Are you tired of the way nominees are grilled by senators before they get the job? Well, get used to it. Because of today’s economy, an employer can subject prospective employees to just about any kind of interview. I managed to acquire a transcript of one of these interviews (I’m not saying I got it from a Russian spy at a kid’s soccer game last Saturday) and I have printed it below. It is the story of a young woman who has applied for a cashier’s job at a Rite Aid on Wilshire Boulevard.
ELLEN COOGAN: You’re quite welcome, Mr. Barrington, but it’s Ms. Coogan, not Mrs.
ROGER MARSHALL: And representing labor, I’d like to welcome you too, Ms. Coogan.
COOGAN: Thank you, Mr. Marshall.
BARRINGTON: When you say you like to be referred to as Ms., is that just because you have no respect for traditional marriage, or have you decided to never get married?
COOGAN: I’ve never been married, but what does this have to do with the job?
BARRINGTON: So you hate men?
COOGAN: I don’t hate men. I just haven’t gotten married yet. I’m only 22.
BARRINGTON: What are you suggesting? That my 21-year-old daughter got married because she was pregnant?
COOGAN: I didn’t say that.
BARRINGTON: (MUMBLING ALMOST TO HIMSELF) We sell condoms in our own stores. She had to know that. She used to work here in the summers.
MARSHALL: Mr. Barrington.
BARRINGTON: (COMING OUT OF HIS OWN WORLD) Uh, yes. How do you feel about the rubber thumb issue?
COOGAN: I beg your pardon.
BARRINGTON: Many cashiers wear rubber thumbs over their God-given, real thumbs so they can separate bills more easily for counting. How do you feel about this practice?
COOGAN: I guess I feel it should be up to the individual to choose a rubber thumb or not.
MARSHALL: Good for you. She’s pro-choice.
BARRINGTON: (AGAIN, IN HIS OWN WORLD) We don’t even hide them anymore. We put them right out in the open, next to the batteries. How hard could it have been to …
MARSHALL: Ms. Coogan, were you involved in some volunteer work while at college?
COOGAN: Yes, I read to blind veterans.
MARSHALL: How admirable. I’d like the record to show that, I too, served my country by mowing the lawn in front of the post office and …
BARRINGTON: Let’s move on to a subject that concerns all Americans: Paper or plastic? If a customer has no preference, would you bag the purchases in a paper bag or in a bag made from the best plastic in the world produced by American trading partners?
COOGAN: Since you put me under oath, I’ll have to say I’d go with paper. Better for the environment.
BARRINGTON: The environment? So, you admit you’re a tree-hugger. I have here a copy of a paper that you wrote that is an example of radical environmentalism. You wrote this, did you not? (HANDS HER THE PAPER)
COOGAN: Yes, it was about putting pizza boxes in the recycling bin, and yucky leftover pizza in the regular trash. I wrote it in the fourth grade.
BARRINGTON: Have your views changed on this matter?
COOGAN: Not my views, but my spelling. Now I know that pizza has two “z’s.” Can we get back to talking about the job? How about benefits?
BARRINGTON: “Benefits?” The benefit would be that you’d have a job.
MARSHALL: Have we mentioned that she did community service work while she was in college?
BARRINGTON: Yes, and I was not impressed. Maybe some of those blind veterans would have learned to read on their own if she hadn’t taken away their initiative by reading to them.
MARSHALL: (ASTONISHED) What?
BARRINGTON: I believe in the maxim that if you give a guy some fish, he’ll have something to eat, but if you teach him to fish, uh, then he can always go fishing with his buddies.
MARSHALL: What does that have to do with Ms. Coogan?
BARRINGTON: I just think … hey, where are you going, Ms. Coogan?
COOGAN: This interview is just too much for me. I’m going to apply for a job that’s a little easier to get. There must be a Cabinet post that’s open.
Lloyd Garver has written for many television shows, ranging from “Sesame Street” to “Family Ties” to “Home Improvement” to “Frasier.” He has also read many books, some of them in hardcover. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out his website at lloydgarver.com and his podcasts on iTunes.