“I’m here to fill out an application.”

He entered through the wrong door. That in and of itself isn’t particularly bothersome–sometimes people get lost and come into the main office through the back warehouse. He’s with a woman who sits on a couch in the waiting room staring at me.

“Sure… So, all of our current positions that we’re hiring for are online, that’s where you submit your resume and cover letter…”

He stares at me. I nonchalantly scan my eyes up and down–his shirt is filthy. His breath smells like rot and old meat. He’s wearing jeans.

“I used to work here.”

I pick up a pen and go to scrawl his name on my legal pad.

“Sure, what’s your name?”

He tells me and I begin trying to think about what to do next–forward his information to the HR manager? They can pull his file? What does he want to apply to…

“I have an interview.”

“Oh! Great, okay, with who?”

“I don’t remember his name.”

“Okay… Well what position was it?”

He tells me the incorrect name of the position he applied for.

“What time was your interview?”


I glance at the clock on my computer–it’s 1:33. The woman on the couch pipes up, “We just came as soon as he got the call.”

“Ah, okay…”

“Are you hiring for any clerical positions?”

She looks amused as she asks, probably because she is looking at someone working one of the few clerical positions for the company.

“Anything that is currently hiring is on our website… We’re not really hiring for that right now, but maybe in the future…”

The proper manager sends for the applicant and he walks towards the rear of the office with the woman in tow. Whoever she is, I assume his ride, is apparently being interviewed for his job as well.

I mention to the HR manager that the applicant brought a guest into his interview with him and that he didn’t know the name of who he was supposed to be interviewing with. She gets shy, mentions he’s worked with us before. I feel embarrassed and shady and petty for getting so boiled over someone else’s lack of professionalism.

An hour later, another man walks in through the front door. He’s wearing a button down shirt. He has a manila folder with his cover letter and resume tucked inside. He’s asking to speak to the manager hiring for a position he applied to. He knows that I can’t bring him back to see a manager without an interview. I can also see the desperation in his eyes when I tell him the manager is in a meeting and his sadness of trying so hard and having these things take so much time.

Most of all, I see the effort.

The simultaneous lack and abundance of effort is what breaks my heart most of all.


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