Smile Politely

Applicants Say the Craziest Things

Do you remember the show Kids Say the Darndest Things? It was a television show, hosted by Bill Cosby, that aired during the end of the 90s (a previous incarnation was hosted by Art Linkletter). In the show, Cosby would ask adorable children simple questions to provoke a cute response. The novel show didn’t last long, because eventually audience members started to throw up due to the hyperbolic levels of cuteness the kids exuded. The Surgeon General came in, shut the show down, forced Cosby into exile and made Art Linkletter (co-host) eat pudding pops for a year. Of course that isn’t true, but the show did run out of gas, because cute kids really aren’t that entertaining.

If I had a chance to develop a show that would eventually run itself into the ground after one season, it would be “Applicants Say the Craziest Shit.” I would set up hidden video cameras in my office and I would edit all the footage so that America could see the insane behavior some of my applicants possess.

For instance, not too long ago I had an interview with a nice young girl who had just recently left her last job after only one month of employment. On her application, she stated that she would explain her departure in person. I asked her why she left the company and then I buckled my seat belt. What she told me went something like this:

“I normally work the day shift at work. Sometimes I pick up some extra hours in the evening, but I have a kid, so I can’t always do that. I am not required to work nights, but my manager doesn’t care about my kid or my schedule. She also isn’t afraid to speak her mind. She’s not a very nice person. Well, she came up to me two weeks ago and told me that I had to work that night. I told her that I couldn’t do that, because I had to pick up my kid. My manager then said out loud, in front of people, ‘It’s not my fault you are easy.’ But, it wasn’t my fault that I had my kid. I was raped.”

As a man, sitting one on one with a female candidate in a small room, I naturally felt awkward. I actually felt guilty, not because I was the one who assaulted her, but because some man had and I have this feeling that rape victims might see men as potential threats. I am not a woman and thankfully I haven’t been raped, but I can only imagine the fear that rape victims must have after such a traumatic event.

I didn’t know exactly what to say other than, “That is terrible that your manager said that.” I tried my best to forget about her response, but I couldn’t, because the idea of a rape victim blatantly blurting out a maleficent act like rape is somewhat hard to shake. I don’t know if she was lying to me or not, but I wasn’t going to ask any further questions. I know what you might be asking, “How can this asshole think she was lying?” Well, if you walk a mile in my shoes, you would know that applicants will say just about anything to keep a prospective employer from conducting a reference check. Needless to say, sparing some details, she didn’t get the job. If she did lie, shame on her. If she didn’t, I feel terrible. Oh well, I already have a trailer parked and waiting for my arrival in hell.

One more story I would like to relate comes from an interview that I had with a manic girl who wanted a better job. First of all, she was smacking her gum, which irritated me beyond belief. She kept moving around nervously and when I asked her a question, she was very loquacious. She kept imprecating her supervisor, talking about how inept he was and how she wanted to choke him. I almost interrupted her to go to the liquor store. She then cussed three times in the interview. I think she actually said “bullshit”, “shit” and another “shit” during one answer. It was awesome.

I wanted to stop her and ask her if she was all right, but I just let her explode in front of me. At one point she was talking so fast that I felt her words piercing my face, like needles. I couldn’t defend myself. I kept looking at the door, praying that Chuck Norris would come to my aid, but he didn’t. Fuck Chuck Norris. He’s no savior.

I just want to throw out this caveat: if you have an interview, before you blurt out some crazy shit, just know that I’ve got the camera rolling and I’m gonna get your ass on ABC.

I need to think of the host for my show. Any suggestions would be helpful.

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