Wednesday, July 13, 2011



I walked into the place, slightly nervous, after months of going without being called for an interview despite many applications submitted.
I was prepared to be interviewed by another young professional
who could not possibly be older than my second to the youngest child.
That tends to creep me out.
Someone that age is bright, fresh and eager...
but how experienced can they possibly be?

This market defies description.
Its more like a small city inside a market.
It has a walk-in medical clinic...
two small eateries...
floral shop and garden center...
a deli with outdoor cafe seating...
oh yeah, and food so fresh you'd swear there was a farm out back.
Did I mention it has a spa?

The bakery, where I am applying, is situated next to one of the cafe seating areas by the gourmet coffee bar.
It alone employs over 30 people dressed in all white chef attire complete with floppy caps.
There are at least seven glass cases of gourmet pastries and confections
surrounded by tables of baked goods.
All of it fru-fru expensive!

I am clearly out of my personal element.
But the two "kids" who interviewed me were great.
Both of the giggly sort.
I was asked extensive questions that were mostly good questions.
"Have you ever hit another employee?"
was my favorite.
My reply was
"No. But I have to ask... does anyone ever admit to that?"
I was assured that someone had indeed admitted to it.
When asked why using illegal drugs on the job was wrong...
"Foremost, it's illegal, but it's also a safety issue...
impaired people make dangerous mistakes and have poor judgement."
It was her turn to say "wow".
"I like that answer!  You are the first person to ever mention that it's illegal."

The interview lasted over an hour.
I filled out papers after being informed that I had passed the initial interview.
By signing,
I agreed to being drug tested and credit searched, etc.
I was told that if someone in HR called me in to pee in a cup
that I should expect to pay $47.50 for the privilege
and still not have the job...
then they would either call me or send me a thanks but no thanks letter.

They also told me in great detail what benefits I would get...
my birthday as a paid holiday,
vacation pay and days,
holiday pay, medical, dental, vision and 401K.
Almost as an after thought,
one said
"I should warn you that bakers can be temperamental...
can you handle that?"
I smiled.
I once had a middle school student throw a chair across the library at another student.
I wondered if bakers could be expelled.
On the way to the truck I pondered if I would like bakery school.
Two days in a class room and two weeks on the job...
then more education as required.

Not your average market.

I pretty much feel a job is a job at this point.
I will take what I can get and do it well.
I left with only a few disappointments...
the shift is from 1:30 to 10:00 PM...
They do not tell you what it pays until you complete training
and set your pay on your experience level...
and they don't give away free cookies to kiddos!
What sort of bakery does not give free cookies to the kids?
But I would still happily accept a position.

 Now all I have to do is wait to see if they ask me to pee in a cup.

On the bright side...
this morning when I went to a different branch of the store 
where I worked last Christmas that is closer to us...
as in maybe 8 blocks away...
to cut through their parking lot to get to a street that I wanted...
I saw a woman walking out with an application.
Upon the end of my job with this company,
I was told that I was being put in the files as "okay to hire"...
and told to reapply anytime.

I was not really dressed for it.
Shorts, a baggie old sweater.
But I stopped and nabbed an application anyway.
I'll be better dressed when I take it back later today.
When opportunity knocks...
I may as well answer.

Happy Hump Day!


  1. Oh I am not a fan of job hunting but you made it sound almost fun. Well, interesting and adventurous anyway. I agree the market is tough these days and it gives me a sick feeling in the stomach. Good luck and I love your attitude, if I were that manager, I'd hire you on the spot!

  2. Shopgirl- Thanks! Its a bit scary. But I always try to have fun everywhere I go... and they may as well get a clue to my personality to see if they can deal with it. Fortunately, I am not in fear of going hungry or losing my home. I truly feel for some of my competition who have that trouble. Even so, its still nerve wracking. Life is an adventure to enjoy.

  3. Interviewing is always fun. It's amazing the things you get asked. It sounds like you did a good job. And they were just a little bit clueless. HOpefully they won't consider you overqualified!

  4. We're going through the interviewing process with our daughters. They've had many disappointments this summer. It's tough out there. Having a good attitude is helpful.

  5. NoRegrets- I think my actual problem is being considered unqualified. People don't understand what's involved in working in a school. I think they assume that because I wasn't a teacher that I was a school babysitter.

  6. Cube- I try to take it all with a grain of sand. I've had interviews that felt great and never heard a word about them. I've had others that I was sure I had blown and then got second interviews. Go figure!
    Good luck to your girls! It truly is tough out there these days. They said on the local news last night that employers have already done their hiring for the most part for the year until holiday jobs open up. But then, I always suspect what the press says.

  7. You had wise answers to those questions! I would've froze, I think.

    I've never hit another employee - does it count if I've wanted to? ;)

    I remember a classmate throwing a chair at the blackboard once when I was in junior high. Didn't realize he had issues until that point.

  8. Good luck finding a job! That was a big struggle for me when I first came to the City of Fate. I remember how relieved I was when I found out I'd been hired.

  9. BrightenedBoy- Thank you! It is a struggle. I know I'll get something. Probably not something I would "love" to do, but at age 56 beggars cannot be too choosy... and I don't want to retrain or continue education when I only have about 10 years left before I retire. That would not leave time to pay for my education.