I’m a Jerk. Want to Work for Me?

If I have recently spent a few minutes telling you all the worst things about being a ‘team member’ at our restaurant/The Brand’N Iron Bar & Grill… then you may have thought it was a very strange way for me to do a job interview with you.

After a couple recent false-starts with new employees, I have decided to adjust the way I approach the interviewing for new hires. I have recently begun to just give them negative and disappointing truths that are inherent with the work we do. The pay is not great, the work is very hard at times, it is dirty and greasy, our facilities are small and basic, we don’t do a great job at managing, or scheduling, or being consistent. I tell them that I can be a jerk, and I will be managing them. I mention all the things that have been said by complaining staff members, that I can think of… all in the first few minutes of our talks together.

Why not!

I would love to have this be the one time that these things are brought up. I would love to cover these problems before we ever start to work together. Wishful thinking 🙂

Maybe it’s a build up of recent stressful weeks of scheduling. Maybe it is me becoming more cynical and jaded, the longer I work at The Iron. I may however, be on to a much more freeing and fun way to start the conversation with a prospective employee. I do sort of enjoy watching their slightly anxious smile fall and that quizzical countenance take over, when I tell them I only want to give them reasons not to work for us.

I love the idea that I have already laid bare the downsides of this business and I don’t have to hide in fear that they may uncover these problems and threaten me with them once on staff. I have only tested this theory on three people so far, but I have enjoyed those three interviews enough, that maybe if one works out okay, it will be worth it overall.

Yesterday, I was recording a couple radio ads.Along with my cute cousin Tera, and our friendly KOFO queen Tiffany, we awkwardly recorded some promos ‘off-the-cuff.’ We just talked out a couple ideas and started recording. My favorite moments were the instances where I sounded ‘bad’ and the girls ‘messed-up’ the recording. I don’t want to broadcast completely un-professional spots, but the ‘real-ness’ of hearing a little mistake could be more memorable than a perfectly pronounced and polished piece.

We talked about the best ways to tell our little promotional stories. Instead of inventing a moment that never really happened, I much preferred to use the most truthful version that I could. I wanted Tera to really tell us her favorite meal, and how she really does like to order it. I wanted to say that we were in the KOFO studio recording an ad, instead of formulating a flowery verbal description of an imaginary restaurant conversation.

Why not just get at the tiny kernel at the core of the truth. In even these silly little examples: A job interview that I could handle a multitude of ways. A radio ad, that lasts only half a minute.

I may be doing these things as practice.

I know there are tons of examples in my life, where I dance and prance and skip and hop all around the central trunk of the truth of an issue. I know that I fail to really stab into and dig underneath, at the root. I need to practice this open-hearted honesty as much as possible. There are many things I still hide from.

I know that my courage, needs the encourage-ment of repetitive and deliberate exercise. I know that exposing my faults and failing to even dress up my shortcomings can cost me dearly. I could look and even feel like a fool, if someone wanted to use them against me.

On the other hand, if I keep in practice that I am willing to be quite open, quite honest and sincere, then maybe I have done us all a favor. I am not anywhere near as agile emotionally as I would like to be. I still tense up. The fear can gather like a storm cloud and envelope me completely.

I will continue to chip away though. I will try to remember in little ways, to show my hand. I will lay bare my failed attempts to win, then let the chips fall where they may.


Aaron Nichols

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