Interview with Mickey

MVWJ was also my first job. No one wanted to hire someone with no experience. NO ONE. So what did I go through college for four years for? Well, I needed to earn money to pay off my student loan. So when I got instantly hired at a park, I was thrilled. The job was 70 miles away, but no one closer want to hire me.

I’m not bitter or anything.

Anyway, I applied in the food and beverage department. I was nervous, waiting in the waiting room with the snooty receptionist. Soon a balding guy in his mid-thirties came out. He grabbed my application, read it, and gave me the once-over. “Come in the back,” he said to me and nodded.

I went. He said, “So you just graduated, eh?” I said yes. “So you have no experience anywhere, right?” I said yes. He nodded thoughtfully, produced a piece of paper and gave it to me. “Read this,” he said.

As I did, he explained that they had an interviewer position available for college grads like me and he thought I was perfect for it. I was a little unsure, and I told him repeatedly that I would need training and had no experience whatsoever. He said that was fine and that I would be trained. I told him I had applied so many times and no one would hire me. He was sympathetic and friendly and I thought Sweet! My first job! Human Resources! Anyway, I preferred an office job to an outdoor one. I jumped on it.


Well, after that, he said that my job was easy. All I had to do was ask the interviewee prepared questions, stuff like “Why do you want to work here?” etc. I thought it’d be a cinch since, now that I thought about it, I had plenty of experience in interviews, though always as the interviewee. Now I would be on the other side.

Well, a lady came in to fill an application, and my new boss said I would interview her and he would sit aside and watch me do it. I was VERY nervous. It’s one thing to do something you have never done, plus have your boss watching your every move. I was sure I would mess up and I hoped that he wouldn’t fire me.

He didn’t, even though I did stutter and when I held out the paper for her to take, my hand was shaking so bad, it was a wonder that she could grab it. I didn’t know who was more nervous, her or I!

Subsequently, he sat with me through one more interview, then all the sudden took me aside and said he thought my voice was too low and I sounded like a man. I’m a woman, and I though I knew my normal voice wasn’t angels’ harps, was shocked and a little offended by this. He said that I should pitch my voice up higher and made me try. I did my best, feeling like a fool, I talked in a little high squeaky voice. He said it was perfect and ushered me to do another interview. I thought, this is crazy, but did it anyway. So there I was, speaking like Mickey Mouse on helium, to the interviewee–a tough looking muscular guy who looked back at me like I was crazy. I didn’t blame him one little bit. Now I look back and think what I fool I was; I should have got the hell out of there, but I didn’t. I was young and naive and doing what I was told to.

Well, my boss told me later that I did a terrible job. “I was just doing what you told me!” I said and he shook his head in obvious disappointment and just walked away.

It got worse. Obviously, my boss now thought I was a weirdo, because he would take others’ side immediately. Once I was interviewing three girls at once in a group interview, (I had quit the Mickey act by now) which we were allowed to do when they came together. I didn’t see the point of this, but did it anyway. The problem was, as I immediately figured out, one girl would answer and the other two would agree with her.

Of course it was true. I would ask, “So what would you do if someone asks you a question you don’t know the answer to?” Girl #1 would say, “I would SO ask my manager.” Girl #2 said, “Yeah! My manager would, like, so know the answer!” Girl #3 said, “Yeah. What they said.”

The rest of the questions went similarly. I hired the first two girls, but not the third. Big mistake. Her mom called later, demanding to know why her precious daughter had not been hired when her two friends had and accused us of traumatizing and embarassing her. I thought that was ridiculous. My boss asked me what happened, and I said that the third girl just said, “Yeah. Uh huh. Yup.” Enthusiasm was a big part of getting hired, and he knew that. He stared at me like he didn’t believe me and overrode my rule and hired the girl anyway. I thought, fine whatever. He’s the manager. He gets the last word.

The 9-5 days were tedious, I only had two or three interviews, and the nothing to do for six hours. My boss gave me some envelopes to stick labels on. Great. I tried to ask for advice on how to do my job, since I still had NO idea, but my boss never had time for me. His door was open alright, so you could see him in it with his feet up talking to his wife or his friends. A VERY annoying habit of his was to frequently grab a soccer ball off his shelf, played wih it and bounce it at us while grinning and saying sorry. Then running around and doing it again 15 minutes later. I thought this attitude was VERY unprofessional and immature but said nothing. He’s the boss. You couldn’t walk down the hall with being afraid of getting hit on the butt with a bouncing ball. I also noticed only girls got hit. It was something else to see a middle-aged man acting like a spoiled three-year-old.

I was very lenient when interviewing, having gone through what they were going through to get a job. But soon a girl wearing old sweats, baggy holey shirt, and BED SLIPPERS came in to apply for job. I assumed she didn’t know we did interviews on the spot and asked her if she wanted to go and change and come back to be interviewed. She thought for a while, shrugged then said, “No, it’s all right. I don’t care.”

