I applied for the position at Wildcat on Monster.com. I was relatively certain that I wasn’t going to get it, but at three in the morning I sent off an email that was probably barely coherent saying something to the effect of “Hey, yeah, I got experience with Microsoft Access and I could probably look over an office fleet of computers. If you’re interested, give me a call.”
The next day I turned in some fifteen job applications to Southern Tech University for various tech positions and a couple clerk ones. I had also interviewed twice for a position with Worldtower, a well-respected company in the area that a couple years later would live in infamy, but at the time was was known for extraordinary pay and being an interesting and challenging place to work.
Between the Southern Tech, which would have been a great place to work because I liked the university, and Worldtower, which would have paid me very well and was always hiring entry level people, I didn’t really give Wildcat another thought. In fact, by the next evening when they called, I’d forgotten applying at all. In fact, I was so sure that they were UH that I wasn’t really paying attention when the nice woman started giving me directions and had to ask her to repeat them. I briefly wondered why Sotech had an office on the outskirts of town.
I had night class at the time and my cell phone went off during class. I’d forgotten to turn it off because no one ever really called me at night and the only person who might have was spending the evening with her father, so I was relatively certain she wouldn’t. It being past seven o’clock, it didn’t even occur to me that a potential employer might call.
When Nancy first began speaking to me for some reason I assumed that she was with Southern Tech. It wasn’t until she gave me the address that I realized that there was some strange company with an odd name that for some reason wanted to hire me. My self-esteem on the job hunt was not so high. I’d been unemployed for eight months and nobody was particularly interested in me. It was the equivalent of the wallflower being invited to the senior prom.
I got to the Wildcat offices about fifteen minutes early and was greeted by a very pleasant and nice woman named Edith. Edith gave me the application which I furiously began filling out. When I finished, I was directed to a computer in the back corner office where I took a DOS-based psychological profile program on a 486/25MHz Packard Bell computer that they still use to this day for various tasks.
As soon as I finished it began printing out. After about ten minutes or so of waiting, I was introduced to Calvin and brought into his office for the interview.
“I was looking at your psych profile, and I want you to know that ordinarily I wouldn’t even consider hiring you. It says here that you would spend all day as a social butterfly keeping people from working. It also says that even though you could be detail-oriented, you don’t believe that detail-oriented is a good thing to be. Why don’t you believe that, Mr. Truman?”
I went into self-sale mode. “I think being detail-oriented is important. You have to be able to take your abstract ideas and app-”
“It says here that you don’t think that being detail-oriented is important. Explain to me why.”
“I don’t know why it says I feel that way but I don’t rea-”
“Why would you spend all your time in my office chattering away and not allowing other people to work?”
“I don’t think I would do that at all. I’m really not that social of a per-”
“That’s not what the test says. The test says that all you are going to do is talk and ignore details.”
“I don’t think that test is right…”
“This test was designed by people with PhD’s in psychology. Do you have a PhD is psychology?”
“Did you lie on the answers? Because if this was designed by experts and the results are wrong, you must have lied.”
“I… uh… well….”
“It says on your job application that you’re willing to work for $10 an hour.”
“Some idiot came in last week wanted $60,000 a year and you’re willing to work for $10 an hour?”
I didn’t mention that the job had advertised for $50,000 a year (which was why I didn’t believe I’d get the job and a reason that I forgot about it promptly after applying because nobody was going to hire me for $50,000 a year). Instead, I just said “I want to work. I’m tired of not working.” I was trying to fake having a work ethic.
“So you’ll take this job for a couple of months until something better comes along and then you’ll leave it and I’ll have to go through all of the trouble of finding someone new?”
“Sir, if I like the job I’ll take less pay to do so. I’ve passed higher paying opportunities before because I liked where I was working.”
“No, the economy is going to pick back up and you’re going to get a better job offer and I’m going to have to find someone else.”
“I really don’t think-”
“Can I be frank with you?”
“You want to work here so that you can gab away and distract everybody and ignore details so you can just pad your resume and leave. Is there a single reason why I should hire you?”
By this point I was about ready to just walk out the door. It was obvious that he wasn’t going to hire me, so what was the point?
“Do you do drugs?”
“You don’t do drugs, do you?”
“Come with me,” he requested as he took me into the Nancy’s office. He then, with me standing right there, told Nancy to inform me that I got the job and to start Monday at 8am.That’s how I found out that I got the job. When Nancy asked about whether or not I had to take the drug test first, he explained that they were in a crunch and “Mr. Truman has assured me that he does not do drugs. We’ll take his word for it. Set up a test for sometime next week.”