Thursday, January 17, 2013

Lunch Lady Union or Another Job Bites the Dust

I've recently posted about my job search.  Here's an update:

I had two interviews for a "Floating Nutrition Services" position (meaning, Traveling Lunch Lady) in the last seven days.  The first interview was over the phone and consisted of the interviewer asking me a bunch of (mostly) generic questions.  She assured me that every person applying for a job with our school district has to answer the questions.  Here is a sample of the questions and my responses (I dare you to try to figure out which ones were my "real" answers and which were the answers I wanted to say).

Do you believe humor is important in the workplace? Yes. Humor is important in life.
Why? Really? If you have to ask that, you don't have a sense of humor.

Do you believe that your co-workers should be highly skilled and competent? Yes.
Why? Because I don't like stupid people.

If you noticed a co-worker was having an emotional day, what would you do? Tell them to "Suck it up and get to work."

Your supervisor seems to disregard high-priority tasks. What would you do? Tell my supervisor that I'm not getting paid the big bucks like s/he is, so s/he can get crackin' and get his/her job done, because I'm not paid enough to be doing both my job and his/her's.

A large food order comes in which includes large bins. What would you do? Try to lift the bins, hurt my back and file a worker's comp claim.

A new piece of equipment is delivered, which you are not familiar with working. What do you do? Ask someone to train me on the equipment or find a manual.

Do you need to be liked by your co-workers? Yes and no.
Why? It is in my personality to be liked by people. However, sometimes, I really don't care. Especially if my co-workers are not highly skilled and competent.

Those are only a few of the very random questions I had to answer.  I told tMotH, "Well, I bombed that interview," and then proceeded to tell him all about the questions.  We had a good laugh, and I wrote off that job possibility.

Monday, I was called for a second interview, so I guess I didn't screw up the questions as much as I thought.  On Wednesday, I put on my "interview outfit" - the only pair of black pants I own that currently fit, a black sleeveless mock-neck shirt, a fuchsia deep-necked sweater, my pearls and the only heels in which I can currently stand to walk - and headed to the District Offices for the interview.

The person with whom I was interviewing found me in the lobby and led me back through a brightly lit cubicle area, which she called "the dungeon" (I've always thought of dungeons as dank and dark which this area was neither) to a small conference room.

"This second interview really shouldn't be called an 'interview' as we've already checked out all your information and have determined that you would be a great fit for the Nutrition Services Program. Which, really, we all call ourselves 'Lunch Ladies.'" She began as we sat down. "Basically, what I want to do today, if you're still interested in the position, is go over what we do and how it all works. Would that be ok?" At my nod, she then went into all the various duties lunch ladies do, how the "floater" position works and then added, "Of course, per our union rules, if we don't have anyone absent at any of the schools, we'd still have you come in and work so you could continue to train."

"Huh? Union?" I stuttered.
"Yes, we are a union district, so everyone who works for the district must be part of the union." She replied.
"Even the part time lunch ladies?"
"Yes. Actually, all but two of our employees are part time workers."
"What if I need a day off? How does that work?"
"Well, days off are hard because as a union, all the day off requests go by seniority."
"Seniority in a part time job?"
"Of course. It's how the union works.  Now, does all this sound good to you or do you want a few days to talk to your husband and figure out what you plan to do?" She smiled. She really was a nice woman.

I told her I needed a few days and left the interview.  All the way home all I could think was "Seriously? Union for part time workers? No wonder why our schools don't have any money. I am NOT working for a GOVERNMENT UNION and giving them my money so they can give it to people intent on destroying the country. Nope. Not happening."

This experience has been more of a testing of principles than a job search.  I can't wait to see which one of my principles gets tested with my next job offer.

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