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Fighting Hire With Fire

| Working | September 3, 2012

(I work for a nonprofit employment agency and am interviewing interested applicants for a large local manufacturing company.)

Me: “So, tell me about yourself.”

Client: “I’m 62 years old. I could be collecting social security, but I’m not. I want to work, unlike OTHER lazy people my age.”

Me: “Okay, so have you ever convicted of a felony or a misdemeanor, and if so, what was it?”

Client: “Yeah, I was convicted of an OUI a few years ago. Oh, I guess I should also tell you that I was convicted of a CSC [criminal sexual conduct felony] a few years ago, too. I kept trying to get in touch with HER but she won’t get back to me. She keeps ignoring me. She’s a liar! But I’m working with the American Civil Liberties Union to get it off my record, because I’m innocent. I donate a lot of money to the ACLU. Do you donate to the ACLU? You should. They do a lot good of things. But anyway, it might be off my record now. It should be. Well, but I’m still on the sex offender list.

Me: “…”

Client: “Don’t tell anyone, but I’m also suing the city and the county. Nothing has been decided yet, but I’ve got a really good lawyer. It’s because I’m innocent, and they really did me a number. They’re really corrupt!”

(I ask a few more questions, but here’s the grand finale of the interview…)

Client: “Listen, would you like to go out sometime?”

(Needless to say, he wasn’t hired!)

Don’t Get Yuppity With Me

| Right | April 23, 2012

(I worked in a call center for an organization that helped people pay their light and gas bills based on their income. It’s Fall of 2011.)

Me: “How may I help you?”

Caller: “Yes, I have an application that says 2009-2010. Can I turn that in?”

Me: “No, ma’am, we’re only accepting ones for this season, so it needs to be one that says 2011-2012. I’ll send you a new one.”

Caller: “All right. I fill that out and mail it in?”

Me: “Yup!”

Caller: “Well, that’s stupid, but I’ll do it. By the way, do you say ‘yup’ a lot?”

Me: *joking* “I say variations of yes all the time like ‘yup’, ‘you bet’, ‘of course’, and sometimes, even ‘yuppers’!”

Caller: “Well, [caller’s name] taught English for many years, and ‘yup’ is not correct grammar. It annoys [caller’s name] very much!”

Canada, America’s Hat, Part 6

| Right | February 2, 2012

(Our company is part of a global organization that holds weekend teaching conferences across North America.)

Caller: “Do you ever have programs in Canada, or just in the States?”

Me: “Our territory covers North America. We have programs in the US, Canada, and Bermuda.”

Caller: “Canada isn’t part of North America.”

Me: “Yes it is. Canada is part of North America.”

Caller: “Typical American attitude! Canada is its OWN country!”

Like Father, Like Run

, , , , | Right | May 17, 2010

(A man brings in his father, who doesn’t speak a word of English.)

Customer: “Excuse me, how much are your rooms?”

Me: “Sir, we don’t have rooms here.”

Customer: “Oh, not your room, sorry. I mean, how much does it cost for you to take care of my father?”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Customer: “He has some issues and, frankly, I don’t think I want him around anymore.”

Me: “Sir, this is not a hotel or a nursing home.”

Customer: “This isn’t Social Services?”

Me: “No, this is [non-profit] Social Services, and we don’t offer what you’re looking for.”

Customer: “Look, how much is it going to cost me to leave here today without my father with me?”

Mentally Pre(Car)ious

, , , , | Right | February 1, 2010

(I work for a non-profit counseling office.)

Caller: “My boyfriend dumped me and took his car back, so I want to get a car.”

Me: “Are you looking for financial assistance with a down payment?”

Caller: “No, I want a car. My friend told me that you people get donated cars and you give them to people who need them. I need one.”

Me: “Ma’am, I am afraid that’s not the case. We don’t have any sort of car or transportation programs at our agency.”

Caller: “Are you calling my friend a liar?”

Me: “No, I am simply stating a fact. Our agency does not, nor have we ever had a program where we gave out cars.”

Caller: “This is ridiculous! Then what exactly is it that you DO do?”

Me: “We provide psychological counseling and community referrals. I could refer you to another agency that might be able to help you get a car.”

Caller: “I don’t need counseling! I NEED A FREE CAR! You should be ashamed of yourself!”