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A Look Back At Our Funniest Blogs From 2017

January 9, 2018 | By | No Comments

It’s good to start the new year with a laugh, and 2017 gave us some funny stories. Interviews are pressure situations for both employers and candidates, so hilarious things often happen. Here are some of my favorite, and the funniest, stories from the year of blogs.

Strange things candidates said under the pressure of a job interview.

Tell me a little about yourself.

  • Well, [breathy pause] men find me attractive.


  • I’m a Christian and my father is gay.
  • I’m the person you’re looking for.
  • I have three children in college.
  • I could have married a Saudi prince, but I wanted a career.
  • I’m a kick-ass administrative assistant and advance guy with a knack for scheduling and making it happen. The big boys love me!

Can we get references from your employers?

  •  You can call my boss. He’d better give me a good reference. I’m sleeping with him.

Resumes that drive the human resources managers crazy.


I can’t believe the boss did that!

The Senior Vice president who gave himself a foot massage while interviewing a candidate.


Then there was the boss who, while conducting an interview, took out an ironing board and ironed his pants and shirt.

Candidates with strange Expectations

This woman was determined to get a job – any job!

There was a sign on the door to the HR department: “Walk-in applicants accepted only on Tuesdays and Thursdays from one to four. No exceptions.”

One Wednesday afternoon, Vicky, the HR manager, came out of her office and was surprised to see a woman sitting in the waiting area. The conversation that followed:

Vicky: “May I help you?”

The woman: “Yes, you can. I’m here to apply for the teller trainee position.”

Vicky: “I’m sorry. Maybe you didn’t see the sign on the door. We don’t take walk-in

applicants on Wednesday s, only on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. If you want to

come back tomorrow, you can fill out an application, but I can tell you we aren’t looking for tellers right now.”

The woman, unperturbed. “That’s not a problem. I’ll apply for branch manager.”

Vicky, getting nervous: “As I said, we only take walk-ins on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and we don’t need any more managers.” She held out her hand to indicate the door, but the woman showed no signs of moving.

The woman: “Okay. Then I’ll apply for vice president.”

Vicky: “We don’t have any openings, and we do not take walk-ins on Wednesdays. The

office is closed. You need to leave — now.”

The woman finally stood up, and picked up a suitcase that Vicki hadn’t noticed

before, sighed, and said,

“Oh, well. Then I guess I’ll just have to move to Virginia and run for the Senate.”

Vicky didn’t follow up to see if she was elected.




44 Sayings From Your Dad That Make Great New Year’s Resolutions

January 2, 2018 | By | No Comments

If you’re making New Year’s resolutions, remember the advice, warnings, and reprimands, your dad said to you when you were a kid.

Whatever Dad wanted you to do, chances are bosses want too. Whatever made your dad mad will likely make interviewers and bosses mad too.

Remember when Dad asked:

1.  What do you think you’re doing!?

That is, do think about what you’re doing. Do things on purpose. Put Dad on your shoulder, and listen to him ask you, “What do you think you’re doing?” when…

*When you’re walking into a job interview: What do you think you’re doing? Maybe you think you’re there to “check it out.” Maybe you’re there to get a job. Either way, that’s likely to be what you’ll end up doing.

*When you join a group of people who are complaining about the boss or gossiping: What do you think you’re doing?

*When you’re blowing off the duties you don’t like: What do you think you’re doing?

*When you are doing anything where your judgment matters: What do you think you’re doing? Well, what?

When you had a disappointment or a problem, and you were ready to give up on because it seemed impossible to solve, Dad might have said:

2. There’s more than one way to skin a cat.

Or, “If at first you don’t succeed, try again” – but in a new way. If you can get creative in finding ways to get things done, you can ride that ability right to the top! Creative problem-solvers are prized in the workplace over people with skills and experience. Skills can be trained and experience can be gained.

New Year’s Resolutions













3. Crying about it won’t fix it.

In your career, as in all of life, there will be all kinds of adversities – a failed deal, a lost opportunity, a lost job, a mean boss. But you can choose what you will do with your adversities – cry about them or make music!

“If you break up with your partner, go straight to the studio. You’re going to make great music.”  B.o.B.

