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Age Before Beauty

| Working | December 1, 2016

(I own a small business and have advertised for a new receptionist because my former one had moved out of state. I’m wearing my coveralls over my suit because I have just been to a super store to buy supplies in bulk for my business. I come out of my office with a dolly and roll it past two women waiting to be interviewed. I go to my truck and unload the supplies and then roll them up to the front door. The elder of the two women is standing by the door holding it open so I can roll my supplies in.)

Older Woman: “Do you need to be checked-in? I saw a hand-held scanner on the desk and can check you in if you need me to.”

Me: “You know how to use a hand-held?”

Older Woman: “Yes, I used to check-in vendors at my last job all the time.”

(She goes to the reception desk and picks up the hand held scanner and asks what the name on the invoice is as well as the invoice number and the amount on the invoice. Then she expertly scans each item as I call out the amount per item etc. This goes on for a few moments and then the phone rings.)

Older Woman: *to younger woman* “Would you get that, please, so I can finish checking in this vendor?”

Younger Woman: “No, why should I? I don’t work here.”

(The older woman politely excuses herself and goes to the desk and answers the phone, telling the person on the other end that Mr. My Name isn’t in and could she take a message? She takes the message, including the caller’s name and phone number, leaves it on the desk, and then comes back to me to finish checking me in.)

Me: *to the two women* “I’m going to take these supplies back to the supply closet and see if Mr. [My Name] is back yet. Sometimes he comes in by the back way.”

(I go to my office, take off my coveralls to reveal my suit, and peek my head around the door. I point to the older of the two women and tell her the boss will see her.)

Me: *to the older woman* “As far as I’m concerned, you’re hired.”

(We chat a little bit and I tell her how impressed I am by her professionalism.)

Older Woman: “Thank you, sir. I love irony. Out there while we were waiting, [Younger Woman] told me you’d take one look at her and hire her on the spot based on her looks alone.”

Me: “Please send her in now. I want to make sure she understands why I won’t hire someone as unhelpful as she is.”

(I hired the older woman and am happy to announce that she was the best receptionist I ever had. She worked for me for 14 years until she retired.)

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