The Employment Games

It turns out that I was a little bit premature in declaring my newly employed status yesterday.

I did indeed pass the interview, and when they called me to confirm as much, they asked me to come back Monday evening for… well I don’t remember precisely what they said. I thought it’d just be for training, although the requested formal dress code seemed odd in that light.

But formal I went, just like the interview, whole hog with the three-piece suit. Certainly felt overdressed compared to the others that came, but that’s a way better outcome than being underdressed. We ended up doing a series of tasks, right there in the restaurant taking up half of the available space. At first I thought they were team-building exercises, but I eventually put together that the interview had only been half of the choosing process, and these exercises were the second half. Don’t take that as detective’s intuition. they probably said as much earlier. I can occasionally space out and miss this kind of stuff.

What I thought would be a half-hour meeting turned into almost three solid hours of these exercises, and as entertaining as they were to carry out, I have to wonder what on earth the customers thought of the strange scene before them. I mean, at one point we were making models out of straws and coloured paper.  Clearly we weren’t being judged on out modelling ability: they were observing us to see how we acted in different situations, and how we dealt with tasks. Still, it felt like a curious little gameshow, with the prize being employment.

El. Psy. Congroo.

Still, that pales in comparison to our little stage production. We were split into two teams and given half an hour to plan, write out and rehearse a small play. As for props, only what we had on hand. Out of the selection of titles we were given, I suggested “It’s about time”, having recently watched Steins;Gate and thus jumping at the chance to do a little time travel show. And that’s the one we went with! We wrote and acted out a time travel story in which my crappy little phone was the time machine, with me hamming it up as the bad guy (It had to be me, I had the three-piece suit and I can do a heck of an evil laugh), in front of a completely nonplussed bunch of customers. Embarrassing? Not really, actually. At the time I was inexplicably incapable of feeling any embarrassment at all. Self-defense mechanism? Adrenaline? The spirit of acting? Who knows.

At the end of these activities the managers called us over one by one to let us know whether we’d secured a position. I was nervous. Even though it was just a part-time job at KFC, it would have been a huge downer to actually fail to get it after all that. It wasn’t even clear how they were going about telling people. The first guy that went up left immediately afterwards, and the second came back not any the wiser as to whether he’d actually got the job. Then it was my turn.

And I did it. I got my part-time job. And apparently I displayed great leadership quality. Small victories! Still, I wonder how far this concept of employment game shows could possibly be extended… Imagine a Running Man-style future where hundreds of the jobless are rounded up, handed gladiatorial equipment and thrown into a neo-coliseum, battling to the death in hope of snagging the newly opened position of vacuum cleaner at Cineworld. Sounds despicable, right? But you’d probably watch it, wouldn’t you? You monster.

-Jesse

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