Looking over another’s shoulder…

ok ok, here’s a second post – not going to make it common that I borrow material from elsewhere, but I just read this on How To Avoid the Bummer Life – who in turn have borrowed it from an article by Harmon Leon. I guess it’s kinda like forwarding bizzare videos by e-mail.

But forwarding emails on doesn’t make them not funny, and as I found this article hilarious, I thought you may too.

Get Fired in 3 Hours or Less

Most publications tell you how to get a job. Only we tell you how to lose one.

Jobs are important! They give you a sense of self-worth. After all, you are what you do, even if you have a college education and now change urinal mints in a porno truckstop restroom. That said, I’ve decided to join the workforce. But unlike most of you, I hope to get fired—faster than you can say ”401k.” See, keeping a job is really easy: just nod, smile, laugh at the boss’ jokes, flip the burgers when they’re ready and resist all urges to pee in the coffeemaker. But the art of getting fired has been buried beneath the shrapnel of the dotcom bomb. And on the coming pages, I’m going to show you how to bring it back. It’s gratifying to hear, ”You’re fired.” It’s closure. It’s like ending a bad relationship and knowing a booty call is completely out of the question — a clean break.

My goal was to find a job and get fired within three hours. But to make my challenge all the more difficult, the editors of this publication put forth the following ground rules:

1)I cannot put a single true bit of information on my job application.

2) I must be indignant during the interview process.

3) I must show up late for my first day of work.

4) I must talk in a fake foreign accent.

5) I must refuse to do things.

6) I must use the word ”motherf*cker” as an adjective.

7) I must make up a nickname for the boss.

I start out checking the want ads, looking for jobs whose only requirement is Must Speak English. I begin to worry. Then I called Jack in the Box.

The Interview

I interviewed twice in the same week with the same manager at Jack in the Box, using two separate disguises. Though very bright, this manager did not realize he was actually interviewing the same person.

Disguise #1: Willie
Willie Ames is an endearingly good-natured Australian with thick glasses who wears a ”Tight Butts Drive Me Nuts!” T-shirt and has an unfortunate egg noodle stuck to his face. He hails from the fictitious outback town of Derby, located near the larger town of Biggleston. On a San Francisco spring day, he is dressed for a blizzard.

Disguise #2: Hans
Hans Liederburg is from Bruegerdorf, Germany. Hans doesn’t speak much English but is well versed in fast-food preparation, having worked a 12-year stint at ”Ein Burger Haus.” Hans wears a business suit to the interview and carries a briefcase.
Below is an actual exchange from the interview:

Manager: It says here your last job was at the Ein Burger Haus?
Me: Ya! This information is correct!
Manager: Tell me about your duties at Ein Burger Haus.
Me: I had many, many, many ways to make burgers.
Manager: Do you have experience with cash registers?
Me: Ya, I like to work with machines!

The odds makers took a beating when the German beat the Australian. Ultimately, it was Hans’ impressive credentials that landed him the job. As Hans, I was hired to work the 10 pm to 6 am graveyard shift at San Francisco’s Lombard Street Jack in the Box. Let’s work!

*Editor’s note- As an added visual I attempted to get a screen shot from Google Maps of the location in question, and it seems to be gone. I even looked at Jack In The Box’s website, indicating that the location in question is in fact no longer in existence, (so instead I made one).

Anyhow- can the blame be laid on Mr. Leon? Read on and decide for yourselves.*

10:00 pm — My assigned shift begins.

10:25 pm — I arrive for work.

10:26 pm —I am reprimanded, but lay on a thick, confused German accent.

10:35 pm — I turn in my clothes for a Jack in the Box uniform, which is made from a medley of itchy artificial materials.

10:37 pm — Wow, lucky me! My uniform is too small! Nothing could highlight this experience like some ill-fitting work clothes. My nametag says ”Hank.”

10:47 pm — I sit down so the manager can show me a training video on ”How to Avoid Slippage,” ”Identifying Hazards” and ”Grooming and Hygiene,” but the VCR is broken. We move on.

11:02 pm — I meet the graveyard shift manager, Don. He has bad breath. I ask Don what day we get paid.

11:03 pm — Don’s new nickname becomes ”Sport.”

11:05 pm — It’s bizarre how no one introduces themselves. I guess I just have to pay my dues. Veronica, a teenage girl with a neck hickey, is ordered to take me under her wing and show me the ropes. She is my friend. She is my comrade. We are a team! We make jokes about french fries. I ask Veronica stupid questions. She answers all of them.

Veronica: This is the button you push for Coke.
Me: So do you push it if you want Sprite?
Veronica: No.
Me: Why not?
Veronica: Because you push the Sprite button for Sprite.

11:40 pm — I ask Veronica if she thinks my work pants make me look fat. She flatters me: ”No.” For a brief instant, I get into the working groove. I have job pride! I shall be the best! I give a respectful nod to Veronica.

11:42 pm — The working groove ends.

11:53 pm — Though I began my shift with a German accent and poor comprehension of English, I slowly segue back into my regular voice. It goes completely unnoticed. This fake German accent thing must happen fairly often at Jack in the Box.

11:55 pm — I ask Sport if I can go on break. He says no. I roll my eyes and sigh longly, loudly.

11:57 pm — Bathroom break. For way too long. No one minds, not even Sport. I decide to put serious effort into getting fired. I also decide to avoid the fry area at all costs to prevent any zany fryer mishaps. Instead, I leave the shake machine running, but someone just turns it off. Maybe it was Veronica (my comrade!). It is nearly impossible to make these people angry.

12:30 am — The zipper on my pants is open. Work continues.

12:36 am — When I go into the break room, change into my regular clothes and go back to work, I am confronted. I say my work uniform is ”too itchy.”

12:38 am — I am informed of the appropriate work uniform. I change in the break room and wander around the restaurant pretending to be senile. Will these people never get mad?

12:54 am — Veronica tells me to clean around the fryer. I nod my head and start refilling the napkin dispensers.

12:58 am — Sport tells me to take over the counter. When two customers walk up to the register at the same time, I freak out. ”We’re swamped!” I cry.

1:07 am — I change out of the uniform again, recycling the itchy excuse. No dice. Once more, I’m told about the appropriate uniform.

1:12 am — Back to the German accent, I get into a verbal argument with a drunk customer. I challenge him to a fight. He calls me a loser. At least I can finally use the word ”motherf*cker” as an adjective.

1:14 am — Sport explains that neither fighting nor creative name-calling is Jack in the Box policy. Goddammit, what do you have to do to get fired around here? I hope I don’t have to kill anyone; I’m not prepared for that.

1:22 am — This is futile. It’s impossible to get fired! I get anxious. The walls close in. I look to Veronica for hope, but she’s on break! My thoughts become desperate. As a last resort I feign illness. I chew up some french fries, take a swig of vanilla shake and spit it all over the restaurant floor. ”Ich bin sick!” I yell behind the counter. I head home on sick leave, unfired.

Getting fired wasn’t as easy as I expected. In fact, I still had my job the next morning and ultimately had to stop coming to work before Jack in the Box finally terminated our relationship. Alas, I never got to hear those three beautiful words, ”You. Are. Fired!” On the bright side, there are a handful of fast food chains waiting for my application. Stay tuned.

©2001 – 2009 The Wave Media.


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