I looked up when she came in the door, this girl in her twenties wearing jeans and an old tee shirt, blond hair pulled back in a messy pony tail.
“Can I help you?” I asked, thinking I sounded like a stereotypical sales girl.
“Uh, yeah.” She leaned forward against the counter between us. “Do you have any job openings?”
Since it’s not my place to make personnel decisions, I told her when Those in Charge would return. “Or,” I added, trying to be helpful, “You could always drop off a resume.”
Her eyes lit up. Ah. This was the perfect solution. “Great! Where can I get one?”
For a second, I couldn’t speak. Perhaps I’d had an advantage, as the daughter of small business owners, but this seemed like common knowledge. Then I reminded myself that she probably thought I meant to say “an application”. I tried to decide how to phrase this tactfully, in case she truly had misspoken.
“Well, actually, I’m not sure where the applications are,” I told her slowly, thinking aloud, putting a bit more emphasis on applications. “But if you write up your resume, then you can come back with it.”
She wrinkled her brow in confusion. Okay, so apparently it was possible that someone in her mid-twenties might not know what a resume was. Maybe she’d never needed one before. But she must have had other jobs. I tried again. “You know. A resume? Where you list all the jobs you’ve had?”
“Oh. Okay.” Her eyes drifted toward her hands. The left moved vigorously, picking at the cuticle on her right thumb. Then she looked up. “By the way, what do you guys do here? I’ve done lots of cashiering. I have tons and tons of experience with it.”
I glanced around the room, which held plenty of evidence of our products. Itching to explain the finer points of job-hunting — including dressing professionally, researching the company, and preparing the appropriate paperwork — I summoned up a kindly smile and briefly outlined our tasks, none of which included working the ancient cash register hunched on the counter between us.
“That sounds fun!” she chirped, swinging her sagging pony tail in her enthusiasm. “I’d like that a lot.”
Moments later she skipped out the door, full of cheerful promises that she would return later that afternoon to pick up an application. I never saw her again. Perhaps getting a job the traditional way just turned out to be too much work.