Tuesday, January 26th, 2010
I’ve had the unenviable job of sending rejection letters to people applying for a job at my workplace recently. I’m not in admin or anything, but for some reason, people think I’m good at telling it like it is and rejecting people (don’t know where they get that crazy idea from). I have mentioned how hard it is to send these letters (and in some cases, how frustrating, due to the amount of people who apply for a job they have no experience in) on Twitter. One of my lovely followers, Lollingtons, decided to write me a job application letter on her blog, so that I could reject her. She’s a bit of a masochist like that.
First, click here to read Lollington’s letter to me. Then take a deep breath and read my kind and measured response below.
Thank you for taking the time to apply for the job we posted last week.
Having looked at your CV, I’m afraid wild monkeys are more qualified for the position than you.
To say we are concerned about your admiration for Heidi Montag is an understatement. If you ever got DDD breast implants, it would impede your ability to work as you wouldn’t be able to see over them. If you adopt the arrow eyebrow look it will either distract everyone or anger them to the point of wanting to bitch slap you and we don’t encourage violence in the workplace.
Your UGG boot collection would also be problematic, due to health and safety reasons. ‘Health’ because your feet will get so sweaty, if you ever take the boots off within a 10 mile radius of the office, we’ll have to fumigate the place (the cost of which, we would bill to you) and ‘Safety’ because we have an employee who has been known to wrestle UGG boots off people’s feet and beat them round the head with them. We cannot afford another lawsuit.
Your leggings, wetlook or otherwise, would also be a problem. They are not appropriate office attire. No one wants to stare at your cameltoe all day.
Unfortunately your dislike of musicals, Law & Order SVU, high heels and style means you would not gel with the rest of our workforce (in particular, one person, who lays the smack down on people who don’t like any of those things).
We feel that the wild monkey who could do the job better than you, most likely has better taste than you too.
Thank you again for making time in your busy schedule of Jeremy Kyle-watching and drunken Facebook photo-posting to apply for this job. We sincerely hope you find employment in the circus freak show in which you belong.
Sunday, December 14th, 2008
Thursday, February 7th, 2008
There are certain jobs where there’s a good camaraderie with your colleagues. Nightclub coat check girls form a bond, a code of ethics, a sense of loyalty not unlike that of say, the marines. When you go to work each night, you’re preparing for battle.
Oh sure, the beginning of the night is all air-kisses and pleasantries, but the end is a complete clusterfuck of cokeheads, drunks, lost tickets, screaming matches, ultimate fighting championships and police cars.
The club where I worked, in Ladbroke Grove, had previously been quite a hovel, notorious for drugs and violence. Then it was shut down and bought out by people who owned a chic hipster hangout, not far away, in Notting Hill. They gave it a makeover and it attracted a new, more up market crowd (read: hardcore cokeheads).
There were usually two or three of us working the coat check and a small army of security working the front of the club. They were there as much to protect us, as they were anything else. (That’s when they weren’t too preoccupied sexually harassing us.)
The majority of the night would be pretty fun. People would arrive within in a two-hour or so time span. Once all their coats had been hung, the rest of the night was spent horsing around, shooting the shit with security or sneaking into the club for a quick boogie.
Yep, it was all fun and games until the clock struck (the dreaded) 3am.
At 2.55am, my fellow coat check comrades and I would suit up and ready ourselves for war. At 3am, the music died, club doors flung open and a few hundred club goers descended on the coat check en masse.
They’d charge at us waving tickets, complaining they’d lost theirs or sometimes just wanted to engage you with their drunken tale of how they just broke up with their girlfriend.
Our job was to deal with all this as quickly as possible. The coat check was a pretty confined area so we were falling over ourselves and each other, digging through mounds of coats while trying to keep people calm and get the security guards hands off our asses.
People who’d lost their ticket had to wait till the end and that never went down well. They’d insist on holding everyone up while they drunkenly explain to you theirs is the black jacket with three buttons down the front, or was it four? No, wait, three. Maybe, two?
On one particularly busy night, a woman gave us her ticket and we looked for her coat. Try as we might, we couldn’t find it anywhere. She was out of it and extremely annoying. She kept screaming the description of the coat and as I waded through the 700 or so jackets, 699 of them seemed to match the description. I guess her last hit of coke was wearing off because her nagging had reached a whole new level. She had all three of us ready to drop kick her in the face or pay security to do it.
We combed every inch of the coat check while she screamed about how she’d make sure we paid for it if we’d lost it.
Eventually, I found it. It was a hideous little number that couldn’t have cost more than £29.99 from New Look. I held it up.
“This is it? This?! I would have done you a favor losing this piece of crap, you wanker. Take your shitty jacket and piss off.”
