Shades of Jimmy Two-times
: shifty-looking, greasy guy in slacks, light blue shirt and poorly-tied tie drops off an application at the desk and, like so many before him, nervously asks if there is anyone he can speak to about an interview. My boilerplate goes something like, "There's nobody to talk to at the moment, they'll call you if they want to set up an interview." Like I said, applicants ask me if there's someone they can speak to all the time, and the answer is always no, for the simple reason that we get approximately three billion applications per day. It's enough of a chore for the store manager to go through the applications; meeting personally with every applicant, or even a significant percentage of applicants, is right out. Don't call us, prospective BN employee. We will call you.
This wouldn't be much of an entry if Greasy'd responded to my standard line with "okay" and walked away, and sure enough, he was deeply, deeply unsatisfied with my estimation of his chances of getting the on-the-spot interview to which it turned out he felt entitled.
"There's nobody I can talk to?"
"No, the hiring manager isn't in today.1
And they never do on-the-spot interviews."
Greasy thinks for a minute, then stammers out, "And, um, what's the hiring manager's name?"
"Well, can I call
her to set up an interview?"
I am officially annoyed now. "Sure, you can, but to be honest it won't do you any good. They
if they're interested in hiring you."
Greasy, nervous grin: "I know but, the thing is, I've heard that before, and then they never call back, you know? I just want to talk to someone, because, you know, I want to work
! I'm a hard worker and I love books and I just don't want to have to listen to the lies....surely it wouldn't hurt just to call..."
Sigh. "It won't hurt3
but it won't help either, dude."
"Okay, thank you
. While I'm here, can I check on an order I placed with you?"
Motherfucker is apparently congenitally incapable of waiting for us to call him, no matter what the circumstances. For the love of God, people, when we say we will call you when your order comes in, we mean WE WILL CALL YOU WHEN YOUR ORDER COMES IN. See elsewhere in this blog for the potential results of not heeding this advice.
Another boilerplate response for Greasy: "Did they call you to tell you the book was in?"
The answer, same as always: "No."4
"What's your number." He gives it to me. No open orders for that number. Same goes for his name. According to the system, he doesn't exist. If only. I suggest that perhaps he placed the order at a different store.
so.....is this the Astor Place store?"
"No, the Astor Place store is at Astor Place."
Greasy looks confused for a moment before smiling. "Ah! That's
where I placed it! So sorry! Thank you!" He leaves, continuing to apologize on his way out. I wish I could say for certain that there's no way he will get hired but you never know around here.
BUT WAIT THERE'S MORE. Fast forward about two hours and Greasy comes back up to the desk. I figure he's going to make another attempt to get his on-the-spot interview, and I'm half right; he does attempt to get an interview, but he does so as he's filling out another application for employment as if he didn't do so just a few hours earlier. This time, Brad Baines the manager is there to deal with him and is much more polite than I was, telling Greasy to give the application directly to either him or the other manager on the floor, Uncle Jesse, as if any of that makes a difference. All of this while hearing more or less the exact same spiel I heard about how nobody ever calls him back and he just wants to work and he's an excellent worker and he's tired of being lied to and blah blah blah.
Then, because it just wouldn't be complete otherwise, he heads over to one of my coworkers and asks him to check on an order he placed.
The result is the same, of course; he's not in the system because he didn't place an order with our store. My coworker suggests that he might have placed the order at another store, perhaps the one on 18th St and 5th Ave. "Or," I suggest pointedly, "maybe the one on Astor Place."
Lather, rinse, repeat. I'm willing to bet Greasy didn't order the book at the Astor Place store, either. I imagine some employee at the Astor Place BN has a story to tell that is very similar to mine.
1 This was a lie.
2 Obviously this name has been changed. The hiring manager's real name is Andrea Dworkin.
3 Potentially a lie, as I'd be willing to bet that the store manager has had occasion to toss out someone's application if they bug him enough. Not that Greasy is likely to get an interview once Store Manager Bob sees the post-it I attached to his application bearing the words "THIS GUY IS A NUTJOB DO NOT CALL HIM".
4 The only possible explanation for my continuing to ask this question of every single person who comes in or calls asking to check the status of an order is that it is my way of saying "Fuck you, moron, if it was here we would have called you" without actually, you know, saying it. It certainly isn't because it works; the customer invariably says they haven't received a call, and invariably wants me to check to see if the order has come in regardless.