A Blond Walked Into the Fairhope 5 and 10 Looking For a Job…

On impulse, I decided it was the perfect day to apply for a job, because my hair did right and I looked really cute.

I found Mr. Walker, the store owner, and told him I wanted a job. He gave me an application – my first – and told me to fill it out. It didn’t take long because I only had the one job to write about – my three Saturdays in the grocery store.

When Mr. Walker looked at the application, he frowned and looked up at me.

“This was your only job?”

I answered, “Uh-huh.”

“Is this right? You were there only three days?”


“Why did you stop?”

I explained.

“It was awful. When you don’t hit all the right buttons on the cash register, you have to start over. And it takes a lot of time when you have to do a whole cart full of groceries over. And I was supposed to remember the prices for beans, and carrots, and parsnips, all at the same time. It was hard to remember anything when the line of customers was getting longer and longer. And I didn’t even know what a parsnip was.”

I gave him my brightest smile. “But I’ll be better at this job because you don’t sell vegetables.”

I didn’t even get past the front door, that is, I failed the interview.

I went home fighting off the fear of failure and wishing I had some Mallomars.

They were hard experiences. But after giving it thought, I realized they taught me three valuable lessons and helped me narrow down my career choices.

  • When you’re on an interview, you don’t need to express all of your feelings.
  • You shouldn’t use the fact that you failed on one job as the reason you would succeed on another.
  • My path to success lay in a career that didn’t require the ability to memorize the price of parsnips.

(And they complain about millennials!)

March 19, 2019