Friday, February 25, 2011

how and why ordained ministers get jobs at kmart



These days it’s the little things that cheer my spirit:
-yesterday I was just offered a part time job at Kmart.
-today I will take a drug test.
-yesterday Heather joked that maybe I needed to worry about the results of said drug test.
-let this thought comfort you as you read this: within the next few hours, I’ll be peeing in a cup.

I was interviewed by the Assistant Manager. He shook my hand and said his name is Tony. I replied, “I’m Troy. My brother’s name is Tony.” He said, “That’s neat,” as he smiled ever-so-slightly and looked at me as if he wondered “what kind of person starts an interview by telling the Assistant Manager his brother’s name?” I smiled and thought, “Did I really just open my interview with ’My brother’s name is Tony???!!!’ What are you thinking, doofus???!!”

"Tony" asked me only one question of substance: “How would you handle an angry customer?” I cited Edwin Friedman, a rabbi, author and psychologist/family therapist who states that the best thing one can do is “foster a non-anxious presence.”

He looked at me as if to say, “Did you really just use the phrase ‘non-anxious presence’ in an interview at Kmart???”

Never mind. I was already in too deep, so I just explained myself and then went on to cite the importance of listening to them and “reflecting back to them verbally what I’m hearing in a non-anxious way so they see that their complaint has been heard and understood.”

He looked at me like I was wearing a pair of polka-dotted briefs on my head and said "uh huh", reflecting back to me that he thought I might be insane.

After a while he rose, shook my hand and said, “Well, I’ll have Mela set you up in there.” Mela was in the next office over. She was the HR lady from Romania that I had met the week before. Nice gal. I supposed that meant I had the job.

Mela told me that he told her he wanted to use me to work on some “bigger” projects he had in mind so I will be trained to work all over the store.

I’ll try to do so in a non-anxious way, smiling, laughing and joking frequently. If you see me at the cash register, maybe we could do a little play where you pretend to be an angry customer and I berate you over the intercom.

2 comments:

Brian Newman said...

Give me the address of the store. I'll show up one day and be an angry New Yorker! A Joe Pesci kind of guy! See how you handle it!

Congrats. I think it's awesome!

Troy said...

Great idea, Brian! Let's do it!