New Year’s Resolutions


When you were going out to school, a date, or anyplace, maybe your dad said:

4. Cover yourself. You’re not going out in that!

New Year’s Resolutions

If your clothes were too revealing or outrageous for Dad, chances are they won’t work for the person interviewing you for a job either.


5. Go put on a clean shirt. Have some pride about yourself!

New Year’s Resolutions

Most people don’t notice or care how much your clothes cost, but they notice if they aren’t clean and neat. Look in the mirror. What do your clothes say about you?

“She wears her clothes as if they are thrown on with a pitchfork.” (Jonathan Swift)

New Year's Resolutions

When you said you had a grade or a competition nailed, he may have told you:

6. Don’t get overconfident. When you let down, remember there’s someone else out there who’s still working to pass you.

New Year’s Resolutions


When you were being rude, angry, or a jerk, maybe he said:

7. Wipe that look off your face.

Don’t let your face give away thoughts that are best kept private. If you didn’t get the job, the problem may not be in your resume, but in how you were perceived. Arrogant? Disinterested? Complacent? Irritated?

8. Mind your manners.

New Year’s Resolutions

9. Who do you think you’re talking to?

10.Watch that mouth of yours!

What Dad may have told you about how to deal with people, be a person who is trusted, and get ahead in your career:

11. Don’t beat around the bush. Get to the point. People are busy.

12. Say what you mean and mean what you say.

13. Own up to your mistakes.

14. Think before you speak.

15. Adjust your attitude, Mister.

16. Hay is for horses.

17. Give me a straight answer.

18. You’re only as good as your word.

19. Speak up.

20. Don’t be afraid to blow your own horn.

21. Open your mouth and ask for what you want.

22. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

23. I don’t care who started it, you stop it!

24. If you don’t know what you’re talking about, keep

your mouth shut.

25. Don’t burn your bridges.

26. I don’t want to hear your excuses.

27. Put a sock in it.

28. Don’t be a smart ass.

29. When it’s your house then you can make the rules!


15 more things somebody’s dad said sometime, and he was right again:

30. Open your eyes and look around you!

31. Put down that phone and read a book.

32. Get your act together.

33. You’d better straighten up and fly right!

34. You’re getting too big for your britches.

35. If you don’t want people minding your business,

36. keep it to yourself.

37. Fair!? You think life is fair?

38. Okay, know-it-all, don’t listen.

39. Don’t act smart.

40. Can’t never could.

41. Don’t bite off more than you can chew.

42. Just who do you think you are?

43. Stop slouching

44. Polish your shoes.

Apply Dad’s words to get the success you want in life.

01 Dec



December 1, 2017 | By |

Inanimate objects speak! They even tell jokes.

If you don’t believe that, try sitting at the HR assistant’s desk in the lobby of a human resources department and look at some of the accessories people bring to their job interviews.

silly accessories

The HR assistant is the first to see the accessories people bring to interviews and the clothes they have chosen to wear, and knows they speak.

The things they say can cause the candidate to be out on the street in minutes.

silly accessories











Imagine what’s going through the assistant’s mind when she sees the things people do to sabotage themselves.

“I see some crazily dressed or accessorized person come out of the boss’s office, scratching his head as though wondering: ‘Why? I don’t understand. She only interviewed me for 10 minutes and didn’t ask me any questions about my skills. Why?’ I’d love to tell the person that it’s because his accessories did all the talking!”

The HR assistant’s thoughts about some of the accessories she sees:

The clown-car purse.

The woman carried a huge and bulging purse when she came for the office manager position. When the HR assistant asked for her resume, she riffled through the purse, pushing things aside, trying to find it. She plopped the purse on the assistant’s desk and continued to plow through it.

“It’s here somewhere.”

silly accessories

She pulled things out and piled them on the desk – iPhone, letters and bills, lipstick, hairbrush, used tissues, an apple and a woolen cap.

“Sorry. I know it’s in here.” She kept digging.

A box of mints, candy bar, gum, pill bottle, and a novel.

As more things were pulled from the bag, the receptionist it as a clown-car with too many clowns climbing out.

Gum wrappers came from the bottom, then loose change, and the purse was empty.

For a minute the woman looked baffled. Then, with an ah-ha expression, she looked inside the book where she found the much-folded and wrinkled resume.

