Toby Keith wrote a song called “How Do You Like Me Now?” It’s about the one thing that every single nerdy high school boy who has been stood up, laughed at or otherwise belittled at the hand of the beautiful Prom Queen. Oh, don’t forget the girlfriend, or boyfriend who dumped us one day just because it was cool to do that. We had dreams of revenge, not least of which was that they would call in desperation one day to say that they had made a terrible mistake and we were the one mate for them.
Oh, I remember all of that so well.
Two weeks ago we put an ad on Craigslist advertising for someone for the shop. We had numerous applicants, belying the statements that low unemployment exists in Minnesota. Many, if not all of the applicants were underemployed if not unemployed. I felt that we had a fairly good group from which to choose.
Hiring people, though, is no fun. I’ve met very few people who say that hiring and firing is a great occupation and that screening applicants is incredibly rewarding. It is, in fact, tedious, difficult and even after practice, I always feel as though I’m just tossing the dice. Employment firms cost way too much money and they have never really provided us with a workable solution in any case. Most of the time, the applicants are just looking for a paycheck and we really want more from an employee.
I scheduled seven interviews.
This is where my reference to Toby Keith and the hopes and dreams we had of teenagers kicks in, sort of in reverse. Hey, I think it’s valid enough that I am going to write about it regardless of what you think.
Three of the interviewees were no shows. They didn’t even make it in. One of the three called the next day and said that she was really sorry, that she’d forgotten about the interview but would be happy to schedule any time during that day. My answer was firm. “Nope.” Don’t make me explain myself. How important can making a living be if you can’t even remember your interview?
I hypothesize here that the no-shows were simply burning us in advance because they figured that we would not hire them in the first place. Instead of waiting and, say, covering the front door with teepee or throwing rocks at my car or maybe even spreading the word that I’m a rotten person, they burned us first. I wasted time, I was hurt that someone thought so little of me and of my time that they felt it necessary to show me how low on the priority pole I really was. I wasn’t even looking for a date!
So that’s out of the way. Now we can get down to actually giving you the answer to the question you are asking in your head. Yes, we did hire someone. She came in for the interview, came in for a second one, was in the shop for two days, then called in sick for two days and quit the following Monday. True story.
So now we have a second person coming in. I’m a little nervous about this. At the same time, we are rolling the dice again and we will take even a full week at this point. Actually, I would like to make it clear that my hope is that we hire once, that she stays with us and that she turns into a strong and productive member of our team. We will work hard to help her accomplish that.
Now I need to find some embroiderers. Yeah, that’s going to be fun.