After going through countless applications and failing to find someone literate enough to fill the part-time cashier position, I gave up and tried a more 'face value' approach:
- Can I tolerate you enough to train you?
- Are you aquainted with soap and water?
- Do you have at least one front tooth?
I finally found a candidate, who I thought, fit this criteria. His greatest asset was his pick-up truck. I decided that he could at least load merchandise on the shelves and make sure that all the items had price tags on them. I told him that I wanted to hire him, and we agreed on a date and time to meet at my store.
Randy came in to fill out the employee tax form and discuss the starting date. Being too busy congratulating himself for having landed his vast career, he didn't bother to shave, shower, or brush the teeth he had. He wore an ensemble of unwashed 'wifebeater' tank top, cut-off sweat pants, and bright yellow flip-flops.
Someone must have advised him to make demands and stick to them. He mentioned my obvious need for a 'sales assistant,' and insisted that before he started to work for me, he was to get in writing -- a 'major medical benefits package,' and more money than what I had offered him during the first interview.
Mid-sentence, as if to stress a major point in his demands, he hiked up one leg, reached into the the front of his filthy grey sweat pants, and SCRATCHED HIS BALLS!
I stepped back and stared down at the floor, rethinking the situation. Clearly, this was a deal breaker! All I could say to him was, "I'll have to give it some thought and call you later." He tried to shake my hand. I kept my arms crossed and said, "Oh, I don't shake hands."
He told everyone in this town that he was hired to work in my store. When I made it official that it wasn't going to happen, he spread rumors that my business was failing. He said that I couldn't afford to pay him the salary he deserved, so he turned down the job. Even more disturbing, is that most of the people he told this story to, believed him.
They were right about one thing: He's the only person around here I've found who probably could have done the job. In the last six years, no one else has come close to qualifying.
Perhaps I should consider the idea of lowering my standards. Until then, I remain here at the check-out counter -- standing all alone.