Dress appearance is a big factor in our hiring decision, it counts as one strike. Two strikes and you’re out, according to my boss. I said, “Okay….” and she answered a question wrong. Since it was two strikes, I didn’t hire her.

Later my boss asked me if her slippers were “really” that bad, and did I make a mistake? I told him exactly what she was wearing, and he frowned. Then he said, “Well, she comes from a really good school,” and I reminded him that I lived 70 miles away, how was I supposed to know which schools are good? He shrugged and later hired her, though tried to keep it a secret from me, but I found out.

I was shocked at what people would wear to be interviewed. It seemed that we got all the weirdos. Holes in their shirt, baggy jeans (a big no no) baseball caps, unwashed etc. I felt pity but also a need to do my job right.

One guy actually flashed me. His jeans were so baggy and heavy with thick chains out the enormous pockets that when he got up from the chair, his pants fell down on the floor. He quickly hitched them up again, but not before I saw he had no underwear. Eek!

The final blow came when we had a job fair and over fifty applicants came to apply, and yes, be interviewed. My past experience with group interviews was horrible, so I tried to see them one at a time to get a better feel of their personality. The result was that I wasn’t going to get through all of them. I was afraid I would be blamed, for, I don’t know, being too slow.

So I thought up an idea. I would interview them and do their paperwork tomorrow. I had a pretty good feel of who was a weirdo and who wasn’t, so I would write at the end of they passed or failed. I did it and got through all the interviewees quickly.

Next morning, I was all set to do the paperwork when I noticed it missing from my desk. Then my boss called me to his office and shut the door when I entered. Uh Oh. He threw the paperwork at me and said, “Care to explain this?” in an angry, tight voice, teeth clenched.

I said that I was going to do it today since I had plenty of time, it was perfect, I pointed out, since I had nothing to do all day. His jaw tightened as I explained, and threw another paper at me. Before I could read it, he said that he didn’t think it was working out and could I please resign by signing this?

I remember his cold eyes bored into mine almost hypnotically, like he was trying to get me to sign. I was in shock as all the blood drained from my body. I told him that I didn’t understand why he was firing me and he said that I was fired due to “my error of judgement.”  He said that would put my file into the rejection pile and flag it as “rejected forever” meaning that I was never allowed to work there again and he would probably burn it.

At this I pulled myself together and pushed the pen that he was pressing on me, and said with dignity it was all right if he didn’t want me to work there, I wouldn’t, since I don’t want to be somewhere I’m not wanted. But I wasn’t signing anything and I did’t deserve this. As he sat stunned by my refusal, I rushed out of the office, grabbed my purse, and hopped on the interstate highway for home, upset.

I didn’t come back, and reading these stories, I realized that he was trying to cover his ass if I decided to collect unemployment. I didn’t, I didn’t even know about unemployment back then.

Comments (20)

Jade LynnNovember 5th, 2010 at 10:11 am

One of the worst mistakes college grads can make is not having an work experience. Internships are HUGE plus you get college credit for them anyway so there really is no reason to not do an internship. One of the biggest lies schools and parents a like feed kids is that a college degree is your golden ticket to career success when it reality its only a part of the picture. Employers want to know what your going to do for them walking in the door on day one, not what you can eventually do for them. And don’t think I’m coming down on you, I fell for the same schtick too. The degree means nothing without an internship or relevant application to go with it.

EllereNovember 5th, 2010 at 10:14 am

You should have done volunteer work to pad out your resume. It would give you experience and you would have been able to do it during four years of college with a few days a month (hindsight, I know).

Also, I really don’t think your lack of experience was why no one would hire you. You sound like you get bad social anxiety, and if you were applying for sales positions, not really a good match.

Frau BlucherNovember 5th, 2010 at 10:59 am

either way, this guy sounds like a lousy boss and a real asshole.

hellcatNovember 5th, 2010 at 4:28 pm

Ellere, I would have bad social anxiety too if someone put me on a job with no training and watched me like a hawk the whole time.

zomboidNovember 5th, 2010 at 7:49 pm

bad social anxiety? er, what?

EmryNovember 5th, 2010 at 9:47 pm

Sorry OPbut I have little sympathy for you, having been working 8hr midnight shifts for min wage since I was 14 & 5 months (legal working age in aus). I’m sure if you had applied for the local mcdonalds they would have hired you- they don’t need expierence. Secondly, as I’ve said, I work 8hr midnight shifts where I get no breaks, min wage, and constantly watched and screamed at for not being able to do the work of 3 people in running front counter and drive through by myself. A job sticking envelope labels on, admittedly while boring, sounds like heaven to me!

