When our company interviews
applicants, we always ask, "What is your greatest achievement so far?" We got an
unusual answer from one haggard young man who arrived late for his interview. He replied,
"Helping my wife deliver our baby with the Lamaze method two hours ago."
A man called the government office where I work and requested an estimate of his
benefits upon retirement. After I gave him the information, he went on to inquire about
his wife's benefits. I asked if she had ever worked. "She has worked all her life
making me happy," he replied. That was nice, I commented, but had she ever
contributed to a pension plan? "No," he said. "We made an agreement when we
got married. I would make the living and she would make the living worth
I had been out of the job market for several years when I was interviewed for a
sales-management position at a department store. First, the personnel and department heads
saw me, and then I met the store manager, who couldn't understand their vote to hire me.
"So," he challenged, "what management experience have you ever had?"
After thinking a moment, I replied confidently, "I get the meat, potatoes and
vegetables on the table at the same time. That's management." I got the job.
I had been unemployed for several weeks. Each day I'd go to
job-site areas hoping they'd have something for me, but the answer was always no. Then one
morning my luck changed and I found work as a carpenter. The job kept me busy all day, and
I was unable to call home with the good news. When I got back that evening, my wife took
one look at me, flashed a euphoric smile and exclaimed: "You're dirty!"
Just what an impact the economy had had on the job market
became evident to me when I ran a help-wanted ad for my business in our local paper. Next
to "salary expected," 75 percent of the applicants had written: "Yes."
While visiting my local employment office, I was both amused
and saddened by the plaintive message on a bumper sticker. Sandwiched between two other
parked cars, one displaying, "I'd rather be surfing," and the other, "I'd
rather be skiing," it stated simply, "I'd rather be Working."
After receiving a lecture from my boss about paying attention
to details, I decided to see if he practiced what he preached. When I prepared the payroll
cheques for the next pay period, I added two extra zeros to mine. Then I brought the batch
in for his signature. I stood at his desk as time and again he wrote his name with a
flourish "Tom A Grandel."
When he finished, he gave me the cheques to distribute. Soon afterwards I opened
mine. On the signature line, in my boss' elegant handwriting, was "Try And
I had worked at a mental-health center for about a year when
one payday I received two paychecks. The personnel office informed me that the extra check
represented a retroactive pay raise I should have received several months before. My
elation was short-lived, because the next day I was told a mistake had been made and I
should not have been given the second check. I would be notified as to when and where to
pay back the money. Two weeks passed, and again I received two checks. Immediately, I
called the personnel office and asked why I had received another extra check. After
putting me on hold for some time, the voice on the other end returned and cheerfully
informed me: "It's quite simple. In the first check that you shouldn't have received,
you didn't get enough." Both extra checks had to be repaid.
I called my two young employees into my office to inform them
of their semi-annual pay raise. "However," I told them, "because business
has been slow your raise will be paltry." "You can't pay us in poultry!"
Jeff exclaimed. "No, Jeff," said Chris. "I think she means chicken