I'm trying to keep my business, my triplets, and my waistline under control. I excel at one of those, fail at another one of those, and one is a work in progress. Which is which is day dependant.

Monday, November 30, 2009

I Sit In Judgement

Today I interviewed someone for a job - to come and work for me in a part-time capacity. On the phone we seemed to get along very well (we just 'clicked' well) and I was really looking forward to meeting her. I really need some new blood around, she seemed to have good skills, was willing to work and so on. In theory the ideal candidate.

She came along for the interview a half hour late. She DID call to say she would be late, but also mentioned she was late because her naturopath appointment ran over time. This I didn't mind, since she DID call.

Anyway so she comes and we sit and chat...and within a few minutes she criticises the work we've done thus far. "So do your clients want that 'messy look' on their cakes?" I didn't know how to reply to this, but I chalked it up to her being comfortable enough with me to comment. I let it slide.

Then she started to tell me how she wants to be paid cash (very common in this industry), and also revealed a whole lot about herself. I commented that cash was a normal thing because it meant a tax break for both parties, and she said, "Yes, and if I get paid on the books I can't get Centrelink benefits" (Centrelink= Australian welfare.) Then she started to tell me how her household is chemical free and organic, how they drink only rice milk (at $60 a box), and so on and so forth. A whole bunch of interesting stuff.

I'm ashamed to admit this, but I sat in judgement through that entire interview. I tried not to, I didn't really want to, but I just couldn't help thinking all sorts of judgemental thoughts about this woman. She wants to work at least 4 days a week, but also take benefits? She can afford naturopath visits and expensive organic food and whatnot, but wants the government to pay for her kids' childcare?

In reality what she does with the money I give her is HER business. It should not matter to me at all what she does with her salary - it's hers and not mine. She then started to tell me about her cultural heritage, and about how they prefer 'perfect' cakes and I must not have any clients of her culture. Then she started to sneer at the icing we use - because it's not the one she prefers, but she'll "do whatever the person paying the wages" tells her to.

So there I was, in a quandry. On the one hand she's got skills I could use, she's available when I need her to be, she's interested in the industry. On the other I just don't know how I feel about all that I heard in that interview - the benefits, her feelings on the work we do now, and all the rest of it. I KNOW it was wrong of me to be so judgemental of her... but... I couldn't help it. Maybe I got a little off-side since one of her opening comments was about the cakes we make and the icing we use... so I was already a bit prickly. I'm not sure. The whole thing just, well, really bugged me.

It's now a while later and I still can't pin-point exactly why I feel irritated about this... I just...DO. Reading about The Baker's Wife's experiences in hiring staff isn't making me feel much better, either. Maybe I cannot afford to be so judgemental. Maybe I need to shove my opinions in my pocket and let her get on with the job. I just... have a bad taste in my mouth. Thoughts?


Danielle said...

No way! Are you REALLY thinking of hiring her STILL? If she is ready to dog you before she even works for you, what will she do once she actually does? Let's face it. We all bitch about the boss...and if she is doing it BEFORE she even works for you? I would tell her to take a running jump. Then, I would go to the local high school, and offer work to some graduated art major student....half the price, with a bit of "artisic creativity", and someone who knows no better,so you can train EXACTLY how you want them.
And for the record? I am like you; how people spend their wages is their business. BUT, this lady is dodging paying taxes, AND taking other peoples taxes in the form of centrelink.....I would dob her in.

Off topic entirely, did you see our cake? You did good on the advice front. Anyone would think you make cakes for a living.....

Rachel said...

Bitchy comments and benefit fraud aside, if you don't feel you can get on with this woman then don't hire her. It's so important to feel comfortable with the people you work with, especially in a small company like yours, so I would say trust your instincts.
R x

Jewel said...

Darling, go with your gut feeling... and just don't go there. She sounds like a royal pain in the arse, and you will need to work closely with the right candidate on products that are your babies. Too much trouble, me thinks. Good luck with it. xoxoxo

the baker's wife said...

Yes, yes, yes, all agreed with the other commenters. If she's put you off at this stage, drop her now. Once she's an employee she's harder to get rid of, and you become exposed to all kinds of legal issues. (she does sound a little like she'd be prepared to push those limits too, maybe?)

There are talented, happy people who want to work. They are out there somewhere and once you tap the vein, you'll be fine. Hold out for better, you are not being picky.

Claire - Matching Pegs said...

It is as simple as this....

She lacks personal integrity. Fraud is fraud.

Don't do it, her lack of integrity will not bode well for you and your business.

Oh, and like the others said - trust your gut feelings.

PS. I metaphorically rubbed my hands with glee when I saw your title :-)

emzeegee & the hungry three said...

Thanks for the support everyone... this whole interview just did not sit well with me for the rest of the day and evening. I went out to dinner and all my dinner mates told me to run like hell from this woman.

I think Claire hit the nail on the head when she said "this woman does not have personal integrity"... and that is what really bugged me the most.

Anyway she called today to organise a trial and I said a polite thanks but no thanks...to which she said, "Did you not think my skills were good enough?"

I'll keep you guys posted.


Nicole said...

Run...don't walk from this lady!

M.B. said...

Maybe because she is what we call a leech on society's working hand. Ugh. I cannot think that she will be very productive, M. She is bound to have allergies and want to move your aura around.

And I don't know about you but I do not want anyone "like that" near *MY* aura.

You have earned my respect for sitting through the interview without busting out laughing. Are you sure there wasn't a hidden camera somewhere? Maybe DH put her up to it?

Jenny said...

I totally agree with your decision - and would never have hired anyone I thought would represent me so badly to my clients. Ever. At some point, she is your face to your clients. While you might be willing to put up with it, would they?

Hang in there. There are plenty of good people out there with integrity.