Monday, January 24, 2011

309. Is She REALLY Employed?!

So I just realized that I never told you about how I got the job at the high-end kitchen store. Well, I had been whining to The Husband about how I needed to get out of the house a bit (the kids were 3 and 1), and I thought it might be “fun” (yes, my word choice) if I got a little retail job over the Christmas holiday. I filled out the job application and waited for my phone to ring.

And waited …

And waited …

Still waiting …

So they finally called me and I went in for the interview. Normally, I don’t stress about these kinds of things (who am I kidding, I practiced my faux-interview for hours in front of the mirror). I asked The Husband if he could do a Mock Interview (minterview? mockerview? intermock?) to help put me at ease. After I promised to do the dishes for an entire week in a row (and ultimately reneging after only two days this time), he said okay. Our minterview went something like this:

The Husband (pretending to be the interviewer): (taking his role very seriously) Hello, nice to meet you, how do you pronounce your name?

MOV: Sweetie, don’t do that. Just ask me real questions. Project Runway is on in 10 minutes.

TH: (whispering, so as not to break character—in case TV crews are recording us in the living room) I was trying to be realistic.

MOV: Read off the sheet I typed up. (pointing)

TH: What experience do you have?

MOV: Well, I was a flight attendant for a decade so that gives me lots of customer service background and …

TH: Don’t say decade, that sound stupid. It sounds rehearsed. No one says decade; say “10 years.”

MOV: (ignoring him) What does the sheet say?

TH: You know this is a kitchen store, do you like to cook?

MOV: Yes, I love to cook. I am an excellent cook. My family also …

TH: Bwah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!!

MOV: (impatient) What now? What’s so funny?

TH: You don’t cook! You don’t know the difference between a whisk and a spatula! You don’t even know how to turn on the stove!

MOV: I do too. Plus, the kitchen store people will probably expect me to at least be familiar with their merchandise.

TH: What are you going to do—call me at home? “Sweetie, this customer wants to buy a grill pan, is that the one with the raised ridges on it?” Or “What is a santoku hollow-ground knife?” Bwah ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!

MOV: (teeth clenched) Stop it. My show is almost on. Focus on the sheet.

TH: If there was a “problem” customer, what would you do?

MOV: I would be very polite and try my best to empathize with them and solve their problem, all the while following company guidelines and procedures.

TH: Oh, that was pretty good. Sounded kinda convincing. All right. Uh, why do you want to work here?

MOV: My availability would be evenings after six or pretty much any shift on the weekend.

TH: No. I didn’t say what hours can you work, I said why do you want to work here? Is it because of the discount?

MOV: I’m trying to be serious here. Quit doing that. (starting to crack up a little)

TH: I’m sorry. What I meant to say is: are you just begging me for a job so you can have a discount?

MOV: (going along with it) Yes, that’s right.

TH: Okay, then, do you have any questions for me, MOV?

MOV: When will I hear back? When can I start? And what is the discount?

You know what happens next. There I am, in the real interview, and my (future) boss is asking me all the same things I rehearsed with The Husband. I feel relaxed and confident because I already know all the answers to her questions. And then she gets to that final one: “Do you have any questions for me?”

My mind immediately races to my practice answer “What is the discount?” and I start laughing. I imagine the Husband sitting here with me in this back office with the rows of pristine white aprons hanging on hooks lining the wall and him saying “Is that why you want to work here?” and me saying “You betcha!” I cannot get this soundtrack from our minterview out of my brain.

The interviewer is staring at me. She doesn’t understand why I’m giggling (and between you and me, would it be unprofessional to giggle at the “problem” customers? I’m guessing it would). Finally, I try to squeak out an answer (“I don’t have any more questions for you, sorry, I laugh when I’m nervous sometimes”), when she drops the bomb.

“We expect our employees to be very flexible about their scheduling blah-blah-blah social security something-or-other corporate secrets blah-blah-blah and by the way, our discount is 90% off.”

Yippee! 90% off!

Just when I think it can’t get any better (and I know you are thinking this whole blog is a dream sequence and I assure you it is not) she says,

“… and you also get the discount at our sister store, Flawless Forte. Same discount of 90% off.” She smiles broadly, revealing model-straight teeth that an orthodontist would kill to have featured in his ads for the “After” photos.

“Excuse me, did you just say the discount applies at Flawless Forte? Because that is one of my favorite stores! Almost my entire house is from Flawless Forte!” I am babbling.

“Good, good—me, too! When can you start?” She gets out her notepad, ready to write in my start date.

I am already standing and reaching for a white apron. “I can start right now,” I say enthusiastically. “Let me just call my husband and ask him a quick question about kansotu grill whisks.”

(“Mom’s Other Vocation”)

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