Yeah, I know. It’s Thursday. I normally publish Tales of the Cluefree on Fridays, and I already have one all ready to go for tomorrow…but reader Natahle sent me the story she mentioned in the comments here, and it was too good to keep to myself.
Last year I was on the opening HR team of a new luxury resort. We held three job fairs a few months before opening and had thousands of people show up at each one of them. Applications kept pouring in after the job fair, and we were having a hard time getting anything but interviews done. We finally decided that we would only accept applications and conduct interviews three times a week during specific time frames.
Applicant hours were INSANE! Applicants would start showing up an hour before we officially accepted applications and we would usually start turning people away 10 minutes after applicant hours were supposed to be over. So, the candidates would fill out an application, turn it into our administrator to get logged, and wait for their interview. The back hallways of this hotel looked like we were hosting American Idol tryouts because so many people were lined up waiting for their interviews.
The HR office was very open, so we usually had 2 or 3 interviews going on at any given time. I had already interviewed around 20 applicants that day, and I was frustrated because I didn’t have anyone to pass on to a manager. Everyone I spoke with had given me a reason to pass on them, they wouldn’t make eye contact with me, they had huge gaps in their employment history and didn’t know how to explain them, their job history indicated they could only keep a job for a few weeks, two months at the most, etc. So, I passed on my last interview and called my next interview.
According to the time on his application, he had been waiting for an interview for a little over an hour. I called his name, introduced myself and extended my hand for a handshake… this is where he got off on the wrong foot… he used elevator eyes on me TWICE before shaking my hand! I was offended, but decided to pull my nice smile out and be gracious during his interview. As soon as he sat down, we started going over his application. He didn’t fill anything out! I had a grown man in front of me insisting that he’s never really worked and volunteered from time to time but he can’t really remember the dates that he “volunteered”. I asked him why he didn’t complete his application in full and he said “applications just aren’t my thing.” I told him that I required a completed application so the needed to become his thing if he wanted a job with us. I gave the application back to him along with my pen and asked him to complete the basic information.
I was so irritated that I didn’t notice the officer that just walked into the office. When I looked up, I was surprised to see him walking towards me. Before I could process what had happened, he approached the gentleman that I was interviewing, quickly stood him up and started frisking him! The other two ladies in the office that were interviewing at the moment continued their interviews as if nothing was happening, but their interviewees just kept looking at my guy that was getting arrested. All I could think is that this guy could have been carrying a weapon and I was giving him a hard time about not filling out his application!
I guess the applicants waiting in our hallways heard the commotion because the girlfriend of the arrested applicant came into HR, threw herself on my assistant’s desk and started sobbing! The officer cuffed the applicant and escorted him out of HR and to their vehicle. I later learned that the applicant was on parole and had to wear an ankle bracelet. He failed to show up for a drug test when they called him, so the officers tracked him down in our office by his ankle bracelet.
Once the applicant and the officers left my office, I turned my applicant screening form over to select the reason on why I wasn’t pursuing this applicant… I had to check the other box and write in “applicant was arrested during interview.”
This applicant’s girlfriend called back 3 times to check on the status of his application over the next two weeks.
What I love most is that the other interviewers just kept right on truckin’. That’s good HR right there.
Photo by banspy