If you are a new listener or a new reader of the blogs, you may not know that I also own a couple of bars. One is in beautiful Playa del Carmen and one is here at home. The one here in town employees about 30 people or so. And we are pretty much always looking for an employee or two in some capacity. Yesterday, I had one of the employees run up to the unemployment office to post a “Help Wanted” sign. It was for a busser position which means it’s the grunt work of the bar. The person would be washing dishes, mopping the floor, stocking the beer coolers, even cleaning the toilets and that type of thing. It is by no means a fancy job but hey, it’s a job and honestly, it’s a very important job. No one wants to go to a bar or restaurant to eat or drink if it’s not clean, right? Well, Shawn, the guy that was posting the job listing sent me a text saying that he met a guy at the unemployment office and wanted to make sure that his job application didn’t get lost or looked over. A lot of people apply for positions and some applications do end up in the “stack” of applications and are likely not looked at again. Not unless you stand out for some reason and then you make it into the “interview or follow-up stack.”
Anyway, when I arrived at the bar about 2 hours after receiving this text, the bartender on duty told me that there was a person waiting to talk to me about employment. I’m usually not the person that does the interview but every once in a while, it just happens that way. So, I sat down with the person and sure enough, it was Anthony, the guy that Shawn wanted to make sure that we noticed. After a brief conversation with Anthony and looking at his application, I asked if he had a phone number so we could follow-up. He seemed like an eager, hungry job prospect. He said he didn’t have a phone number. He had lived here 2 days, didn’t have a job yet and couldn’t afford one. Ok, I get that. That’s kind of strike one but we may be able to work around that. So, after noticing his address, I asked if he had transportation to make it back for an interview. He hesitantly said he didn’t have a car. Normally, that’s strike 2 with a potential employer but there are other means of getting to and from work. I asked him if he lived on a bus line and then I corrected myself and said I’m sure you do live on the bus line since he somehow made it to the bar. Then he said he wasn’t sure about the bus line. Then, he leaned in to tell me something. He said, I have to be honest with you. I live at the homeless shelter. Ok, that explains it. But still I wanted to make sure he could get to work. I asked how he got to the bar and he said he walked straight there as soon as Shawn told him about the job. The unemployment office is roughly 5-6 miles from the bar. Damn, that was impressive to me. Walking 5-6 miles to fill out an application, not knowing if you would even get an interview, much less the job. So, I then asked him if he had ever been in any trouble. He said no. I HIRED HIM. He asked what he would be doing and I told him he would be starting at the bottom as a busser and working his way up. You would have thought I had given him a job as a Star quarterback for a Superbowl team. He starts today.