My Life in Retail: Part II – Apply Yourself

These are things I understand:

  1. Certain information is required to make a hiring decision.
  2. General applications exist in order to obtain aforementioned information.
  3. References allow an employer to gain more knowledge about the applicant.
  4. Personality tests allow employers to get a better understanding of the potential employee and compare it with corporate standards.

…but I still think it’s a load of fucking bull shit.

Number one I don’t have an issue with.  I mean, as an employer I am sure that knowing your employee’s name makes things a lot easier and knowing how to get in touch with them is pretty important.  But I think we need to rework the general application.

For example, when I applied to Bath&Body Works, there was a section for “special skills” that would be pertinent to the position for which I was applying.  What sort of special skills would I possess that would need to be listed?  Like, does anyone put down “superior olfactory senses” or “ability to distinguish between oceanside and seashore“?  What kind of superior talents are we talking about here?

And references…seriously, we’re all adults here – do we really need to play these games?  Is anyone going to put down someone who is going to say “Well, Lauren worked here at 7-Eleven for some time but…I don’t know.  When she would clean the slurpee machine you could tell her heart just wasn’t in it.  I don’t know if that’s the kind of person you want to hire.”

Finally – let’s talk about that insane personality test.  Do employers honestly think that all their potential employees “strongly agree”  that they resolve conflicts easily and don’t judge people?  Is it the belief of all employers that an employee who marks “strongly agree” when asked “You always listen to management, regardless of what you think.”.  Come on people let’s get real.

Every person applying for a job is like a seventeen year old boy with a half-naked girl in their bedroom – they’re prepared to say whatever they have to in order to do all the way.  No one is looking to be at Auntie Anne’s for the next five years and no one is telling you about a time when they were faced with a difficult situation where they had to go above and beyond for a customer so they can make $7.25 at Forever 21.  We’re broke.  We need to not be broke.  And we need you to help us not be broke.  That’s it.

And some say that all these tests and bull shit applications save time and money but does it really?  These screenings, background checks and training cost money.  But if after an hour you find your applicant can’t fold shirts and that American Eagle probably isn’t for them, you can bid them adieu for $7.25 (because does it really take more than an hour to see if that person is right for a job in retail?) minus tax.

It’s like trying a new food – how do you know you don’t like it if you’ve never tried it?


So, after about two hours of walking the mall, getting cramps in my hand and forgetting how to spell my name…I decided that the GAP would be my last and final stop on the journey towards employment.



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