The one and only time we did actually lost someone’s jacket was not pleasant. Apparently he was a semi-big drug dealer in the area (he didn’t seem to be following the golden ‘never get high on your own supply’ rule though). He threatened to come back and kill us. A little extreme maybe, but there are certain jackets in my collection that would totally warrant a death threat if they were lost. So, I can’t say I blame him. But I did high tail it out of there like my ass was on fire that night.
Usually one of the bouncers would drive me home. Sometimes we’d stop at the all night bagel place in Shepherd’s Bush for a bite. I’d be at home tucked up in bed by 5am, ready to get up and do it all over again the next night. Ahh, all this talk of cokeheads and bagels is making me all misty eyed and homesick.
Tuesday, December 11th, 2007
While on the job hunt, I randomly meet this woman. She said she was looking for people, could she interview me tomorrow? Great! I said. She said she would come see me at home. This seemed a little odd, but if it saved me a trip, I was all for it.
The next day the doorbell rings and I answer it to see Carolyn, all smiles and ready to interview me. I invite her in and as she strolls past me, to my horror I see her wheeling a small suitcase behind her. Sweet baby Jesus – I’d been duped! As the reality sunk in that I was about to be introduced to the wonderful world of direct selling/pyramid schemes, my palms got sweaty and I frantically searched for ways to get her out of my house.
Before I knew it, she was setting up shop on the kitchen table. I reluctantly sat down and she said she would pamper me for a bit before showing me ‘the program.’
She took a folding mirror out of her kit and set it up in front of me along with a rather sad looking palette into which she had squeezed various lotions.
She began by showing me the cleanse, tone and moisturize stage. Taking her time and showing me how to do it myself, she annoyingly never deviated from her script. “How good does it feel? Great. How easy is this? It’s so simple.” Here she was just laying the groundwork for a day of questions she would answer herself. Having known for quite some time how to wash my face, I doubted we would make any groundbreaking discoveries during this ritual humiliation, but I ‘oooh’d’ and ‘aaah’d’ my way through it.
With that stage completed, she then subjected me to a series of ‘1-5 scales’.
“On a scale of 1-5, how does your skin feel? One being: ‘fabulous’ and five being: ‘not quite what I’m used to’. On a scale of 1-5, how would you rate the moisturizer? One being: ‘I’ve never felt anything like it!’ and five being: ‘I’ve used better’’.
On to the make up stage! First: the foundation. As there isn’t a shade called ‘pasty Irish’, she had to make her own concoction by mixing a few colors together to get the right blend for my skin. She smoothed some on my cheek and pulled me to the kitchen window to check it in the natural light. Unsatisfied with the natural light there, she marched me through the apartment and out the front door to the street. As she pondered over whether or not the tone was right, I was just praying none of the neighbors would see me with this crazy woman.
Finally content with the shade of foundation, she took me back inside and plastered layer upon layer of hideous make up on my face, all the while raving about how beautiful I was. When she was finished, I looked in the mirror to see that I had been transformed into a second-rate drag queen. ‘How fabulous is this? You look great!’ she cooed as I tried to keep myself from gagging.
At least now that the make up was done, I thought the end was in sight. But no, she then spent seven minutes (yes, I was counting) giving me a ‘hand facial’, which basically consisted of her putting hand cream on me. She kept raving about the lotion, asking and answering her own questions and then busting out the trusty 1-5 scale.
So, I now had a clown face (but extremely soft hands) and figured she was going to wrap things up. But no, I had to sit there for another 35 minutes, while she told me the story of how she got into the business and showing me ‘the program’. She’d pepper her script with random 1-5 scales. I’d made my own series of 1-5 scales in my head which mainly revolved around the theme of ‘on a scale of one to five, how badly do I want you out of my house right now? One being I would rather claw my own eyes out than listen to you utter one more word, five being….oh no, wait, that’s the only option.’ I sat there with one eye on the clock letting my mind wander to far more important issues; what would I have for dinner? Should I get a pedicure today? Do I need to buy milk? Could I take my second-rate drag queen show on the road?
When I snapped out of it, she was asking me if I could envision myself doing this. Clearly my tactic of being polite in the hope that she would go away quicker, was not working. There was no choice, it was time for some straight talking. I told her, I really couldn’t see myself doing that. I’d just moved here and I had full confidence in the fact that I would find a job in my field soon.
Seemingly not content with my answer she tried one last 1-5 scale to win me over. ‘OK, so on a scale of 1-5, what would it take for me to change your mind? One being: ‘I’d rather jump off a bridge before doing this’ and five being: ‘I will come to a group meeting to hear more about it?’
I decided to stick with my policy of straight talking. ‘Where’s the bridge?’
At long last, after an hour and a half of holding me hostage with nothing more than a mascara, she took the hint and left.