Today was a bit of an eye opening day for me. Eye opening in the sense of seeing how people have fallen to a new low. I’m not sure if it’s a low of their self respect or a low in their knowledge of proper etiquette for a job interview.
They’re currently hiring more customer service agents where I’m working and we had a handful of people come in. The first one was my niece, she had her hair straightened, her makeup done and business attire as she should have been. The other people that came in after her were, for lack of better description, like a busload of tourists let go at a flea market.
They came in sneakers, stretch pants and ponytails. The topper to the day started while I was at lunch. Someone came in and they walked her into the break room as the prior person wasn’t finished yet. Just as she went to sit down she was asked to come into the other room. I was in the break room for about another 20 minutes before returning to my desk. As I sit down, I noticed a young boy getting in and out of a car in the parking lot. He couldn’t have been more than 10 years old and he was moving around a lot. When I asked my coworkers, no one seemed to know if the girl had come in that car. I walked up the window when I thought I saw tiny fingers stick out one of the car windows. At that point my maternal instinct kicked in and I grabbed my boss and told him that there were children in the car out in the parking lot heat. I told him that I wanted to bring them inside the building and he walked out with me. As I got to the door of the car, I found a baby that was maybe four months old at the most! The young boy was nervous and kept saying that he just didn’t know us and wanted his sisters permission. My corporate supervisor that was there doing the interviews came out and told him that his sister gave permission.
The young boy was nervous and did everything right by not trusting us so I couldn’t blame him at all. He picked up the baby and walked around to the drivers side door where there was a toddler that could not have been two years old yet. He set the baby down and then took the toddler out and set him on the pavement. I immediately picked him up and told the boy to get the baby and I would hold the toddler because he was barefoot and couldn’t be on the hot tar. Poor little boy just seemed to give in and go in the building with us. My boss was busy getting two glasses of ice water when corporate brought the mother in the room.
The little boy told his sister, the girl interviewing, that the baby had a dirty diaper. She reached over and touched the diaper several times and said “it’s okay, he’s just wet”. The boy told her that the baby had soiled the diaper. She told him to go to the car and get a diaper. I took the baby and held him until the boy came in with a diaper. She was going to let him sit in that dirty diaper, not to mention already letting him sit in a hot car! She said that she didn’t have a babysitter and sounded like she was just rounding up one today and no one could help. I understand completely that in times of last minute needs, getting a babysitter is hard. But I also happen to know that because of the 4th of July holiday, these interviews were scheduled two weeks ago. She she had plenty of time to schedule someone. Even if not, why not just say something instead of leaving them in the car in this horrid heat?
I hate to think it but I don’t think she’s going to be asked back but she’s probably the one that really needs it.
The saying is true that you only have one chance to make a first impression and the ones that came in after my niece today were just mind blowing. These past few days of experiencing my own interview and then today with what I’ve seen, has truly opened my eyes in shock. What happened to having enough respect for yourself and others to show up clean and prepared? I can understand if you cannot afford more but you can tell when that’s the case. But today it was just total lack of effort. Do they assume that they’ll get the job anyway so they show up like that? Would that be called entitlement or disrespect?
Tomorrow, I believe, we will have more applicants and I’m almost afraid of what we’ll see. I do not want to see more children left in cars nor anyone wearing flip flops in. I hope that someone will come in and be prepared and dressed as properly as they can be and without stretch pants!
I’m going to hope for the best because they really do have great people working there now and they deserve to have someone nice working with them. They need someone that works hard but can still take a joke and tell a joke also. I can hope for that for them. Fingers crossed for tomorrow.