Saturday, March 8, 2008

The Big Q

Thursday night at approximately 8:33pm, i received a phone call from a Wal-Mart supercenter. The woman on the other end asked if I would like to come the following morning for an interview at 10:30am. No, I wouldn't really. Even less after not having enough time to get a haircut. I said "yes" anyway, and began stressing. By morning, the interview process was already ruined. I looked like a member of the Beatles, and there was nothing anyone could do about it.

I was told to go to the fitting room and explain I was there for an interview. The woman there was very nice, which is probably why they want her to be the first person you meet. She directed me towards the back of the store under the "site to store" sign, and told me to sit on the bench. This is probably where my troubles began. The designated bench was occupied, so I sat elsewhere thinking this would be the demise of my interview. The exasperated shoppers finally left, and I ran to the coveted seat. I heard the fitting room associate make several announcements to personnel about coming to interview me. They did not work. About 10 minutes after my scheduled interview time, a man walks towards my special bench with a clipboard. He looked a little casual, but he had a clipboard and a pen. So obviously, in my mind, he was interviewing me. No. He sat down next to me and began playing on his imitation Blackberry. I was glad I only partially smiled.

When they tell you to sit under the "site to store" bench, they do not mention it is located right next to the busiest restrooms in the world. I believe more associates went in and out of these restrooms than were actually working, most of them to the women's room. Each woman acted as if they were shocked to run into a fellow co-worker, and greeted one another with an excited "Hello!, How are you?" No arguments about wearing the same outfits. One lady left with a cup. I almost wanted to peak in and see what was going on. The men's room had slightly less traffic, but more frequent visitors. I saw at least 3 men leave and return several times. Perhaps they had a party, too.

The non-interviewer sitting 8 inches to the right of me is still thoroughly enjoying his Palm-Casiberry. It started to play a ringtone, and he began to dance. I expected him to turn off the ringtone, which was infact polyphonic, but he instead just scrolled through some more. Each tone had it's own bench dance style, this was not his first time. I kept both hands in my pockets pinching myself, but I still could not help but smile. Both hands in my pockets, smiling uncontrollably, and someone comes out to ask me if I am there for the interview. Great. I should have said no. He tells me someone will be with me shortly, and then disappears. I don't blame him.

I assume I will be free of the bench bathroom area soon, and the wait seems a little less painful, but my nerves were kicking in at this point. I started to hear this rythmic thumping. It couldn't be my heart, I'm not in a movie. I was looking for anything around me to blame this noise on. Nothing. I finally start to think my chest is about to explode, when an older man riding a Wal-Mart issued scooter with a rollback tag stuck to a wheel glides towards the mens' room door. Oh. At least it wasn't me.

Finally, interview time. I go through one, and feel it went okay. He tells me that he will recommend me for my second interview, and I hit the bench for some more waiting. Apparently around noon the custodians take over. A kind gentleman wheeled his over-sized plastic wheel barrow of garbage right in front of me. My cologne meant nothing at this point. He walks over to the womens' room and peaks his head in, asking if anyone was in there. Well of course there was. At least 6 ladies said "YES!", as if the thought if this man entering scared them greatly. So, he took his garbage cart and exited through the gray dungeon door area.
My second interviewer arrived, and we went into a small room around the car fixing area. We left the door open. He asked me a few questions, and seemed genuinely interested in my answers. Upon realizing this, I tried to elaborate as much as I could, making things up along the way. I'm sure it spiced things up for the both of us. He finishes, and we both go to the personnel room so my "test can be graded." Oh dear.

He sat on a computer entering some things, and had me sit at an adjacent table. In front of me was a book full of associates names, hours, and a lot of other things I probably shouldn't have been looking at. So I pretended I wasn't. He finally finishes, and tells me someone else will be in to do something else. Okay. Then he realized he lost his pen, and went back to the tire office to find it. It was actually in the personnel room, he just couldn't see it. He got his pen, and I got the job. Drug test pending.

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