The plastic, grocery bag full of – interview necessities?

silly accessories

“Why did this reasonably dressed young man see fit to bring a grocery bag to a professional interview? Hmmm… Looks like he came from the gym.” Through the semi-transparent plastic, she could identify red gym shoes bulging out on one side, and a wad of red and green cloth? Gym pants maybe? Tee-shirt? She couldn’t be sure. “I see the edge of the iPad there, and, oh, what’s that? A sandwich? No. A pack of cigarettes. And a book – does he really think he will be here long enough to need novels? He’s wrong.”

silly accessories

 Jazzy shirt, arrogant expression & sunglasses – trifecta!

silly accessories

“Give me a break! I give his interview 12 minutes.”


The femme fatale’s fatal fittings

silly accessories

“Uh-oh. This one’s gonna set off alarms that can be heard all the way to the c-suite. That dress she’s almost wearing doesn’t leave any unanswered questions. Can’t wait till the director sees it.

Wonder what job she thinks she’s applying for. Sex kitten, seductress, coquette? Maybe man-eater? Home wrecker? Trouble! I’ll bet the Director has her out of his office before you can say inappropriate!”


Backpacks – killer of the corporate vibe

silly accessories

“The boss will love this accessory. She loves the dirty-backpack look. Maybe he thought this was black Friday and he’d have to camp out in front of my building to be first in line?”


Flourishes, flounces & frills – adorable and then some!

silly accessories“Oh, my. Isn’t she sweet? All pretty in pink with ruffles from neck to baby-doll-length hem. And the headband with a pink and yellow polka-dot bow! She looks just like a little girl in a Disney cartoon. If the boss wants to play peek-a-boo rather than do serious work, she’s the gal.”


Anything over-the-top

silly accessories














Fake eyelashes, big jewelry, or anything that makes noise: “High-maintenance!”

Bluetooth earpiece

“Oh, I see. You’re important. In fact, you’re the most important person in the room. We should hire you because you can vastly improve our organization.”silly accessories














“Nothing matters to you as much as connecting with your buddies. If the boss’s plans conflict with yours, the boss you will just need to make adjustments. That’ll work.”

15 Nov


From The HR Department: The Odd Story of the (Almost) Naked Manager

November 15, 2017 | By |

Jane has seen just about every strange thing people can do, because she is the head of HR in a large investment company and responsible for hundreds of employees. People do the strangest things. When they do them at work, it becomes HR’s problem.

So, Jane has a whole heap of stories, from the hilarious to the scary – and some, like Jake’s story, are both.

The Story of the (Almost) Naked Manager

Jake was an operations manager in Jane’s company, and he did a fine job of keeping things running. But, for HR, there is more to smooth office operations than that.

Jane learned that Jake had been making some suggestive comments to Sophia, who worked in accounting. Sophia said, “I don’t want to get him in trouble. He’s very funny but some of his comments and jokes are making me uncomfortable, especially when he made reference to my clothes.”

The comments were not acceptable. Jane brought Jake to her office and tried to counsel him, but he was defensive. He didn’t think he did anything wrong.

“Sophia’s too uptight. Actually, I was complimenting her. Some women can’t take a compliment.”

Jane sighed. She went over the company’s sexual harassment rule with him and gave him a written warning that he could be terminated if the behavior happened again:

Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances or visual, verbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature. This definition includes many forms of offensive behavior and includes gender-based harassment of a person of the same sex as the harasser…. Anyone engaging in sexual or other unlawful harassment will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.

After the written warning, she hoped it was handled and she would not to hear anything more about Jake. No such luck. Just a week later, two other women complained about crude and sexually suggestive comments Jake had made to them. Jane gave him a final warning. He would not get another warning but would be fired if he did it again.

Before the week was out, another woman knocked on her door and said, “I was in the lunchroom when Jake came in. He asked a crude question – he’s done it before and I ignored him, but today he grabbed me inappropriately. Two people saw him do it.”

There was nothing more to talk about. Jane prepared the termination papers and sent Tom, from security, to fetch Jake. Tom found him in his office and called Jane.

“Jake’s here and he’s naked — except for boxer shorts.”

Once Jake put his clothes on and was in Jane’s office, she went through the charges and gave him a copy of his previous written warnings.

“You are terminated effective today. Tom will collect your building keys and pass, take you to get your belongings, and escort you from the building.”

