Satisfaction guaranteed?

Recently I had a job interview at a local mass
merchant of books. Actually, two interviews. The
first, with an assistant manager, asked me typical
questions about past employment, my interest in books,
and asked me to “sell her” their awards card. I
mentioned my book club and then froze on the title of
the last book, “Water for Elephants.” Luckily, I
could remember the title/author/subject of my current
read, “The Emperor’s Children.” Anyway, I must have
done okay, because I was asked to stay and interview
with the manager, D., a half an hour later.

I spent the time walking around the store, becoming
more and more convinced that I would accidentally call
the store by its main competitor’s moniker, especially
since both begin with the same consonant. At which
point I would turn red, stutter and the interview
would swiftly go downhill. “Bor… Umh, I mean
Bar…., Uh, Sorry, I always shop here at Bor….
never at Bar….. Oopppss…. I mean the opposite.
It’s opposite day isn’t it?” (the rocking, the
twitching and rapid eye movements would begin) “I HATE
Bor, never shop there, no-sirree…. Only shop here,
yep, only here, only here.” Followed by a snort, a
fit of inappropriate laughter, and peeing my pants.

A vivid imagination isn’t always a good thing,
especially when combined with a neurotic nature and
self doubt.

I was oddly relieved when they called my name. Sort
of like at the dentists’ office, a mixture of panic,
and a “let’s just get this over with” mentality.
Plus, I was already pondering the aftermath of the pee
pants and it wasn’t pretty. (“Would it drip? Did I
have asparagas today? Would the chair be absorbent?
How many feet from the office to the exit?”)

Resolutely I approached the front counter and shook
hands with the manager. We entered his office and he
glanced over my application. (Which made me die a
little inside, at my age, an application, rather than
a resume, kinda pathetic.)

D: “I see you worked for the postal service, and one
of the things that’s interesting in interviewing is
seeing how other companies measure success, with the
postal service, do they measure success? I mean, do
they really care?”

Me: (imagining my postal supervisor friend Laura’s
face) “Oh, yes, they care. It seems to be related to
revenue (duh) but also to the number of man hours each
facility uses while also meeting service goals; they
are really cognizant of preventing time wasting
activities (my humble salute to Laura).

D: “Blahda, blahda, blahda… blah. Do you shop at
Me: “Yes, sometimes, but I mainly shop at a little
store in the town that I live in, because I want it to
prosper.” (Vulcan salute)
D: “Do you shop at Target?”
Me: “Yes, occasionally.”
D: “Do you shop at Cub?”
Me: “Yes.” (Oh, and Brown bag video, too)
D: “YOU are exactly the kind of customer that stores
hate. A SATISFIED CUSTOMER. Stores don’t want a
satisfied customer. Those are the WORST KINDS of
customers. A satisfied customer will walk into Target
and think, okay, I’m satisfied with this store. Then
they will walk into Walmart and think the same thing.”
(Dramatically slaps hand on desk). “Stores want
LOYAL customers. Customers who are so happy with the
selection, with the service that they feel NO NEED to
Me: (thinking, “uh, okay?” but quickly responding)
“I have worked in customer service in the past and
also shop, quite a bit, and I expect really great
customer service, the same service that I will
provide.” (yada, yada, yada).
D: “I’ve been making sure I tell everyone this: all
the local stores are hiring. They all pay about the
same. But here, HERE, HERE you will have to work
TWICE AS HARD for the SAME AMOUNT of money, because we have high standards for our employees and the customer
service we provide.”
Me: “Allrighty then” (Not really, I can’t remember
what I said, but you can imagine, that typical “hire me” drivel.)

So the interview was successful, or not… I still
haven’t decided.

Update: I’m waiting on them to call my references.
My boss swears she is going to say “Jennifer’s a
SATISFACTORY employee, but I fear, NOT very LOYAL.”


4 Responses to “Satisfaction guaranteed?”

  1. Sue Says:

    Well, the part about you nervous and peeing in your pants almost knocked me off the chair from laughing so hard…On the other hand, “D”‘s questions and replies would have…well, let’s just say, I would have booked really fast!

  2. Jimi Moore Says:

    Wow, interesting interview experience. I hope you get the position.

  3. HollowSquirrel Says:

    Do you even want the position still? TWICE AS HARD work? I think the dude is whack. But I would LOVE to work there. good point about not eating asparagus before an interview– hadn’t thought of that. Good luck!

  4. BeanCounter Says:

    Wow, that is crazy. I don’t know if I would have laughed in her face or cried.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: