This is an actual true story. I’m saying this now because you might read this and think “there is no way that that actually happened” but I assure you, it did.
The year was 2009. I was just finishing up my Master’s Degree and wondering what I should do next. Jack and I were living in the centre of Cork in Ireland. Jack was working in a supermarket and he hated it. It was a magnet for thieves, alcoholics and junkies. Imagine my chagrin one day when Jack returns from work informing me that there was a position available on the tills. I tried to explain that I didn’t need a summer job. I tried to convince Jack that we were doing fine financially because I still had some money left from my previous job. That would have been believable if our main source of food hadn’t been jam on biscuits.
So I agreed to attend an interview. What Jack didn’t know was that I did not want this job. I had worked for this supermarket chain before and I knew that they were not a pleasant company to work for. I also had a college degree and felt that I should have been doing something more closely related to my studies, like puppeteering or juggling.
When the day of the interview came, I decided that I would do everything in my power to NOT get the job. that way, I could pretend to Jack that I tried, I really tried but alas, it wasn’t to be.
Firstly, I didn’t just not make an effort to dress up, I actively chose the worst outfit I could possibly wear. I put on one of Jack’s t-shirts and the grey pair of sweat pants I usually reserved for Cops marathons. Basically, imagine this:
Jack had already submitted my CV, so I couldn’t draw up a crap one. Instead, I planned to be as apathetic and disengaged as possible.
When I arrived in the store, I had to actively avoid Jack. After all, if he saw me in his ‘liquor in the front, poker in the back’ t-shirt and cops sweat pants, he probably would have gotten suspicious.
If I thought I looked “unusual”, she could have passed for the love child of Mr. T and Vanilla Ice. She was wearing a cheap suit, and all, yes all, of her fingers were adorned with gold rings. I wasn’t sure whether I was supposed to shaker her hand or kiss it. She was also wearing this giant gold medallion that made her look like an extra out of Scarface.
She smiled at me and yep, took absolutely ZERO notice of my attire. In fact, I’m guessing she was planning some kind of Salt N’ Peppa collaboration.
She had my CV in hand.
“Hi Jane. Thanks for coming at such short notice. We are quite stuck for new staff so…” she trailed off, smiling at me. CRAP, I thought, I’m really going to have to up my game.
“It’s okay. Although you’ll have to excuse me, I was out last night and the hangover hasn’t really subsided.” Heh heh.
“Tell me about it! I had to come in at eight!”
So the smell radiating from her polyester suit wasn’t cheap perfume, it was last night’s wine. Wonderful.
“So Jane, I see you’ve worked in one of our stores before. Why did you leave?”
Okay, I thought, in for the kill. Come on, Jane. GAME FACE.
“I hated it. Especially my manager.”
There was silence. YES, I thought, looking smugly at my Cops pants and silently promising them that soon we would be engrossed in the best marathon yet.
“I don’t blame you. I know her. She’s not exactly easy to get on with.” She was smiling at me. SMILING.
Okay, I thought while panicking, I have to resort to desperate measures.
“Jane, you say you like to go travelling. Where have you been?”
I shrugged. “I’ve been to France. It’s such a lovely city.”
She is scanning through my CV, nodding. OH COME ON, I feel like shouting, I JUST CALLED FRANCE A CITY. But she’s not listening.
“Okay. I think that’s all we need to know. When can you start?” One of her false eyelashes has fallen off and is stuck to her cheek.
“Um…three weeks?” And you guessed it, she thinks that’s an absolutely totally reasonable amount of time for me to delay.
So I got the job. Now, for anyone thinking that I’m just being some spoiled and ungrateful cow, during my time working in this store, I got attacked by a homeless alcoholic, the security guard got fired for stealing from the company and I saw a thirteen year old try to steal a six pack and have his jaw broken by said security guard. That actually happened on my conveyor belt while I was serving a customer.
I lasted three months.