Photo by Jon
When I was doing a lot of recruiting, people used to ask me which job was the hardest to fill.
Receptionist. No question.
Without a doubt, there are some great receptionists out there. If you have one, you should pay that person a boatload of money and send flowers every day, because he/she is a rare jewel. In my experience, there is something about that job that either makes people a little nuts or just attracts the nuts.
One of my favorites was a candidate who referred to herself in the third person throughout the interview. I’d say, “What sort of phone system did you use at XYZ company?” and she’d answer, “Jane used a Siemens 123 switchboard.” It was weird.
After a few rounds of this, I said, “Why do you refer to yourself in the third person?”
She said, “What do you mean, third person?”
I said, “You know, saying “Jane” instead of “I.”
She said, “Because Jane is a queen. You need to know if you hire me that Jane is a queen, and Jane deserves to be treated like a queen. Jane will not tolerate people telling me what to do or being rude to me or bossing me around. A queen deserves better. My therapist told me that. He said to remind everyone that Jane is a queen who deserves better.”
So yeah. No hire. Although in fairness, receptionists DO get treated like crap sometimes, so I can see where she was coming from.
Incidentally, the person we hired instead turned out to be a queen too—specifically, a drama queen. She did all kinds of attention-seeking things. My favorites was the week she ate baby food out of a jar every two hours at the reception desk (in front of customers). We should have stuck with Queen Jane.
Tales of the Cluefree appear pretty much every Friday. Past stories are here.