The Conversation

HR Department

What? You’re firing me? Why? What did I do wrong?

Jake, I just told you – you sexually harassed women.

It never happened!

Jake, there’s no doubt it happened. You did it to three different women that we know of, and people saw you do it.

Jane, I feel like you don’t believe me.

No, I don’t.

It’s pretty clear whose side you’re on!

On top of that, just minutes ago Tom found you in your office with no clothes on.

No! That is NOT true! I had my shorts on!

Jake, there’s nothing more to say.

You’re really not on my side?

We’re done. I have your final paycheck ready.

But what did I do wrong?

Tom, please take his pass and keys, then escort him to his locker and from the building.

I don’t feel welcomed here!

We’re finished here. Tom…

Wait! Will there be any severance?

HR Department 

03 Nov


Stop Suffering Over Those Dumb Mistakes You Made On Your Job Interview

November 3, 2017 | By |

There are some events in life that seem to set us up to make painful mistakes. A job interview is a situation in which people are under stress and make mistakes that leave them miserable. If you’re suffering over some dumb mistake you made, remember this fact:

Mistakes are only made by living people.

Living people feel pressure when they are faced with either challenges or opportunities – often the same thing – and living people find the funniest ways to buckle under the pressure and blow opportunities. Then we suffer. That doesn’t help. It’s a lot better to lighten up and laugh at yourself.

What’s the most embarrassing thing you’ve ever done on an interview?

Are you laughing yet? Or are you reliving the event for the umpteenth time and suffering. If you want to lighten up on yourself, try this. Picture your best friend (or as one child said it: the best friend you don’t like) making the same mistake you made. Now is it funny?

Here are some stories about mistakes you can laugh at – mistakes other people made on their interviews.

Sherry: I had a final interview with the two vice presidents without would be my bosses. They were so nice that I got comfortable. Then I lost my mind. I talked about my ferret and went into my version of a ferret dance!

job interview

job interview


Sonya: It was my final interview and the vice president invited me to lunch. I ordered spaghetti!

job interview


Joe: I went to the interview psyched. It was a great opportunity for me. I’d done my research and was ready to go. Then something happened and, in an instant, my confidence was shattered.  The interviewer pointed out that my zipper was down. I had on pastel boxers – he pointed that out too. He wasn’t put off. In fact, he thought it was funny, but from that point on, my game was off. I stammered out answers and totally blew the interview. I wanted to disappear. When it was over, I slunk away.

job interview


Pete: It was one of the best interviews I’ve ever had. I was confident. The executive and I really connected and had a great conversation. He was smiling and seemed to be impressed. Then, as I was leaving, I didn’t look where I was going. Tripped and ended up on my backside.

job interview


Sharon: Maybe I was too excited about the job. I just froze. The human resources manager asked about my long-term goals, I answered, “Business or personal?” I looked at his face and knew he was thinking, “What an idiot!”


Jill: The manager said something that I thought was meant for a joke. I laughed like a hyena. Apparently, it wasn’t a joke.

job interview


Jackie: I read the job description before my interview. It said organization was vital to the position. So I brought a picture of my organized and color-coded closet. It didn’t work.

job interview

The moral of the story: people make mistakes. But you’re making another, bigger mistake if you let yourself suffer over it!

  1. Suffering and regret are a waste of time and emotion – they don’t fix the problem.
  2. Most mistakes are funny – at least in retrospect.
  3. While you’re agonizing over some dumb mistake, the people impacted by it are over it or laughing at it.
  4. And lighten up and laugh at yourself, because a lot of success in life is about getting past the scary parts.

And if you still need a good laugh, take a look at the day Ruthi drove everybody crazy by speaking on aphorisms and old sayings.


18 Oct


If Your Resume Were A Pair Of Shoes, Would They Put Your Best Foot Forward?

October 18, 2017 | By |

Would it be like this over-the-top boot built to impress?



You know your resume is a loud-mouth boot if ~

  1. It’s a show-off, filled with big words because it’s trying to look smart.
  2. It claims credit for the work of the whole organization or department.
  3. It says, “I’m the greatest!”

OR would it be like a clown shoe? 

The clown resume makes a lot of noise. It’s meant to be silly, not send a serious message.


From a resume for an HR position



Or would it be like a shaggy dog shoe?

Does it tell a long, long story that doesn’t come to a relevant point?


