Hired And Fired

| USA | Job Seekers

(I am interviewing a young college student for an entry level job. She’s wearing sweatpants and flip flops with a baggy shirt, and her hair’s a mess. Per the rules, we must reject any applicant who comes wearing inappropriate interview attire, even for entry level, so I do. My boss comes over to talk to me a short while later.)

Boss: “About her, did she really look that bad?”

Me: “Well, she looked like she had just rolled out of bed in old wrinkled clothes, and hadn’t bothered to brush her hair or groom at all.”

Boss: “Really? Because her resume is very good. I can’t believe someone with such a great resume would do that.”

Me: “Well, you told me that appearance is important when judging applicants.”

Boss: *snappish* “Yes, I know what I told you, but you should’ve hired her anyway! Did you even look at her resume?”

(Long story short, he overrode me, hired her anyway, and fired me… for following HIS rule! Idiocy must be a prerequisite for bosses.)


Keeping On Going To The Beat Of Your Drum

| England, UK | Coworkers, Musical Mayhem

(As part of our training, we have to undergo a three-hour session hosted by an external speaker on conduct, communication, and confidence. The speaker occasionally asks if someone has ever done or seen something and uses it to make an example…)

Speaker: “I mean …okay, does anyone here play a musical instrument?”

(After a few seconds of awkward silence, I stick my hand up.)

Speaker: “Great, and what do you play?”

Me: “I’m learning to play the timbal.”

Speaker: “Ah, the timbal. Uh huh.”

(He pauses.)

Speaker: “What on earth is a timbal?”

Me: “It’s a Brazilian hand drum used in samba reggae.”

Speaker: “It’s a what?”

Me: “It’s a Brazilian hand drum used in samba reggae.”

(After a second or two of stunned silence, the speaker starts to laugh. After about a minute or so of laughter…)

Speaker: “I’m sorry, it’s just, I’ve never had an answer like that before. I was expecting the flute or the piano. What did you say it was called?”

Me: “A timbal.”

(He laughs again and carries on the session. About ten minutes later…)

Speaker: “Has anyone here ever… except you—” *points at me* “—I’m not sure I can handle finding out what else you do in your spare time… has anyone else here ever done tai chi?”

(After the session, my colleagues and I go for lunch and chat about the session.)

Colleague #1: “I thought it was useful.”

Colleague #2: “It had some good tips. How about you, [My Name]? What did you think?”

Me: “Well… I went in there feeling all right, and then he laughed hysterically at my one answer and told me he was scared about what I do in my free time… D’you know, I actually think I might have come out of that feeling less confident than when I went in!”

(The training was actually pretty useful and to be fair to the speaker, he told me to keep on playing drums at the end. Rather unfortunately however, several years on, I only remember that incident from the entire session.)


Should Use The Microsoft Wizard

| MA, USA | Bizarre/Silly, Job Seekers

(I am a writer and content editor for a company. The writing office is fairly small, so everyone can easily talk to each other without leaving their desks.)

Coworker #1: “Whoa!”

Me: “What’s up?”

Coworker #1: “Did you see the email we just got?”

Me: “No, I haven’t checked in the past ten minutes.”

Coworker #2: “Check your email. It has to be seen to be believed.

(I check my email, and in it is a job application. Somehow, this person sent it to the whole office instead of just our boss. The letter starts off fairly normal, stating she went to school for journalism, but by the second sentence the applicant is claiming the reason no one will hire her is because she’s been cursed by a jealous Haitian witch. She lists all the ways the witch has ruined her life, including how she’s using witchcraft to mess with her phone, laptop, and Gmail account, lose her voice, lose her fingers, hands, and arms so she can’t type, and to get people to lie in court about her. I read through the letter it a few times, completely in shock.)

Me: “Good freaking lord.”

Coworker #2: “I’ve seen some weird applicants, but this is beyond insane.”

Coworker #1: “Is she for real? Maybe she made it up to show how creative she can be?”

Me: “If that’s the case, then she’s failed at that, too. Her writing is terrible! She constantly repeats herself, the sentence structure is sloppy, she’s giving us a billion reasons NOT to hire her, and she didn’t even list any references.”

Coworker #1: “Hey, [Boss], did you see this?”

Boss: “I read two sentences and deleted it. I have had more than enough crazy for this week.”

Me: “Yeah, this’ll fill your crazy quota real quick.”

Coworker #1: “Should we call her and find out if she’s for real?”

Me: “That’ll only encourage her. If she calls us, then you can be the one to talk to her. Otherwise, don’t engage the crazy lady.”

(The application went on our “Wall of Shame” to prove it really happened, and we have not heard from the cursed lady since.)


Cheech And Chong Is Never Wrong

| MN, USA | Awesome Workers, Bosses & Owners, Movies & TV

(Our center manager is named Dave.)

Coworker: *answers ringing phone* “Thank you for calling [Center]; how may I help you?”

Corporate Big Wig: “Can I be transferred to Dave, please?”

Coworker: “Dave’s not here, man.”

Corporate Big Wig: “How about [Other Manager]?”

Coworker: “Hold please.”

Other Manager: “This is [Other Manager].”

Corporate Big Wig: “So, you need to drug test the employee who answered the phones just now.”

Other Manager: “What? Why?!”

Corporate Big Wig: “For answering the phone with a Cheech and Chong reference. Then drug test me for getting it.”

(Isn’t it nice when corporate big shots are people, too?)


The Problems Are Racooning Up

| Montreal, QC, Canada | Extra Stupid, New Hires

(I work as a data-entry temp with three other women, assisting the merchandisers of a national retail chain with various paperwork. Some time before the end of our five-month contract, we’re asked to help a new French intern to learn some of our tasks, as she’ll be performing them when we leave.)

Me: *spends 45 minutes explaining the New Item form in detail* “You should really take notes; it’s a lot of information. We’ll still be there for a few weeks, so you can ask us anytime, but you’ll have to learn to do it on your own.”

Intern: “Oh, yeah, okay. What’s a SKU?”

(We’ve been referring to items as “SKU”s for the whole two weeks she’s been there already.)

Me: “Er, well it’s the unique code for an item, but we refer to products as ‘SKU’s usually.”

Intern: *seeming unsure* “Oh, okay.”

Me: “I’m sorry, I really don’t know how else to explain it.”

Intern: “Oh, no it’s okay. I understand.”

(We have to re-explain everything every single time she is trying to perform any of the tasks we’ve shown her. Our respective supervisors think we are exaggerating, until they have to repeatedly teach her things themselves. She does not comprehend the functioning of spreadsheet software, despite being apparently far enough in her marketing studies to obtain an internship overseas. She is also a bit naive.)

Intern: “So where can I find raccoons?”

(My coworkers and I look at each other.)

Coworker #1: “Why do you want to see raccoons?”

Intern: “Oh, well, I want to feed them!”

Coworker #2: “They’re wild animals, and they can be aggressive and carry disease. You shouldn’t try to feed them.”

Intern: “But I saw people do it on YouTube!”

Me: “That doesn’t mean it’s good idea!”

(I never knew whether she did find raccoons. When we left, she was still there, and our supervisors were pulling their hair out, wondering what to do with a worker than took more time out of their schedule than she was saving them.)

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