The church where I work is partnering with a community organization that is not all that different from ACORN but that has not yet drawn the ire of any right wing organizations. I seriously don’t know how they’ve avoided it. I mean, they’ve got a big list of abortion providers posted right up on the wall in their local office. But, anyway, they do a lot toward getting people clothed, fed, and housed around here. They also run early childhood programs for low income families. We’re going to be the host site of a free daycare for teen mothers this fall. There’s all this ridiculous extra work coming my way on account of it. Much of it is photocopying and collating. I can collate for the greater good. That I don’t mind.

But they’re hiring five people to staff the daycare and two cooks, and all the applications are running through the office here. Every ten minutes I get an email or phone call or guy dropping by to find out about these jobs. I know exactly fuck all about these jobs, in large part because no one will tell me anything. I ask, and I am told not to worry that answering these questions is not my job and that I shouldn’t worry. Unfortunately I have no idea whose job it may be: I’m the only one here.

People, it seems, are astonishingly stupid about job applications. One woman asked me if she really had to complete the application. Can’t I just give you my name and phone number? You can call me to set up an interview, and we can cover all this shit then. Um. No. It doesn’t work that way. Also, four people have showed up with transcripts they want me to photocopy and include with their application. Four people. It seems to me that that’s the sort of thing you could’ve done yourself at your local library and thereby create a greater impression of your professionalism and preparedness.

The only thing better than people who are stupid about applications are people who have spent way the fuck too much time reading Monster dot com and would like to network with me and deliver some sort of 30 second pitch about why I should hire them. I explain I’m not in charge of anything and that I need to get back to work but that I’ll deliver their application. Please tell your boss, then, that blahblahblah blah blah blah. Then they force creepily prolonged eye contact and shake my hand. This has happened three times this morning.

One guy somehow found out my name ahead of time. And came in and called me Mrs Rat. I was confused initially, thinking he wanted to speak to my mother. I asked him what he needed. I told him that I was Ms and not a Mrs, and he continued to call me Mrs. Because in 2010, year of our Lord, he somehow seems never to have heard the word Ms. He asked me my first name. I told him, and he called me something that bore no resemblance. He talked for ten minutes about his education and (irrelevant) hobbies, despite my explanation that literally my only role in the hiring process was carrying his resume three feet and adding it to a stack. He wanted to borrow my stapler. He needed something photocopied. He apologized prolongedly for irritating me, which he had. Then he shook my hand way, way, way too long.

I can appreciate the pathos here, the sweaty expectation of the job hunt, as much as anyone. But jeepers creepers. This is ridiculous.