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.
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?
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?