They didn’t give ME the job. Everyone, please look at me.
Hear my plight.
I was turned down for a job. Me. I smell nepotism. I smell favouritism. I smell INJUSTICE.
Ok, I may have to clear the air here. I’m as bitter as I’ll ever be. Emotions are usually displayed through actions and right now I have a sign hanging off my wall that reads “Fuck the SU cafe” in red ink. If the cafe winds up dead tomorrow, I’m sure to be one of the prime suspects.
Why am I this caustic? Let me catch you up to speed.
Cut to six weeks ago. Fade in to a boy with no purpose. A boy that had a lot of growing to do. A melodramatic boy that that happens to be talking in the third person to stir up engagement. That boy was… me.
Cue object of desire from stage left that will almost inevitably bring character development. That object of desire sat perched on the cafe counter, glistening and emitting an almost siren song.
Ok, so it was actually a crumpled piece of paper with a stain on it but allow me some room to breathe here. It was advertising a job behind the counter in a cafe but there was just something about it. That something might have been the fact that the staff weren’t serving customers at the time and were instead playing “Who wants to be a millionaire?”. A better name would probably have been “Who wants to be a minimum wage earner? (limited effort edition)”. The answer is me, Chris. That is my final answer.
The kicker was that they asked only for an application. A creative application. My first idea was macaroni art and finger painting but the budget only allowed for penne pasta and different shades of brown paint so I was back to the drawing board. Here were the application questions:
Outline any relevant experience: Funny story. I don’t have any of this so called “relevant experience”. That’s why an application was so enticing. Nobody wants any pasta glued to a CV but an application is a different ball park. This was the one section I really had to be serious for so I laid out my most relevant experience. Firstly, I sold gravel to builders and pretended they were precious gems because gosh making lemonade was difficult. I was a travelling gravel salesman. Secondly, I’ve watched a lot (and I mean a lot) of animals get neutered. Of course, I had to sweeten the pot for the employer. Everyone lies in their application so I threw in that I would neuter or put down any dogs that came into the cafe. This was just a little white lie. Finally, I told them about my time volunteering and making watery tea. Almost every time I made tea, it was almost immediately sent back. Huh. Maybe that was the part I should have lied in.
Describe yourself in three words: Oh. So this one didn’t take much thought at all. I injected so much self-deprecation into this thing that it was almost a whole, real human being. They don’t want you filling in that you are creative and hard-working. They want the unfiltered and gritty truth. Listen. I’ve always been AD. I’ve never told anyone else this. Similarly, I’ve kept it a secret all of my life that I’m EQ a lot of the time. Well, a lot of people know that I’m UATE so I put that down too. My three words were AD-EQ-UATE. You’re damn right they were.
Why, other than for money, would you like to work at the SU cafe?: I filled in how much I wanted their camaraderie and my intense desire to handle processed meats and various types of bread. Well, in an ideal world that’s what I did. We do not live in a perfect world. I just filled the box with loads of different words for money. Clams. Moola. Squids. You name it, I had it. There was also things like experience and community sprinkled in. They aren’t actually other words for money but they were littered there for an employer who really cared.
Tell us about yourself: I have a great passion for sandwich making. All of the other “hobbies” I wrote down pale in comparison. People joke about subway workers being called “sandwich artists” but those who laugh are only eaters. In this world, there are eaters and there are makers. Makers create the beautiful while eaters destroy this beauty. We artists do not care for that is our essence. The eaters point there grubby fingers at our “paints” and then the dance begins. A flash of lettuce. The casual flick of a slice of ham. Butter sliding across an expanse. In that moment, it is alive. That time is enough for a true artist.
The back: Well, I was trying to take some professional pictures for the application. On a whim, I decided to do an anime pose and a guy walked in on it so I thought it deserved to make it in there. Oh and a list of my favourite movies. Yes. Uh huh. Yes, of course, School of Rock is third on the list. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I haven’t even told you the funniest thing about this application. It got selected for the interview phase. My aim for this interview was not just to impress. My aim was to topple the Pablo Pestobar (Yes, this was a twist on the name Pablo Escobar. Quite astute of you). This place sure knew how to make puns. I mean these puns definitely compromised the taste because “The Pestobar” was just made with pesto but it’s the pun that holds the power.
I’ll eat pesto and white bread just for that rush.
So, of course, I didn’t practice any real job interview questions. No my focus was elsewhere. I created the “Leonardo DiCeapaire” for an Irish themed event. I had “Green Eggs and Ham” which is really just pesto, ham and eggs. The taste may be sacrificed for the pun in this one as well.
Then came my magnum opus.
They say creativity is a flash of something inhuman. I had reached between the stars and into the aether for this one. The Star Wars themed sandwich to release around the premiere of “The Last Jedi”.
Ham Solo and R2-TEA2.
If the interview started going south, I knew that I could fall back on this masterstroke. Even still, my confidence was knocked when another interview stumbled out, shaking and saying “there are so many people in there”.
Here’s a small issue: I don’t think anyone in that cafe had ever seen an interview before.
I walked in to see every single person who worked in the SU cafe surrounding an armchair in a semi-circle. It was the sandwich council. A deli hive mind. Their first question was obviously designed to put me even more on edge.
“What do you like to do?”
This wasn’t how it was meant to go. That was a god damn curveball. Where were the direct questions about sandwich names? I told them about keeping a blog of my embarrassing moments and they asked if I could share one. My trap had been sprung. I gave them a coy smile.
“Yeah. I might have one in mind.”
I proceeded to perform The Wright Girl to them. The written version pales in comparison to this act. This is the definitive version. The final scene ended with a feeble yet desperate reach for an imaginary, empty toilet roll. They had no roses to throw at me but they sure wish they had. I gave them a few minutes to collect themselves before they asked the next question.
“H-h-how do we g-get more people to c-c-come to the cafe?”
They really did like walking into my traps. My smile got coyer.
“As a matter of fact, I may have something that just might topple the Pestobar.”
A tense silence filled the room. Yes, I was indeed referring to the Pablo Pestobar. I was indeed challenging the king. I threw out a couple of duds to get a feel for the room.
“Hmm. What about the Marilyn Mon(rye bread) sandwich. Oh shooks! No, I do have better! I swear! Katy Peri-Peri? Yes, I agree. It does need something more.”
I leaned back.
“I guess I might have one that would take your fancy.”
I dropped the game.
“What about Ham Solo and R2-TEA2?”
I had transcended to my authentic self in that interview and just in time to get a job and enter a hive mind.
Boy, I sure did get to crash back to my fake self the next day when the manager got back to me. If you see a “U” in a job response, just start packing. It is never anything but unfortunately. I kept hope and thought it might say “U got job” but no. There was a huge number of applicants and a tough decision too.
Oh gosh and golly! John, I really hope this didn’t strain you too much. I know this will weigh heavy on you.
Of course, I asked him for constructive criticism to find things to improve. He told me that the standard was high and that there were over 30 applicants! Next time I can just narrow the pool of applicants and, of course, lower the standard. Why couldn’t I see that before? Everyone say “thank you” to John from the SU cafe!
So, this will be an end to this chapter in my life. Yes, I am counting it as an entire chapter. People refer to me as “Sandwich guy” in college now and I really don’t have the heart to break the news. As a final word, if you ever hear that I’ve suffered from an aneurism, it will more than likely be because of a seeing a certain poster of a certain stolen sandwich idea.