By Chris Roberts
By Joe Eskenazi
By Albert Samaha
By Mike Billings
By Rachel Swan
By Erin Sherbert
By Joe Eskenazi
By Albert Samaha
"Aah, you're from England."
"Yes I am, mate," I say, conducting the rest of the interview in a fake British accent. Then he explains the nitty-gritty.
"The job involves selling cheesecake. We only sell cheesecake! Also cheesecake products."
I lose it. I'm openly laughing. I try to stop by thinking of bad things.
"That's so funny, because I used to have a job similar to that," I smirk, trying to cover up my giggling. Are cheesecake and cheesecake products like propane and propane accessories? Is this a joke being played on me?! Egads. I'm sitting in a doctor's office in the middle of Chinatown, being interviewed for a cheesecake sales job by a very tiny doctor!
The tiny doctor explains that the job requires selling cheesecake to hotels and restaurants. The tiny doctor's eye bypasses my Kentucky Fried Chicken experience, glances over the five-year gap in job history, and asks questions concerning used-car sales techniques. He wonders how I would apply them to his cheesecake. I bring the focus back to my current fast-food experience.
"When I'm working at Kentucky Fried Chicken, I try to be a people person, gain the customers' trust, then suggest they buy extra-crispy or a little bucket parfait."
"Aaah," says the tiny doctor. Then he pulls out a piece of paper with four names on it.
"I have a few more people to interview, so I'll give you a call."
Conclusion: Having a 4.0 from Cambridge University doesn't cut it when it comes to cheesecake sales.
Was There a Good Pen to Steal?: No, I never got to handle a writing implement.
Job Applying For:Selling window installations over the phone to random people.
Résumé Lie:San Quentin Prison, where I had three years' work experience in the tool shop.
Selling window installations over the phone must be one of the worst jobs known to humanity. Sounds like the aluminum-siding scam of the '60s.
I'm buzzed into the office. There are many energy-saving awards on the wall. My interview is with a woman named Virginia, but the receptionist says she is at lunch. She pages Virginia, telling me to take a seat and fill out an application.
"Would you like a drink or something?" she asks.
"I'll have a mineral water."
"A water is fine."
She goes in the bathroom and comes back with a stained coffee cup filled with tap water. I leave it untouched as I finish the application. There's a line saying "Have You Ever Been Convicted of a Felony?" In parentheses it says "(This Will Not Affect Your Application)." I check the box marked "Yes."
The phone rings. It's Virginia. She apologizes profusely.
"I'm sorry. I forgot we had an interview."
What?! I need to be interviewed NOW! Right now, for one of the shittiest jobs known to humanity.
"We just hired a guy yesterday, but why don't you put your résumé and application in my box, I'll take a look at it, and give you a call next week if the guy doesn't work out."
Disgruntled by having the interviewer not show up for the interview, I scribble in the line asking to explain my felony charge: "Violent murder. Fucker was eyeballing my bitch!" I could have been a little more subtle. I hand my résumé and application to the receptionist and leave.
Conclusion: You should always keep job interviews with violent murderers.
Epilogue: A few days later, I get a message on my answering machine. "Willis, this is Veronica from the Save Energy Company. Could you give me a call? I wanted to talk to you to see if you still need work or if you found a job yet."
Fuck me sideways once again! Either she didn't read my résumé, or prison and manslaughter experience is just what she's looking for.
Go figure: I actively tried everything possible to keep from being hired, and I still landed two job offers in one week. So next time you find yourself without work, fear not -- there's always a future for an unskilled man from prison who can maintain strong, direct eye contact.
Join Harmon for the release of his new book,Republican Like Me, on Saturday, Nov. 5, at the Booksmith at 7 p.m.
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