A shaggy-dog story that will be remembered, but not rewarded.

This resume for a membership assistant position wins the prize for best shaggy-dog story ever.



Or like a stinky, sloppy sneaker?


The sneaker resume is a mess of typos, misused words, wrongly capitalized words, mixed tenses, and misspelling – plus the formatting is awful.


Or like a nonsense-shoe which is good for laughs, but it doesn’t do what a shoe is supposed to do.


This shoe stands on anti-logic. It attempts to explain or justify one thing by stating something unrelated. 

  • As a Nevada native, I truly am excited about the opportunity and to work for this organization in Virginia.
  • Seeking an executive assistant position to a top-level CEO that will make use of my diversified background as a religion professor.
  • My diverse roles and responsibilities within the company prompt for the execution of multiple professional tasks in the workplace to uphold performance and community standards.

A strappy sandal with way too much sex appeal?

resumeHow do you know your resume is a strappy sandal?

  1. It has a picture of you in a sexy pose.
  2. It has a picture of you in a sexy pose!



Or a thick-soled rubber shoe?

It’s clunky, it’s boring, and it will never wear out, but go on forever!

It would be called a blabbermouth if it were a person. 


A thick-soled rubber resume:

  • Spells out every single task you ever did in excruciating detail.
  • Fills up more than two pages in a small font.
  • Has 37 bullets to describe a job that lasted six months.
  • Answers the question: How many ways can you say the same thing?

This rubber-shoe resume doesn’t stop with responsibilities. It lists every single task:

  • Responsible for front office
  • Manage the front office
  • Handle all receptionist duties
  • Answer all phones
  • Greet all Visitors in a friendly and polite manner
  • Make visitors comfortable by greeting them in a friendly fashion
  • Handle concerns and questions from Members
  • Handle concerns in the policies and procedures manual
  • Daily handle concerns not mentioned in the policies and procedures manual
  • Perform ad hoc assignments
  • Schedule conference room available for meetings including Management Meetings
  • Sighed in all new clients to the firm
  • Update database
  • Add new clients information to database
  • Organized travel arrangements
  • Prepare New Employee Welcome Packets
  • Copy and organize new employee welcome packs
  • Create and manage new policies logs in a monthly basis.
  • Issue and reschedule new and replacement equipment
  • Possessed excellent knowledge of reading, writing, grammar, spelling, punctuation, proofreading, and formatting materials
  • Provided general receptionist duties
  • Maintained several personnel calendars, and event planning for over 20 conference rooms
  • Develops long-term alternatives to save for selective budget accounts
  • Accurately and proficiently complete research projects in database and report findings to key consulting professionals

*And on, and on for another 673 words, ending with:

  • Additionally, I single-handedly coordinated ongoing tracking of travel expenses, including to England, Ireland, Italy, Germany, Costa Rica, Peru, and multiple States.

If your resume were compared to a pair of shoes, what would it say about you? For some people, it would say they spend more time picking out the shoes they will wear to an interview than writing the resume that will get them in the door. If no employer sees them, the shoes on your feet won’t matter.


27 Sep



September 27, 2017 | By |

Have you ever come out of a job interview and you’re beating yourself up because you realized you blew it by saying or doing something unbelievably dumb? You were beating yourself up because your mistake cost you an opportunity. Ease up on yourself. Remember: mistakes are only made by living people.
Three facts about life:

1. As you go through life, you constantly encounter opportunities.
2. Living people feel pressure when faced with opportunities
3. Living people find the funniest ways to buckle under the pressure and blow opportunities.

Lighten up on yourself and laugh.

You’re not alone. Here are some real mistakes other people have made in job interviews.

This candidate was trying to explain himself, but he was just digging himself into a hole, and the more he said, the deeper it got.

Interviewer: What are you looking for in your next position?
I have a lot of ambition. I want more opportunity to grow.

Interviewer: What kinds of growth opportunities are you looking for?
I want to do things on my own. I’m tired of being micromanaged. I have unlimited potential and it’s being hampered my managers.

How were they hampering you?
It was impossible. My manager kept throwing curveballs at me. The minute I’d finish one thing, she’d throw something else at me. I didn’t have time to grow because she just kept throwing curveballs.

Interviewer: Curveballs?
I mean when I finished a task, it was never enough. She expected me to jump right into a new one.

