walmart.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I confess, I tend to run the other way if I see someone I might know while I’m shopping at Walmart.  It’s creepy to have someone I know gawk at what I’ve stuck in my cart.  Those items are for my eyes only (and the checker who I’ve carefully chosen) not for those who should never see what is boughten to keep up one’s image.  Score for me – I had just walked in the door, my cart was empty.

As we caught up, I politely ignored my friend’s stash. I’ve never really been interested in other’s toiletries and such.

When people are bewildered they tend to become credulous. – Calvin Coolidge

“Hi, how are you, so what have you been doing since the closing of the place?”

“Hi, I’m good.  Oh, I, left, retired – never went back to work.”

“Good for you.  Yes, I’m still at the same place.”

We chatted a bit and said our goodbyes.  It was nice to catch up with a familiar face from days gone by.  We are both happy in our respective states of employment.

When our place of work, closed forever, she chose to retire, and I chose to find a job before the thought of having no job perplexed me.  Those who didn’t know what to do or where to go, I still have no clue what they did.  I’m assuming they all eventually found their way to a new landing spot.

5 years later, we found ourselves standing together once again in an aisle at Walmart.  I don’t know about her, I couldn’t help but feel a bit bewildered as to why we ran into each other at that moment in time.

Bewilderment increases the presence of the mirrors. – Tarjei Vesaas, The Boat in the Evening

I remember that year of closing, filled with numerous goodbyes, and thoughts of will I see my co-workers ever again.  My mom passed away the year the company closed.  I stayed at the company through the end.  I had a month to mourn the losses in between jobs and to collect my thoughts and prepare for the new job I was about to start.

You’ll never please everyone, but you only have to please a few people to get an offer. – Harvey MacKay


As I was sorting through mom’s papers, I came across this ‘letter’ she had saved.  She had given it to me when I was starting to look for jobs in high school and there it was again, a good old reminder for why some people get jobs and some people don’t.  A bit dated, but if Mike Rowe wannabes are out there looking for advice to share, they might agree with the sentiments shared by The Boss.

“Dear Kid:

Today you came to me for a job.  From the look of your shoulders as you walked out, I suspect you’ve been turned down before, and maybe you believe by now that kids your age can’t find jobs.  But I hired a teenager today.  You saw him.  What was so special about him?  Not experience; neither of you had any.  Attitude, son.  A-T-T-I-T-U-D-E.  He did his best to impress me.  That is where he edged you out.

He wasn’t dressed like Easter Sunday, but then that wasn’t necessary.  His clothes were clean, and he had gotten a haircut.  He filled out the application form neatly and completely.  He did not ask to borrow a pen.  He carried his Social Security card, has basic identification, and did not ask, ‘What’s a reference?’

He didn’t have two friends waiting for him by the pop machine.  He didn’t start to chew gum or smoke while interviewing.  He didn’t keep looking at his watch, giving me the impression that he had something more important to do.

He took the time to find out how we ‘operate’ here, and what his day-to-day tasks would be.  I think he’ll keep his eyes open and work for me like he’d work for himself.

He was willing to start at that point where I could afford to pay.  Someday, perhaps, he’ll get to the point where he’ll have more authority over others and a better paycheck.  

You know, kid, men have always had to get a job like you get a girl; case the situation, wear a clean shirt and try to appear reasonably willing.

Maybe jobs aren’t as plentiful right now, but there are jobs.  You may not believe it, but all around you employers are looking for young men and women smart enough to go after a job in an old-fashioned way.  

If you have even the vaguest idea of what I’m trying to say, let it show the next time you ask for a job.  You will be head and shoulders above the rest.

For both our sakes, get eager, will you?  

~The Boss”

There you have it, a boss’s simple solution to the puzzle of the interviewing process.  If you’re in the boss’s chair looking out, or the applicant’s chair looking in, whoever’s seat you’re in, it does matter how the interview is handled and attitude will always make the difference.


What was your first job interview like?  Did you get the job?  Are you now the boss?  What do you look for in job applicants?  What’s your advice to those looking for first jobs?


By Shelley

Letting my quirk out one post at a time.


  1. Reply

    Bakshi Ji

    Very nice blog. Whether we are going for an interview or we are an interviewer , our attitude should be positive towards our opposite person to find the right employee or the right boss.. 🙂

    1. Reply


      Thank you, Bakshi. Yes, I agree – so true, being positive to each other is very important! 🙂

      1. Reply

        Bakshi Ji

        Thanks a ton respected mam 🙂

        1. Reply


          You’re welcome, thank you for sharing your thoughts!

          1. Bakshi Ji

            Always welcome mam. I believe that by sharing we can gain a huge amount of knowledge which we can’t gain even from books. 🙂

          2. Shelley

            Very true indeed!

          3. Bakshi Ji


  2. Reply


    Love this post. Even as an employee, I agree that ATTITUDE leaves a strong impression and it’s usually more interesting to work with a person with a good attitude.

    1. Reply


      Thank you, I agree with your thoughts, thanks for sharing and for reading!

  3. Reply


    That is a great post. My first job was at a laundry mat. I got fired. I was too nervous and anxious to make decisions about which linens should be kept and which ones should be thrown out. Ikept choosing incorrectly, I blame it on my anxiety. However, years ofe xperience would tell me I’m better as a boss, but only of myself. Anxiety does that to a person. It’s all good, I kept trying and never gave up. I always did the best I could. Thanks for your post.

    1. Reply


      Thank you! I appreciate you sharing your first job story. It is nice to read you’re finding the path that fits best for you! Way to never give up!! 🙂

  4. Reply


    I never had a problem getting a job. My first job out of high school was a summer job, working for Merrill Lynch on Wall Street NYC. My weekly income was $86.54. I remember asking my boss if that was net or gross? He just stared at me because no other teenager asked a question like that. The minimum wage at that time was $1.75 an hour. Can you imagine? People pick their teeth with money like that now AND probably make $86.54 an hour!!!!
    I ALWAYS got the job I interviewed for because I would show the interviewer how hiring me would increase their bottom line. Who could refuse an offer like that? I had the education, references and Letters Of Recommendation to prove it. I guess you can say I had ‘attitude’. LOL.
    Today, I’d rather stick needles in my eyes than have a job. I’d have a nervous breakdown if someone offered me a job.
    Live frugally and stay home.
    Shelley, I love your daily posts because they make me think. You’re very creative and intuitive. Love, love, love coming here every day! Thanks for letting me share my story with you.

    1. Reply


      Cindi, thank you for sharing your first job story! I think my first job didn’t pay much either. I love how you described it “people pick their teeth with money…” Impressive that you always get the job, and have found the frugal lifestyle at home fits you best. I’m so happy you enjoy my posts, I truly appreciate you stopping by to read and share your thoughts!! xx

  5. Reply


    Hello there, quite an informative post and gives a lot to ponder over. Interviews are terrifying to people who are introverts like myself, although it is something that cannot be escaped, so might as well give your best shot.

    1. Reply


      Hello! Thank you, glad you’ve found the post informative. Yes, interviews are terrifying to introverts. It’s even hard being an introvert conducting an interview, not just the interviewee. I’ve been in both spots, neither one is easy. Yes, giving our best shot is key. Thank you for stopping by to share your thoughts and for reading my post!

      1. Reply


        Oh I’m sure, sitting on the other side would be equally unnerving especially if the interviewee is an extrovert!

        1. Reply


          Yes, it’s hard to take the lead on the interview when that happens! Been there, had that happen too!

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