Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

May 4, 2013

Need a job? Leave the cat at home

By Janet Jacobs
Corsicana Daily Sun

— The USA Today has printed an article this past week of advice to newly minted college graduates on how to get a job which basically boiled down to “don’t be stupid.”

This is excellent advice for any situation, but particularly that crucial job interview.

They talked to the hiring people who told stories of young people who texted during the interview, wore unprofessional clothing, used slang or overly casual language, and “exhibited other oddball behavior.”

The examples of immaturity and self-centeredness included taking phone calls during interviews; bringing a parent to the interview to negotiate terms on the kid’s behalf; and the young woman who brought her cat, and no, it was not a service cat.

Now, I know what you’re saying to yourself, “those kids these days with their hair and their music,” but that’s the point, right? Every generation is horrified by how dumb the next one is and then we throw up our hands and despair and say “they’re not as good as us.”

What makes this truly hilarious is that the people who are now shaking their heads in disgust are the Baby Boomers, half of whom showed up to their first interview with long, long hair, a peace medallion hanging to their belly buttons, tiny John Lennon glasses and bell bottoms so large that you couldn’t see if they had feet or hooves, talking about how cool Woodstock was. The other half knew better, but envied the first half.

And now, the long hair has fallen out, and the attitude of peace and love and ‘shrooms has been replaced by concerns about retirement accounts and “does that mole look suspicious to you?” And they’re judging the kids who are coming up because those punks are into technology and stuff the Boomers don’t understand as well as they’d like, and why can’t these whippersnappers just grow up and get a haircut?

Admittedly, I’m enjoying this way too much because I can see both sides. I was born in the ‘60s, grew up as a kid in the ‘70s and early ‘80s and have had real jobs now for thirty years because I like working and I like money. I’ve been turned down for jobs half a dozen times, but I always understood that if it was right it would be right for everyone, not just for the bosses or for me, and you have to kiss a lot of frogs, figuratively, to find a prince.

Here’s my advice: Kids, take it seriously. We just came out of a recession and there are a lot of people applying for each job. Practice your interview skills and look the part for the job you want. Hirers, get a grip and remember what it was like when you were young and dumb.

And if someone brings her cat to the interview, call a priest, ‘cause that’s just messed up.

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Janet Jacobs is City Editor of the Daily Sun. Her column appears on Saturdays. She may be reached via email at jjacobs@corsicanadailysun.com. Want to “soundoff” to this article? Email: Soundoff@corsicanadailysun.com