Erm...November 6th, 2010 at 3:36 am

Some editing needs to be done with this post.

hellcatNovember 6th, 2010 at 6:54 am

Well, I’VE worked in a glass factory where I have to hike 32 miles in the snow (barefoot) to get there every day, 4 am to 11 pm, 61/2 days a week. My employer claims to be the dark Lord and holds my children hostage to ensure that I am productive; I’m not allowed bathroom or food breaks, and he tortures them in front of me if i stop to yawn (he’s also got bad breath and acne). over the course of a normal day, i have to stuff envelopes, wait tables, and clean up animal waste and crime scenes (which is weird, considering it’s a glass factory). i get paid 45 cents an hour and i’m chained to my station. Plus, the lady who works next to me smacks her gum.


In other words: shut up, Emry.

RachelNovember 6th, 2010 at 11:36 am

@Jade: I totally fell into that trap, and now I have shit jobs. Make sure you explain this to every college student, and explain how to get an internship.

I totally, honestly, did not understand internships, or that I could get them even if I wasn’t in an program that required it.

BikeLizardNovember 6th, 2010 at 1:53 pm

Maybe you were supposed to have experience so you’d know that thinking ‘well, he or she IS the boss…” is a giant red flag? That job sounds horrendous, from the sexual harassment by soccer ball to the 140 mi round trip commute.

To all of the commenters who show up here just to say ‘This job wasn’t bad,” what is your deal? Normally, there is something illegal going on. That’s the definition of bad. Maybe you’re a crazy manager who’s thinking “I know that girls love to get smacked on the butt!” I’m not trying to be combative, I’m genuinely curious.

wolfpackNovember 7th, 2010 at 2:27 am

beat me to it, hellcat.

shut up, emry. get a real job.

BriNovember 7th, 2010 at 7:23 am

@ Jade Lynn, most companies are doing fewer internships each year, which makes competition fierce. That’s also assuming you can find an internship in your field. And yeah, volunteer work is great, but I can honestly say that volunteering with disabled children meant less to employers than the three months I spent working as a cashier at a video store. Employers don’t value volunteer work.

brittNovember 7th, 2010 at 12:14 pm

You went through 4 years of college without working?

rawrNovember 7th, 2010 at 9:04 pm

I think the only places that actually give a shit about volunteering experience are med schools, I guess to prove you have empathy and aren’t going to use your medical powers for evil and shit.

Jade LynnNovember 8th, 2010 at 8:22 am

Bri – I work in recruiting and HR and weed through hundreds of resume’s a day including recent college grad openings. If you don’t have some relevant internship, volunteer experience, or part time work experience its a huge strike against you when so many other candidates do.

If the competition is fierce, get fiercer. This is your life we’re talking about here. Any decent university should have programs in place to hook students up with internships, especially if your in a program that requires internship work in order to graduate.

A lot of time you can make basic college experiences even look good on a resume like athelic pursuits, Greek invovlement, student government, etc. You can’t just show up to class, not get invovled and expect that to be all you need.
Also, make sure to have an experienced/professional eye take a look at your resume and tweak it. A decent formated and written resume that focuses on your achievements can make a world of diffrence.

Excuses just won’t get you anywhere. Not saying its easy as I’ve been there and done that but you have to find a way to be your own best adovcate and power yourself forward.

Jade LynnNovember 8th, 2010 at 8:26 am

Also, there’s lots of companies out there’s lots of companies othere that offer management trainee programs which can suck while your there but look AWESOME on a resume later like Walgreens, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, and Hertz. These places basically only hire recent college grads and are excellent proving grounds to kickstart a career.

Sometimes your going to have to work some jobs that are hard and cruddy to get where you want to be but I can’t tell you how many employers I’ve worked with who specifically requested candidates from those types of backgrounds.

JChiefNovember 8th, 2010 at 9:13 am

I suggest landing an on-campus job while one is in school. They understand your schedule and priorities, which is a huge plus, and it’s not exactly rocket science. It made me look like I was doing more in my college years than blowing off classes and getting drunk, which was the truth of the matter.

MeshellNovember 8th, 2010 at 10:49 am

Are we really providing advice to the OP after they graduated college? Shucks, if only the OP had a time machine ;)

Good advice, but a bit derailing, me thinks. That’s a really crummy job no matter how naive the OP was at the time. I experienced similar so I feel for the OP doing the best that they can with what they have. Besides, this American Dream nonsense that sends people off to college with the idea of “work hard and go to college” is the real problem, not work experience or college involvement.

JeffNovember 8th, 2010 at 11:55 am

I’m not sure why people are dumping on the OP. Sounds like she made the best of a bad situation. No one wants to be paid to use their judgment to hire people only to be frequently overruled. And the OP was certainly right not to agree to resign.

opNovember 10th, 2010 at 7:33 pm

op here. LOL I can’t believe the posted my submission. It was longer then I thought it would be. LOL. I got madder and madder remembering this, so that’s why my grammar got worse towards the end. I recommend working while in college, despite of what your mom says. That’s the moral of the story. And yes, I applied at fast food like mcd’s and they just looked at me like a moron. Glad that part of my life’s over with. That guy was an idiot.

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