I do a lot of interviews in my new job. The feat used to seem insurmountable. I remember after my first in person interview, I ended up crouched on my boss’s floor in front of all three bosses, having a shocking public meltdown and nearly crying. I saved the crying until I was out in the hallway by myself. Now, it’s just a mild annoyance because that, dear children, is called growth.
I have more or less a script to follow when interviewing. I have a set of questions that sometimes I can make flow like a normal conversation. Other times it’s a straight up interrogation. But there are two questions I’ve been thinking about today, that I finally have answers for.
1. Describe a time when you experienced great customer service.
So, I was at McDonald’s getting a dollar Coke (because they are back!). And the tiny human who took my money said to me, “You know, I’m going to go see if I can bring your drink to this window.” And then he went and got my drink so that I didn’t have to wait in line to get to the next window. I LOVE when they do this. It’s the best, but I like this McDonald’s more than others because of one shining moment with another tiny human.
I should stop calling the teenage boys who work at McDonald’s tiny human. I should, but I probably won’t. Anyways, during probably the worst winter of my life when I was working at the daycare and slipping off an emotional edge you can’t come back from, my niece turned two. It was during the time where the Wizard of Oz toys were at McDonald’s, and they were essentially her Pokémon. She wanted to catch them all. Being poor and not really able to buy actual gifts from her list, I went to McDonald’s to see if they had the two she needed to complete her set.
I don’t ever look show stopping. Once I got something free, I think, because I was showing a lot of cleavage, but that says more about how horny the guy was and not how pretty I am. Anyway, I did not approach this counter looking for miracles. I did my natural, “I’m so sorry to bother you. This is a favor I need and if you could help me, I’d be super grateful.” This has become my usual act since working at Meijer. Be nice, and they won’t hate you. It’s foolproof. Anyways, I asked the tiny human, with my best smile, if they had the toys. He checked their stock. Then I saw him talking to another worker. He disappeared for a bit, and came back with the two toys I needed. They weren’t in packages, just the toys. Then he apologized.
“I’m really sorry, we only have the ones from the display,” is essentially what he said. “I’m really sorry we don’t have any in the packaging.”
I was taken aback. Not many nice things happened that winter, but he basically dug through his store to find me the right toys. I thanked him profusely, pulling out my wallet. I explained that I was getting them for my niece’s birthday and she didn’t need the packaging. The toys were more than enough. Then I asked him how much it would be.
“Oh, you don’t have to pay for them. You can have them. They’re just the display ones.”
WHAT? It was the most awesomely nice thing ever. Yes, maybe it just hit me at the right time and right place in my life, but let’s be real. He could have easily charged me the cost of the toys, and maybe it was a nothing thing for him, but it really made my life to have him be so nice and giving. Very awesome.
2. Describe for me the best day of work.
I don’t feel bad about asking this question. I should. People give me rando answers for this question. They never actually give me a day. They generalize or give me good things that could happen. I don’t think many people walk around with a cherished work memory. And the best day I’m about to give is not something I’d probably say in an actual interview.
Yesterday was the best day of work ever.
On Friday, we had to cancel all of the appointments for Monday. The construction across the street had to shut off water, which meant our building would be affected. You just can’t run a spa in a building that has no running water. Friday and Saturday were a little stressful, but all of the services got moved. The practitioners were told to stay home. I was worried though.
I work 8 am to 7:30 pm on Mondays, and this is my time of the month. I was worried about the bathroom situation, especially because my boss thought I was the type of home being to carry a five gallon jug of water with me to the bathroom to flush a toilet. I’m not. But Monday came despite my fears.
And, it was positively delightful.
I didn’t have to rush to count the drawers before guests arrived because there were no guests. No one was late or complaining or having problems or interrupting me because no one where there except the concierge who had her own tasks that she sat down to do. I’ve never been so relaxed while closing out the week. In fact, I didn’t realize how tense I was all of the time until yesterday.
A few practitioners were in and out for training, but they knew what they were doing and I hardly saw them. Andy was in for a bit, but unless we have something funny to tell each other, we don’t really bother each other. Melissa worked from home, which was great. That’s the benefit of being the boss. She works like 90 hours a week, so she should be allowed to do some of that from home.
Work was downright blissful though. All of the agony of interacting with other human beings was completely taken out of the equation and I realized something very important. I like my job. I just hate people. They are what cause me stress. They are what annoy me. The tasks and jobs I do are great. I accomplish them and I feel successful. Jean Paul Sartre was 100% correct. Other people are hell. If I didn’t have to work with anyone ever, I’d probably be the happiest little worker bee alive.
Even the bathroom situation wasn’t bad. I took a half an hour break at 3 pm. I went to Panera, used the bathroom, got lunch, and head back to the office. I watched The Sandlot and Back to the Future while I worked. I got so much done too. It’s amazing what I can accomplish when there isn’t someone in my office every four minutes to talk to me. I’m doing Orientation for a New Hire on Thursday. I was really worried about getting his paperwork all together because he didn’t officially sign his Job Offer until Monday at 1 pm, which meant I had 2 pm to 7:30 pm on Monday and then maybe Thursday morning to put his paperwork together. Most weeks, this is barely enough time to do that. I’m stressed in a I feel like I’m running a sprint to get it finished sort of way. Not yesterday. I leisurely got his information into the system and printed out paperwork. I got him a login and an email. I didn’t have to stop 1500 times and wonder where the hell I left off every time I got back to working on his stuff. It was practically orgasmic.
You can see why I’d never mention this in a real life interview. “Please treat me like a computer. Don’t talk to me. Just let me work.” And this also sounds a bit awful because I do like some of the people I work with, and I’m really glad that I know them. They are pips. If I’m going to be real with you, I don’t need more vacation. I need more days like Monday. Holler.