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The Worst Helicopter Parent To Have Ever Helicoptered

, , , , , , , , | Working | March 29, 2023

We are hiring for an entry-level admin assistant in the office. It’s a great opportunity for someone to get experience in an office environment, so we have a lot of candidates. To speed things along and to keep things initially casual for nervous first-time jobseekers, we run group interviews in an open green area next to our lobby.

It’s a lovely spring day, and each candidate (about eight of them in attendance) is going through their introductions when a car screeches into the parking lot. The lobby is separating us from the lot (it’s a private green surrounded by the office building — nice and private) but the car is so loud we can all hear it.

We look over to see a harried-looking woman storming out of the car, illegally parked in front of the building. One of the interviewees suddenly goes pale.

Interviewee: “Oh, no.”

The woman barges past security in the lobby screaming about something. She looks past the lobby, through the glass doors, and into our little group. Her eyes go wide and she beelines for us.

Interviewee: *To me and the other interviewers* “From the bottom of my heart, I apologize for what is about to happen.”

The woman tries to make it to the green, but security finally stops her momentum. We can now hear her.

Woman: “That’s my son! I did not give him permission to be here without me present!”

We look at the now-red interviewee.

Interviewee: “Yes, that’s my mother. I’m also eighteen, as you saw on my application, so I don’t need her permission.”

Security may have stopped her, but she isn’t going anywhere, so I feel it best to step into the lobby and speak to the woman.

Me: “Ma’am, please calm down and explain to me your issue.”

Woman: *Not calming down* “That is my son in there! I am to be present at all his job interviews! I have made this clear on all the resumés I sent out for him!”

[Interviewee] approaches behind me.

Interviewee: “Mom! I sent my own resumé for this job! No one is going to take a resumé seriously when the mother demands to be in the room for the interview!”

Woman: “Nonsense! You are my son and—”

Me: “And he is also a legal adult, ma’am, and does not need permission from his mother to be here. This interview is for candidates and interviewers only.”

Woman: *To her son* “Come on now, [Interviewee]! This is obviously not the place for you!”

Me: “Ma’am, please leave at once or we will call the police and have you arrested for trespassing.”

Woman: “I am not leaving without my son!”

Interviewee: *To me* “I’m really, really sorry. I know her, and she will get herself arrested rather than stand down. I don’t even know how she knew I was here. I’m going to leave with her. I am sorry to have wasted your time.”

He then grabs his mother by the arm, and they march out fast. He looks embarrassed and she looks triumphantly smug.

After a quick break, we continue the interview and eventually find a candidate. A few months later, another position opens up. Feeling sorry for that young man, I dig out the resumé and call him back up and ask him to come in for an interview.

Interviewee: “You… you remember me, right?”

Me: “Young man, I don’t think I could ever forget you.”

Interviewee: “You still want to consider me for a position after what happened?”

Me: “One of the requirements of the position is ‘can work under pressure’. Young man, if your mother is anything to go by, nothing in our office will compare to the pressure you must be under at home. Now, we can conduct a private interview, inside the building, away from the parking lot, at [date and time]. Would you be interested?”

Interviewee: “Oh, my goodness, yes! Thank you so much!”

He was early. He did not bring his mother. He got the job.

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