Thursday, November 24, 2016


Erich Heckel, Männerbildnis (1919)

APPLICANT: Thank you so much for meeting with me today, Mr. Johannsen.

EMPLOYER: My pleasure, Cecil. I'm so glad you could make it. Did you have any trouble finding us?

APPLICANT: Not at all. Janet's directions were impeccable.

EMPLOYER: Well then, have a seat, and let's get started. Tell me a little bit about yourself and why you're interested in a position here at Mattress Kingdom.

APPLICANT: Yes sir. Well, I consider myself a career-oriented person; I'm passionate about customer relations, and for the last four years I've focused on excelling in my current position at Toner Planet -- "where savings are out of this world." I wear a big foam costume and wave at traffic out by the road. I've treasured my time as part of the Toner Planet family, and the experience has been invaluable, but I would very much like an opportunity to explore the possibilities for myself in the field of bedding technology. I was so excited to discover there was an opening here at Mattress Kingdom. As a matter of fact, my mother got her mattress here. She loves it. It is an excellent mattress, sir. Excellent mattress.

EMPLOYER: Thank you very much for saying so, Cecil. Here at Mattress Kingdom, we like to say "quality is king." So Cecil, tell me a little bit about your responsibilities at Toner Planet.

APPLICANT: Well, I wear a big foam costume shaped like a toner cartridge. A cartoon toner cartridge, you understand, with arms, legs, eyes, and a big happy smile. Its name is "Tony." I wear the big foam Tony costume and wave at traffic in front of the store.

EMPLOYER: Good, very good. What do you enjoy most about the position?

APPLICANT: Oh, all of it. Wearing the costume. Waving at traffic. I like wearing the costume and waving at traffic. It has been an amazing experience, and I certainly wouldn't mind doing it for another four years. But I feel I've reached a point in my personal growth where it's time I moved on to bigger and better things. And those things are mattresses and a big foam costume shaped like a mattress.

EMPLOYER: Cecil, I want you to tell me what YOU bring to this position. Let's imagine I were to put you in my big foam mattress costume right now and asked you to get started. What would you do?

APPLICANT: Well, the first thing I'd do is stand in front of a mirror and wave for a little while. To calibrate my performance. To get an idea of what people in cars will be seeing when I'm waving at them.

EMPLOYER: Of course, very good -- but let's move ahead. You're in the big foam mattress costume. You're out by the road in front of the store. People are driving by in their cars. Tell me how you think you'd perform?

APPLICANT: Well, I would begin by waving at people. But certainly there's more to it than that; obviously you can't JUST wave. Not with the same arm. I'd start waving with the right arm. Then after a while I'd switch to the left arm. And then back to the right. Sometimes I would wave with both arms, should the situation call for it. I've also found it effective to move my legs and bob up and down a little, like I'm kind of doing a little dance kind of. It makes me seem fun, it makes the store seem fun. It makes people in cars on the road want to come into the store and have fun buying mattresses.

EMPLOYER: Very good. Can you give me an example of a time when you went above and beyond what was required of you in putting on a big foam costume and waving at traffic?

APPLICANT: There was one time I was running late and couldn't use the lavatory before putting on the big foam costume and waving at traffic. So I held it in for ten hours. Because it isn't about me. What's most important is Toner Planet and the toner. It's about letting people know there is toner at Toner Planet. Every minute I'm not out by the road waving at traffic is an opportunity I lose for Toner Planet.

EMPLOYER: If I were to speak to your employers at Toner Planet, what would they tell me is an area in which you're in need of improvement?

APPLICANT: Well. Sometimes when I'm out there waving at traffic I wave a little TOO hard. But I am working on it. I remind myself not to wave so hard. I'm getting better.

EMPLOYER: Where do you see yourself in five years?

APPLICANT: Standing out by the road in front of a store wearing a big foam costume and waving at people in cars. But I hope that store is Mattress Kingdom. I hope that big foam costume is a mattress costume.

EMPLOYER: I think that about wraps it up, Cecil. Do you have any questions for me?

APPLICANT: Oh, yes. Where are the eye holes in your big foam mattress costume?

EMPLOYER: They're in the mouth.

APPLICANT: Ah, yes. Good. I understand that's how it is with many big foam costumes.

EMPLOYER: Yes. Not in the costume's eyes. In the mouth.

APPLICANT: It's a very important distinction. Thank you.

EMPLOYER: Its name is "Matty the Mattress."

APPLICANT: That's very clever, sir. Very strong branding.

EMPLOYER: In the mouth.

APPLICANT: Yes, sir.

EMPLOYER: Well, thank you for coming in, Cecil. We'll be in touch. Feel free to call if you have any questions.

APPLICANT: Thank you for your time, Mr. Johannsen.



  1. Pfft. How naive. Everybody knows that in the competitive and dynamic industry of store mascot, at least 5 years of experience are necessary. And that's for a Junior entry-level position, of course. How did he get the job at Toner Planet, then, you ask? Simply, it was an unpaid internship. And the owner of the store is his uncle.

    1. Gosh. This might be the first time a comment has depressed me more than my own post. Kudos <3

      Or: Kudos :<(?)

  2. It's like reading Kafka's The Penal Colony. Except with less metaphor.