If you’re one of those people who think, “OMG, you shouldn’t talk about people you barely know on your blog! That’s mean” – you should go ahead and click out now. Because I’m going to tell you the truth (without being mean), and it’s a heck of a lot more fun to read than, “Sally was a nice candidate but not for us.”
If you haven’t read today’s earlier post, hop on over and do it before going any further. For those of you caught up, the first sitter candidate, K, arrived this morning. I opened the door – and I just knew. I totally knew she was the one. She was so bubbly and excited, and dressed up all nice. She brought a folder with a stellar resume and references all neatly typed out and explained. She told me how cute our apartment was, how close by we lived, and swooned over Bella. And not the overdone stuff – just the kind where you knew she was a genuinely sweet person.
What sealed it was Bella. She usually falls apart as soon as someone walks in the house – whether she’s seen them before or not. But with K? She climbed right up on her and played with the buttons on her coat, showed her the trucks, took her to her room, brought her books, and followed her all around the place.
I could have hired her on the spot, but I still had my afternoon candidate, A, to go – who I was also eager to meet.
Until I opened the door.
She came in with her flannel and pearls with a look of complete disinterest on her face. The first words out of her mouth were, “Geez, you’re like, really far away from me. It took me a half hour to get here.” It was 2:00 (so not rush hour) and she (according to her profile) lived 5 miles away. I wasn’t sure what to say, so I invited her to sit down.
“Here’s that stuff you wanted,” she said with a sigh, handing me a sheet of paper with references of friends and a co-worker, and 2 forms of photocopied ID. I had only asked for references so I wasn’t sure why she seemed so irritated.
After an uncomfortable silence where she watched Bella read a book, I said, “So tell me about what you’re looking for in a job? What would be your ideal position?”
“Well,” she said in a bored tone, “I’m on leave from my full time job. (Um, so how’s that going to work?) ‘Cuz it’s been robbed 3 times in the past month. (Where on earth do you work?) So that’s all kinds of scary and I’m not going to put up with it, ya know? (Oh, I so do not know) So I’m looking for part time jobs to fill up my week and I got a ton, like 5 of them I’m doing right now. I’m pretty much booked up Monday, Wednesday and Friday. And most of Tuesday. Some of Thursday. (Um.) So basically I could do like a morning or something…” She sat and looked at me as I tried to piece together what she had just said. Because the candidate I had written to 3 days ago? Was free all week. And had assured me that my job (weekday afternoon) was just what she was looking for.
“Ok, so mornings. Like maybe 9-12 or?” I was killing time, there was no way that schedule would ever work.
“Yeah, like 10-12 or so. I’d need to leave around 12 because I have another job and you live so far away.” There it was again. Why didn’t she just call and tell me I was too far when I gave her my address 3 days ago?
I gave her a tour of the house while she remained silent. Once in a while I saw her glance at Bella, but there was no interaction. I chalked it up to nerves until I asked if she had any questions I wasn’t answering.
“Nope, sounds like I just come over and watch the kid. Pretty easy, if I have any questions while I’m here I’ll call you.”
Trying to make an effort and swallow down a small amount of bile, I told her about pet sitting – which had been discussed beforehand. I would pay her $15 a day to come feed the cats and change their litter when we were gone. Was that ok?
“Usually I just charge $5 to go to the homes and give the dog some food and stuff, but since you live so far (oh really?) I’d need to charge you $15.” She stared at me while I contemplated an answer that wouldn’t sound like a smart ass. Not coming up with any, I was quiet.
Finally acknowledging Bella who was being silly and twirling, she said, “She’s really hyper huh?”
Done with the interview, I thanked A for coming and told her we had another candidate to consider but would let her know by tomorrow. She offered a limp hand and was halfway down the stairs as I said goodbye.
I wrote K this evening and offered her the job.
Sometimes you just know instinctively, and sometimes it comes in with flannel and pearls and smacks you in the face. Today was one of those days.