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"I dwell in possibility" ~Emily Dickinson

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An interview (horror) story

Posted on: 11.24.2012


One time {far too recently} I went to a job interview. The job posting I had applied to was on one of the numerous job boards I peruse on a daily basis, but one thing that should have tipped me off right from the start was that the job posting had no real job description. It only included what type of qualifications they were looking for in a new employee. {If you’re currently hunting for a job, keep this little gem of knowledge in your thinker: legit jobs will have a job description!!} Moving on. So after I submitted the application I got a call from this company which shall remain anonymous mostly because I can’t remember their official name and because I don’t want them to hunt me down to invite me to come in for an interview. And the next day, I went.

Apparently I made a good impression because I was asked to come back the next day to do a job shadowing day from 8:30am-5pm. I agreed. {Keep in mind that I still really didn’t have any idea of what kind of job I was interviewing for. So na├»ve!} The next day I arrived early in my professional suit -- but not heels-I had been told specifically to wear flats-- and was brought into a private office. I was introduced to the man whom I was to “shadow” for the day; he seemed nice enough. Then I was brought into the morning employee meeting. It got interesting.

As I entered the room I was asked to stand away from the wall to join everyone standing in a circle. The manager (who had interviewed me the day before) was calling out all these numbers and everyone around me was clapping in some rhythm that I couldn’t quite catch on to. (Awkward!) Then once the number-shouting-clapping-in-rhythm session was over, we began a boxing match. Yes. Boxing.

“Teams” of people were called out and everyone who was named had to run to the center of the circle (easier said than done when one is in a pencil skirt) to pound fists against the other team members. I think I might have blacked out from sheer confusion at this point. Next thing I know I’m getting into the back of a coup (again, I’m in a skirt) and I’m being driven to……I don’t know where.

Okay, so at this point it was dawning on me that these people must be in some type of sales position and we’d be doing cold calls. With a sales pitch and everything. That is not what I want to do (ever.) I had assumed I was applying for some office assistant position! Office assisting, I can do. Boxing and jumping in the backs of coups in a pencil skirt, not so much. So by 9:30 in the morning I already knew I did not want the job.

I was right. The job I didn’t know anything about was, indeed, a sales position. But not just sales as in retail or customer service, it was sales. Like the old school kind where you approach a random store, ask to speak with the manager and give them a sales pitch. Squirm.

At 10:30am I had already been given a complimentary cup of mushroom coffee (vomit) and been led across the plaza to a fish market where I stood for hours. Literally, hours. There was a big hang-up in the service “we” were providing so I had to wait, and wait, and wait. Which would have been fine except it was probably 100 degrees and it smelled like rotting fish.

I have the nose of a dog, so this was not the prime location for a delay. I was sure my face had turned a gnarly shade of green by the time we left there around 2:00pm. I had even walked away a few times just because I didn’t want to pass out or throw up!

By the end of the day, I reeked of fish, had sweat dripping down my back (sorry if that was tmi) and was so over that job, I wanted to cry. The follow up interview with the manager was not exactly my cup of tea, either. When I politely stated that I did not believe the position was for me, he said that I was just afraid. (EXCUSE ME!!!!?)

I left. I was mad. I reeked. I had digested mushroom coffee. Ugh.

But I lived through it all. And now, it is my favorite interview story to-date. :) I’m actually kind of glad it happened. Everyone needs a story to whip out when people are telling “my experience was worse than your experience” tales.

So there you have it. The moral of this story is avoid fish markets. Also, only apply to jobs you know are legit. Also, don't wear pencil skirts when you know you need to participate in a boxing match. Also, avoid the backseat of coups. Also, mushrooms are disgusting and why on earth would you put them in coffee?  

2 comments:

  1. Oh - such a terrible experience. But you wrote about it very well! I was engaged - wanting to know what would happen next. :)
    And mushroom coffee???? ewww. I like both - but together - ewww!

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    1. Thank you! I wanted to wait for a while before I actually posted a blog about this just in case said company was going be looking through my social media accounts. :) And seriously, mushroom coffee!? It was one of the strangest things ever. Probably more psychologically freaky for me than anything else. I have a mental block where edible fungus is concerned...

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