Don't Be a Little Johnny
Typically, my blogs are about building your dreams through job seeking and hiring skills. But today, I decided I would share a story that is stranger than fiction and you can take from it what you will.
Shortly after starting Workforce Strategies, I was recruiting for an entry level manufacturing position. I had a young man apply who had been working in quality assurance for an auto parts manufacturer.
Since it seemed like a potential fit, I scheduled him to come to my office for an in-person interview.
On the day of the scheduled interview, a car pulls into the parking lot right outside of my office window. A mature lady and young man get out of the car and proceed toward the building. I wonder to myself, “is that my interview? Who is this woman coming in with him?” The door opens and here’s what happened:
Mature Lady (standing in the doorway to my office, with young man tucked safely behind her): I’m Mrs. So&So, Little Johnny has an interview with you.
Me: Is that Little Johnny behind you? (Mind you, Little Johnny is 26 years old)
Mature Lady: Yes, this is him.
Me: Could you please let him in? Mrs. So&So, you are welcome to wait in our lobby or your car, whichever is most comfortable for you.
Mature Lady to Little Johnny: Go in and sit down, I will wait in the car for you. Come out when you are finished.
Me: …. Good Morning Little Johnny, I am Terri, it is a pleasure to meet you.
Little Johnny: (slumps into nearest office chair, legs fully extended in front of him, head touching the back of the chair, one hand touching the floor, in an almost laying down position) Hey.
Me: (I look out my office window to see if Little Johnny left his spine in the parking lot, because clearly it was not supporting him.)
Being the gracious hostess and interviewer that I am, I begin the interview with, “Where are you currently working?”
Little Johnny: I don’t know.
Me: I’m sorry, what? You don’t know where you work?
Little Johnny: Nah, I go to XYZ Manufacturing facility, and look to see what they have F@!&#$ up and send it back to be fixed. But I don’t work for them. I work for somebody they hired, that’s who pays me.
Me: I’m sorry, did you just say the “F” word?
Little Johnny: Oh, I don’t know, did I? Sorry about that. But yeah, they F@!&#$ up a lot of s&^% there. I just tell them to fix it.
Me: (Looking around for a camera, because surely, I am being Punked, and scrolling the index of my mind, to figure out which of my devious friends set this up and is laughing at me.) Little Johnny, you have now said the “F” word twice during this interview and its only been about 60 seconds.
Little Johnny: Oh, I didn’t mean too. But for real, they screw up a lot and I need another job. I wrecked my truck and my Mom won’t drive me to work there. When can I start?
Me: Little Johnny, I want to help you so here is the best I have to offer. Never, ever, ever…. say the “F” word during an interview or admit you don’t know where you work. There is no WAY I could send you to represent me or my company when you so casually use the “F” in conversation and have no idea that you said it. Not to mention you don’t know where you work! I believe we are done here.
Little Johnny: Oh ok…but when can I start, I need a job like now.
Me: We are all finished with this interview, thank you for coming.
Little Johnny: Ok cool. When do I start and how much will I make?
Me: (Fully convinced that Little Johnny needs help I am not qualified to provide) WE…. ARE…. FINISHED. You need to leave now please. Good Luck in your job search.
Little Johnny: Oh, you want me to leave?
Me: Yes, yes, I do.
(Little Johnny gathers up his spineless body and slinks out the door to his mother’s car.)
As Little Johnny walks away from the building, I step into the hallway of my office suite only to be greeted by my co-worker who is now standing at the other end of the hall.
Co-worker: Did he say the “F” word?
Me: Yes, yes, he did, more than once. (shaking my head in utter disbelief)
Both of Us: (hysterical LOUD laughing ensues because, well, what else is supposed to happen)
Suddenly the office door opens and in walks the owner of the business next door to our office…..
Business Owner: I don’t know what you two are drinking, but you better share right now. What is going on in here!?
We proceed to tell her the above story…..
Business Owner: Shaking her head….I don’t know how you guys do this job, people are crazy! (walks out the door)
Later the same day, the phone rings and I answer with my usual polite, professional, “Thank you for calling Workforce Strategies, how may I help you?”
Caller: I need an “F&%$#@*” job!
Me: (looking at the phone in utter disbelief) I’m sorry we don’t have any openings.
Caller: begins to laugh……
It is the Business Owner's husband!!! She called him and shared the events of the day. He apparently has a sense of humor or too much time on his hands, possibly both. (Funny truth: a few months later, Business Owner’s husband DID go to work for me!)
Here are a few of take aways for job seekers…..
Don’t bring your Mom to an interview.
Do bring your spine to the interview.
If you enjoy using colorful language, do you….but not during an interview.
Know the name of the company that signs your paycheck.
Here are a few take aways for hiring managers and HR Professionals….
Using my services prevents you from dealing with the “Little Johnny’s” of the world, and their mothers.
Maintain your professionalism at all times, even if that means biting your cheek until it bleeds.
And lastly, always have good co-workers and neighbors who will laugh with you when days like this happen, because inevitably, days like this WILL happen.
If you enjoyed this blog, because truth IS stranger than fiction, please visit our website at www.workforcestrategies.biz and on all social media platforms. We take the hassle out of hiring!
Build your dreams,
**fictitious names have been used in this story to protect the innocent and the strange**