Interviewer: Did she expect overtime?
No. But there was pressure every day. She was always pressuring me to succeed.

Interviewer: Really?
Yes. I get overwhelmed when there’s too much work. Yesterday I was so overwhelmed I forgot to sign out.


Other things people wish they’d never said on an interview

What are your goals?

  • I want to get a puppy.
  • Do you mean business or personal?
  • Uh….

What kind of job do you want?

  • I don’t care.
  • I want advancement.
  • I just want to make a difference.
  • I don’t know… I’ve been on a lot of interviews, but nothing I was 100 % comfortable with – not something I felt I could really .. uh .. commit to and would pay me what I need.

Tell me about an accomplishment you’re proud of.

  • I have to say my children are my greatest accomplishments.
  • I hated living with roommates and wanted my own apartment. I convinced my dad to buy a condo near the school.
  • I have great organizational skills. My closet is completely organized by garment type, length, and color.

I see you’ve been in your job for six months. Why do you want to change?

  • I didn’t go to college to do menial work.
  • I have too much potential to spend my day just setting up my boss’s meetings and making sure there are pencils in the room.
  • It’s not worth my time. I have to spend my whole day answering the Senator’s mail and it’s, you know, some doddering old woman, with nothing important to do. She writes to say she wants the Senator to put a stop sign on her street – probably just to make it easier to get her dog to the park. This kind of trivia is just not worth my time.
  • I don’t. They fired me.
  • Well, actually, I just kind of thought I wanted something with less pressure.
  • I was working all day and I wasn’t going anywhere. It was a dead end and I wanted to grow, so I quit.
  • I’ve been going through a terrible divorce. I couldn’t focus at work because it was just disruption after disruption. I want to start somewhere fresh.

What were your primary responsibilities on your last job?

  • They’re on my resume. Haven’t you read it?

Do you have any questions for me?

  • Yes, Do I have to wear shoes to work?
  • What is your drug policy?
  • Can I work from home?
  • If you hire me, can I get an advance on my salary?

  • How long do I have to do this job before I can get promoted?
  • Is there any flexibility in the hours. It took me an hour to get here today and I’m not a morning person.

19 Sep


Lighten Up and Laugh – Even Bosses Make Mistakes

September 19, 2017 | By |

Do you beat yourself up when you make a mistake, or suffer when you blow a job interview or say the wrong thing at the wrong time?  If somebody else did it you’d probably laugh, so that’s the answer.

We put people in the position to judge us and imagine the harshest verdicts.

Bosses Make Mistakes

Lighten up, laugh, and get over it because mistakes are only made by living people – including friends, teachers, bosses, job interviewers, and any other people who we put in a position to judge us. A lot of our mistakes are funny and laughing is good.

Take the job interview, a situation where we all get uptight and stress over mistakes. Look at it from the other side. Hiring managers and executives make mistakes too – some really funny mistakes!

Imagine yourself in this picture. You have an interview for a job you really want and you’re all dressed up in your best interview suit. You hope you look more confident than you feel, which is a little like you’re going on trial. By the time you face the “judge” you’re already feeling not quite on your game, then he does something so odd that, whether or not you get the job, you’ve got a great story.

Here are four stories about managers who did the unexpected. Have a laugh at them and ease up on yourself.



I had the most bizarre interview ever. I was being considered for the regional vice president of human resources position with one of the top 10 insurance corporations in the world, a multi-billion dollar company. I’d already made it through multiple interviews, and my final interview was with the number-two person in the company in their New York City headquarters.

The offices were in an iconic skyscraper in New York’s financial district. I was ushered into his huge corner office, on the 67th floor, that looked down on a spectacular view of the city. I’d been in executive offices before, but nothing I’d ever seen was as lavish as that one.

If the scene wasn’t intimidating enough, the executive vice president came in wearing a suit that had to cost seven thousand dollars, and the bearing one accustomed to power. That illusion dissolved shortly after my interview commenced.

As soon as we sat down, he took off his shoes and socks, put his feet up on his massive ebony desk, and started to massage and scratch his feet. He went on with the interview and with his foot massage, as though this was nothing strange about it. I got the job.Bosses Make Mistakes

Just one question: Did you shake hands when the interview was over?



