KingMidget's Ramblings

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When Did Things Change?


Way back when I was a wee tadpole of a lad, seventeen and fresh out of high school and waiting for college to start, I got my first “real” job.  I say real, because there was a job I had before that.

When I was 14 or 15, I spent the summer at a job I got through one of my sisters.  For a summer, we sat on lawn chairs at the California Highway Patrol Academy and watched stoned and drunk drivers make their way through an obstacle course.  Yes, that’s right, for one sweltering California summer, I worked on my tan while watching people exit a mobile home after they smoked pot or drank alcohol.  As they drove the obstacle course, I was one of many who observed and marked down how many cones they touched or knocked over.

But when it comes to real jobs … the kind you apply for an interview for … my first came towards the end of the summer of my 17th year.  In my memory, it went this way.  My mother made it clear it was maybe time for me to work.  I should get a job.  So, I applied for a job to keep her happy — not so I could get a job, but so it would appear that I cared and wanted a job.

It was a McDonald’s.  I submitted my application and got an interview with the manager and about 10-15 minutes later had my first job offer.  And my first job.  It lasted for two months until I quit as a birthday present to myself.

Fast forward more than 30 years and my oldest son struggles to find a job.  I won’t entirely defend him because there is much more he could do than he is doing, but he has applied for many jobs, walked into many businesses, and it just isn’t happening.  So, this week he got an interview.  Here’s what the interview was.

Three different interviews.  A separate interview with each of the company’s owners, and the third interview with a woman who works for the company.  If he passes that gauntlet, he will get a call for a “second interview” which really sounds like a “fourth interview” if you ask me.  The potential employer???

A yogurt shop.

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13 responses to “When Did Things Change?

  1. Carrie Rubin March 3, 2016 at 6:50 pm

    Seriously? A yogurt shop? Wow, I worked in a cinema in high school and then waitressed through college. Both jobs I interviewed with the manager; that was it. Your son’s yogurt shop interviews sound more like my interviews for residency! Crazy.

    My college freshman has a job on campus. He only had to meet with one person. I’ll tell him how lucky he was.

    • kingmidget March 3, 2016 at 7:15 pm

      Exactly. Twelve interviews for a job at a yogurt shop. He’ll probably have to be fingerprinted and pass a background check and have his credit checked.

      For some reason my son isn’t interested in a campus job. Wish I could convince him otherwise. I worked on campus for most of my college years. It’s convenient, generally easy, and flexible. But, no, not good enough for him. Sigh…

      • Carrie Rubin March 3, 2016 at 7:20 pm

        Definitely convenient for my son to work on campus. I wish I would’ve had that option. Riding my bike in the cold at two am after my restaurant shift was no fun. Then again, I never lived on campus so I guess it’s a moot point.

  2. cinthiaritchie March 3, 2016 at 8:20 pm

    So many interviews for a minimum-wage type job is crazy. My son’s first job was at a movie theater, and then he moved up to a supermarket (he was really excited about the change, too).
    I worked every job possible to put myself through college, from baking pizzas at Pizza Hut to waitressing at a bowling alley to a graveyard shift at Denny’s.
    I’d push for your son to work on campus. It’s SO much easier and more convenient to remain close to school. Plus employers are used to working with college-aged kids, which is a big plus.
    Cheers and good luck to your son.

  3. Amy Reese March 3, 2016 at 11:03 pm

    What?! This is crazy! The job market is really tough, but this is too much.

  4. John Callaghan March 4, 2016 at 7:21 am

    Holy moly. That is crazy. I know that here in Alberta when the economy is booming we gave to fly people in from all over just to meet the labour demand. McDonald’s even offers a signing bonus if you can believe that. Is the economy slow where you are?

  5. sknicholls March 4, 2016 at 10:57 pm

    That’s insane. How much do you need to know about a person’s capability to serve yogurt and count money? It’s not like he’s applying for branch manager. Maybe they’re looking at upward mobility potential.

    My second job was McDonald’s. I was a “swing manager”. I don’t even know if they still have that position. I understand it’s run a lot different now, than it was then. We never kept prepared food beyond ten minutes. Now they precook the meat, keep it in a warmer for more than an hour, and slap it together when you order. We also filtered the cooking oil every night, and they don’t do that anymore.

    My first job was a Nursing Technician at Doctor’s Hospital. (fancy name for nursing assistant) You didn’t have to be certified back then, just willing to learn. Those were the good ole days. Recalling those days just gave me an idea for a future post. Thanks, I’ll make a note.

    • kingmidget March 5, 2016 at 6:55 am

      “Kept prepared food beyond ten minutes” … only when corporate was there to evaluate. The other 51 weeks out of the year, we were told to change the little cards that indicated how long the food had been sitting there. 😉

      The level of interviews my son had to go through for the yogurt store really makes me wonder if it’s worth it. I wonder what it would be like to work for the people who came up with this gauntlet of interviews.

      • sknicholls March 5, 2016 at 8:01 am

        Yeah. I was thinking about that also. Most people are too worried about getting the job to realize interviews are a two way street and give you the opportunity to evaluate them as well.

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