Day 1 of my experience with the company whose name shall never be spoken, but with which you are most likely intimately familiar is hopeful. I have chosen this company out of a list of “five top part-time jobs with full-time benefits”. Based on my desire to work for a company I can believe in or at the very least have no serious qualms with morally, philosophically or otherwise I chose to work here first and let’s be frank, they hire anyone during the holidays.
After filling out an extensive but not overly exhausting application online, I immediately receive an e-mail stating that I should show up for my interview on Monday at 1 p.m. It’s Friday at 5. The e-mail has sections like “What to Bring/What to Expect” and states that casual attire is appropriate as interviews can take up to two hours. No sandals, no jewelry and no cell phones. A wedding band and one form of identification is acceptable.
The directions are far from general and I suspect my GPS will not suffice in this scenario so I plan ahead for 40 minutes of travel and 10 minutes to get to the guard shack where I have been directed to proceed. The place is so far south, I begin to fear that Day 2 of my adventure will end with confiscation of my driver’s license by an armed guard and abduction into human slavery across the very near border of Mexico.
There are big signs with the company brand all over so unless this is a really elaborate scheme, I think I’m safe. I disregard the no jewelry rule though and wear my mace on a red ribbon under my shirt just in case. Vaguely wishing I wore a wedding band to signify that someone would miss me if I never returned home, I joined the line of job-hungry middle-agers and twenty-somethings who obviously took casual attire to mean come as you are.
It’s a “ring the bell” type interview. You know the one where they tell you what most people hate about the job and then ask if everyone still wants to stay. Everyone stays. You will have to cut your hair if it is below the collar or wear a bun, no ponytails. Men included. You will have to wear work boots, not tennis shoes. The drivers will tell you it is okay to wear tennies. It’s not. You will have to show up for work every day. You will be working on a truck, outdoors. You will wear your seatbelt and stay in the jumpseat at all times. Do not let a driver take off if you are not belted in. They will try to. Do not let them. You will show up tomorrow looking like you are ready for work. You will not run, you will walk. The drivers will tell you it is okay to run. It is not. If you stay and do not follow all of these directions through-out the term of your employment, I will have no choice but to report you as terminated with no recommendation for rehire. None of this sounds heinous enough to anyone until the stern but petitely pretty human resources gal says, “Congratulations, you’re all hired and will report back here tomorrow for your orientation pending background checks.”