I applied for a job as assistant to the director of operations in a big design firm, and I really wanted it. I met with the human resources director, who liked my background and was sending me to meet the boss. But before I met him, she warned me that his manner was gruff. I’d grown up in the coal mining region of Pennsylvania with three older brothers. I promised her I wouldn’t be thrown by him.

When I met him, I realized gruff was too mild a word. He glared at me and lit a giant cigar (this was when it was still legal to smoke in offices). Then he shot questions at me as though he wanted to scare me. “Why did you leave your job? Did they fire you?” and, “What makes you think you’re good enough to do my job?” All the while, he kept blowing his smoke directly in my face.

But I wanted this job, and I wasn’t going to let his bullying keep me from getting it. I ignored the cigar and fielded each of his questions.

Suddenly, he stabbed his cigar in the ashtray and stood up. I didn’t know what to do so I sat. “Well,” he said. “Get up!” I didn’t. “Come on. I don’t have all day. You need to know where you’ll be sitting.”

It was the best job I’ve ever had.



I was sitting across from the human resources manager, and getting more and more uncomfortable because didn’t say a word to me or ask a question for ten minutes, that seemed like hours. She just sat there, staring at her computer screen, reading my resume. Finally she said, I see you have three letters of recommendation from your past bosses.” Then she said nothing again for another five minutes while she read them.

After she finished reading all of the documents, she looked up and said, “The formatting is terrible! The margins are all out of line.” As she said it, she typed, cut and pasted, then peered at her work, and typed more.

I wanted to sink into the chair, thinking the was reformatting my resume. But I was wrong. She wasn’t redoing my resume, but the references that were written by my past bosses.

Once she finished editing my references, the interview was pretty much over.



My interview was with the Chief of Staff to the CEO of a big association. The first thing he said to me when I came into his office was, “I’m running late and can’t sit. I have to get ready for my next business meeting. I thought he meant I had to leave, but as he walked across the room, he started talking about how important the job was and asking questions about my background. So I just went with the conversation.

Then he opened the door to a closet, took out an ironing board, set it up, took out a shirt and pants, and ironed his clothes while he interviewed me.

Bosses Make Mistakes


I thought the interview was weird but fun, and I got the job.


06 Sep


“What was I thinking?” 20 Funny Things People Said In Interviews

September 6, 2017 | By |

My business is staffing the professional offices in Washington D.C., and I love my job! I love it because it’s all about people, and people are fascinating and funny, especially when they are under pressure or trying to make an impression, such as when they are interviewing for jobs.

Interviewing thousands of candidates over the course of my career was like working in the middle of an improv theater, with the players constantly changing. When the candidate and interviewer meet in an interview, the show starts. You never know what they will say, or do, or what twists and turns the plot will take.

It starts when the interviewer asks a question.
Some of the most common questions are:

Tell me a little about yourself.
What about our position interests you?
Tell me about your experience.
What are your strengths?
Can we get a reference from your employer?

The candidate’s answers can lead interviews into surprising places, and sometimes they lead into dangerous, outrageous, and funny territories. Employers get answers to questions they didn’t ask and don’t want to know the answers to.

Here are some actual answers given by candidates when asked these questions:
Tell me a little about yourself.

• Well, [breathy pause] men find me attractive.
• I’m a Christian and my father is gay.
• I’m the person you’re looking for.
• I have three children in college.
• I was a debutant.

• I could have married a Saudi prince, but I wanted a career.
• I’m a kick-ass administrative assistant and advance guy with a knack for  scheduling and making it happen. The big boys love me!

What about our position interests you?

• As a Nevada native, I am truly excited about the opportunity and to work for your organization in Virginia.
• I believe being the executive assistant to your CEO will make use of my diversified background as a religion professor and instructor in music appreciation.
• I’m a single mother with three children and you are only 15 minutes from my home so I can get home quickly if one of my children needs me.
• I don’t know anything about the position. My dad said I should apply.


Tell me about your experience.

• My diverse roles and responsibilities within the company prompt for the execution of multiple professional tasks in the workplace to uphold performance and community standards.
• I’ve been part of a team trained to combine the deepest analytics and most targeted strategies to produce highest results.
• My work history reflects the magnitude of my experience.

What are your strengths?

