Have you finally turned 16? Have you run out of excuses for spending the summer lying on your neck and building Minecraft volcanoes to throw your chickens into? If you are in the middle of a job hunt, here are some questions you can ask yourself, to predict your chances:
1. Your mother says, “Hey, you have a half day today. It’s a perfect opportunity to go pick up some applications.” Do you
(a) Say, “You’re right. Thanks. Let’s go.”
(b) Say, “But me and my friends were going to . . . never mind, let’s go. Hey, can we get pizza while we’re out?”
(c) Say, “Bu-u-u-u-u-u-u-ut I have to finish my science project that’s due tomorrow, and I haven’t had a chance to even start it yet because I was too busy doing the thing! Oh, and I need a square foot of silk, some denaturized borax, and a sheet of titanium/ Also, can you give me a real quick synopsis of what Shakespeare is about? And I need $450 for a yearbook — and please, Mom, cash this time. The pictures on your checks are so lame.”
2. Your father says, “So, have you filled out those applications yet?” Do you
(a) say, “Yes! They’re in this manila envelope so they don’t get lost or creased. Can you proofread them for me?”
(b) Say, “Yes! Well, mostly. Well, a few. Well, I started one. Well, I was about to. FINE. Can I borrow your pen?”
(c) Go into a long tirade about the crushing of the human spirit that is inherent in the request to distill personhood into little boxes and columns. For instance, your interests encompass the entirety of humanity, but I suppose that wouldn’t go over well with these corporate overlord tools, would it? I mean, what is even the point? Am I supposed to start off my journey into the adult world with a big, fat lie? Is that what you really want from me? Because I can do that, if that’s what you want. I’ll do it, and you’ll see.
3. You get up to the part that asks for references. Do you
(a) Have a wide selection of prominent community members from which to choose, but finally whittle it down to the chief of police whose puppy you saved from drowning, the nursing home director whose grant from the governor you secured, and the governor, who is your uncle.
(b) Come up with two people who are rooting for you and one who doesn’t wish you any particular harm. Ehh, nobody reads these anyway.
(c) Assume that most adults are too dumb to realize that the number you provided is your home phone, and the reference they’re speaking to is your dog.
4. You have a bunch of applications in your hand are are headed out to turn them in. Do you
(a) Stride in with confidence and cheerfully offer them to the person in charge, planning to follow up in a few days if you don’t hear back
(b) Politely but awkwardly turn them in and get the heck out of there before you trip again.
(c) Realize that you are the proud owner of eleven different but generic applications, and that you have no idea which one goes to which business. Also, they are wet with what we can only hope is that horrible Japanese melon soda you pretend to like. But other than that, you’re a shoe-in, champ.
5. You land an interview! Do you
(a) Dress nicely, speak clearly, answer truthfully, and generally project confidence, courtesy, and a willingness to work
(b) Answer some of the questions a little too honestly, but come off as reasonably ept.
(c) Forget to change out of your “Fools, I’ll destroy you all!” t-shirt. But they probably didn’t notice, since that infection in your eyebrow ring is all anyone can seem to look at anyway.
IF YOUR ANSWERS ARE . . .
Mostly (a), You’re done for. Soon you’ll be earning a check and building a resume. Thanks a lot, jerk! Now all the other kids are gonna be expected to get jobs, too!
Mostly (b), you are perilously close to actually landing a summer job. With any luck, your math teacher will need it more, though, and you can spend another summer at home.
Mostly (c), Hey look, one of the chickens got out of the volcano! BURN HIM.
Image via Pixabay (Creative Commons)
This post originally ran in the Register in 2014.