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?
Me: “Okay, would you like the cake to say anything?”
Customer: “Like what?”
Me: “Happy Birthday? Happy Tenth Birthday?”
Customer: “Oh! Well, if you could teach it to sing ‘Happy Birthday,’ that would be great!”
(I think the customer is joking, so I write “Happy Birthday” on the cake as usual. Later on, the customer calls in complaining that his cake didn’t sing when the candles were lit!)