• With my degree (in sociology) I’m ready and able to step into a leadership position with ease.
• I’m able to assist with top-level responsibilities due to assertiveness

Can we get references from your employers?

• Sure. You can call my boss. He’d better give me a good reference. I’m sleeping with him.interviews



09 Aug


3 Bad Boss Stories That Will Make You Cringe – and Laugh

August 9, 2017 | By |


Not long after I started my career in staffing, I learned that there are some really bad bosses out there who do strange, mean, and bizarre things. Here are the Church-Boss, the Cold-Hearted Boss, and the Lunch-Bandit Boss



bad boss

One was a 70-something owner of a commercial real estate firm. He enlisted our staffing agency to find an executive assistant for him, and he was clear about his expectations.

“I am looking for a decent woman with high moral standards!”

He interviewed candidate after candidate, and found something wrong with each one.

No one met his moral standards.

She was too loud.

She wore too much makeup.

Her dress was immodest.


We didn’t give up, and finally, we found a woman who he had to approve, a sweet lady with salt-and-pepper hair, and a go-to-church-conservative suit. She had worked for a highly respected appellate judge and church elder for twenty-five years, until he retired. She passed every white-glove test for respectability that we could think of.

bad boss

When she went off to meet the businessman, we were certain he would be calling to thank us for doing such an excellent job. No call came, but the woman did. When she arrived back in our office, her face was drained of color except for her eyes, that were red from crying.

We gave her a glass of water and asked what happened.

“I don’t know. It started all right. I gave him the copy of my typing test and told him about my experience. He said he had known the judge I worked for and respected him. Then…I don’t understand what happened.” She was wringing her floral handkerchief.

“What did he do?”

“He stood up and said I was a waste of his time. He said he wanted a woman with high morals and he would never hire a such a woman as me. I was shocked. I couldn’t think of what to say. The interview seemed to be over, so I left. I don’t know what made him say that.”

We called the businessman, who was irate that we had sent her. We asked why.

He said, “You should have been able to see that she doesn’t have the high morals I want just looking at her knees. They are not black and blue from being on the floor in prayer!”



bad boss

Lynn’s boss yelled at her from his office. “Drop what you’re doing and come in here and bring your steno pad.”

She grabbed the pad and a pencil, and came running, but she tripped, banged into his large, glass coffee table, and fell to the floor.

He ignored the accident, and went on as though nothing had happened. “As I lay there, holding my leg in pain, he didn’t ask if I was hurt. He just looked annoyed at the interruption and told me to take down a list of things he needed don’t today.”

“Get this package overnighted to John Thomas. He’s in the rolodex. My wife and I may want to go to Vail for the holidays. Check out the flights, and call Martin at the inn to reserve a suite. Pick up my shirts from the concierge. Cancel my meeting with….”



bad boss

The receptionist came to HR with a complaint. “I brought my lunch in a brown bag and put it in the refrigerator. When I sat down for lunch and opened it, I found out someone else had opened it, taken two bites, and wrapped it back up.” The next day another assistant came in and said someone had opened her salad, eaten the carrots and croutons off the top and resealed the container.

Nobody had seen who did it, so the HR manager started popping into the kitchen at random times, but she still didn’t catch the person. He was finally caught in the act by the executive assistant, as he was rewrapping her half-eaten sandwich. The culprit was the executive vice president of operations.

The last thing the HR manager wanted to do was confront the EVP who was her boss. But she bit the bullet and asked him to meet with her in her office.

When he came in, she approached the subject as diplomatically as she could.

HR: “Jack, thanks for coming in. The reason for the meeting… well, Jack, you see, something has come to my attention … well, some of the staff have complained that someone has been eating their food.”

EVP (with a look that said she was wasting his time with nonsense): “I don’t know why you’re bringing this to me.”

HR: “Actually, someone on the administrative staff saw you in the kitchen, biting, then rewrapping a sandwich.”

EVP: “That’s ridiculous! I never did such a thing! She probably saw me having part of my own sandwich.”

HR “Jack, are you sure it was your sandwich? Because she says it was her sandwich.”

EVP: “Then I must have taken it by accident.”

HR: “I can see how you could make that kind of mistake. But, Jack, this has been an ongoing complaint by the staff.”

EVP: “Then just put up a sign in the lunchroom telling people not to eat other people’s lunches.”

Have you become accident prone lately?”

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