Friday, October 19, 2007

Holiday Help - Part 2

My theory on the Red Phone at the employment kiosk may be wrong... I'm not certain that it's as high tech as I thought it was.

I did go back and fill out another electronic application. This time I had to wait much longer for one of the two stations at the kiosk to open up.

The first station was taken up by a really big guy wearing that "all jeans" look. Jacket, pants, slightly sideways baseball cap (with gold dollar signs imprinted on it) all made of very new looking denim. Remember when Levi's used to come all hard from the store and you'd have to wash them like 5 times before they were soft enough even to put on? That kind of denim. He was with his wife or girlfriend and a baby. She kept getting calls on her cell phone and then handing the phone to him. I was 4 feet away and I have no idea what they were talking about. I could not understand a word. Not because I wasn't close enough to hear, not because they spoke in a foreign language, but because I could NOT UNDERSTAND a word. I could see the screens he was working on and I felt bad for the guy because he clearly was not good with computers... he kept getting hung up in fields because he didn't know how to tab or click out of them. It reminded me how lucky I am to have had a computer in my home since I was in Jr. High.

At one point the guy's wife/girlfriend/partner pinched his cheek with her nails, as if to pop a small zit or something... he was completely cool with that. Didn't even really register that she was doing it. He just stared on at the machine, not typing, just looking at the screen waiting for something to happen. When she was done popping whatever she popped she looked at her nail and then wiped whatever came out of his cheek onto the blanket that was tucked between her and the baby she was holding. I don't know if I think that was sweet, or totally disgusting.

About 30 minutes in, they get into a heated discussion about something... and he snatches the cellphone from her hand. He hits a speed dial and says something that I, again, could not understand. She is pointing at the screen and saying something I can't understand. The baby is making some kind of like "chucking" noise every couple minutes. The guy puts the phone down on the desk kind of hard, frustrated. Finally the woman moves away and I can see what screen he is on. Mind you... this is an employment application, he has been working on it for over half an hour... "Enter your 8 digit social security number in the fields below."

I give up hope that I will be able to use that station today.

On the other side of the kiosk there is a woman with two kids. A little girl in a stroller and a little boy. The little boy is using his finger to poke the little girl in the eye. Repeatedly. The woman's application screen is turned away from me and is hidden by a partition so I can't see where she is in the process but I CAN tell that she has to keep stopping to discipline the little boy who despite his best efforts has been unable to succeed in making the little girl cry. Which I am glad about, but kind of concerned about too. I mean, if I was being poked in the eye, IN THE EYE, repeatedly I would probably cry out about it. Why didn't she fuss?

The woman did finally finish, but took her TIME packing up her children and moving away from the kiosk. It was TORTURE! Like when you have to piss but you are not near a bathroom. You have to go, but it's not a crisis... but the closer you get to the toilet the more the urgency increases... it was like that waiting for her.

FINALLY 45 minutes (at least) since arriving at the store, I sit down and do the application again. This time I was not asked the "feeling" questions... just the name, rank and serial number stuff. I again got the "pick up the red phone" message, which I did. This time though, while I was ON the red phone an announcement came over the store's PA system and I heard it ON THE PHONE too! So the red phone does not go to some super secret underground employment screening bat cave deep beneath Minneapolis, it just connects to some office in the store.

The voice on the phone says someone will be with me soon. So I get up and make my way out from behind the kiosk, past the guy and his ladyfriend and the baby who are still hard at work on his app.

"Done already?" the zit popper asks as I move out from my station.

"Fast typer," I reply.

Same drill, they sent a manager over to talk to me. If you have seen "My Name is Earl" then this will make sense to you. He looked like "Crabman," but with smaller hair. I explain to him that I'd already filled out an application a week earlier and that one of his counterparts had suggested I fill it out again if I hadn't heard anything. He said that that was probably a good idea, but the reason I hadn't heard anything was because they are not hiring seasonal staff till next week. He also used his cordless phone to call someone, but he wasn't as glowing as my previous screener. He stopped way short of suggesting I be a team leader, "You got [Condoblogger]? Yeah, mark him as a potential."

So next week is the real test. Will I get the call? Do I WANT to get the call? What is my real motivation for doing this? Am I too old for two jobs? Am I taking a job from someone else who really needs it? How will I feel if I run into someone I know at the store while I'm working? Who is the REAL father of my baby?

Tune in next week for SOME of those answers and more...


Matt said...

You crack me up ...

God I hope you get it ...

Paul said...

"at one point the guy's wife / girlfriend / partner pinched his cheek..."

Sweet? NOT AT ALL. I was disgusted and I was standing 962 miles away!