Best Job Interview Ever
Filed under: 11211, Area 51, Dog Shit, Dung of the Day, Williamsburg, Williamsburg Brooklyn
Although I take pride and derive much satisfaction from being the proprietress of New York Shitty, it does have its complications. My desire to expand my Shitty Empire (and pay off student loan debt) has necessitated that I seek permanent part-time employment. I suspect I speak for a number of people when I say that my accomplishments (thus far) merit praise and prove my worthiness to be the Mayor of this fine city (or at least hold a seat on Community Board 1). However, The Dog Shit Queen of Greenpoint (with all the responsibilities, powers and privileges vested therein) is not exactly the kind of position one can cite on a resume— or explain to some HR hack.
Or is it?
Recently I came across a “Help Wanted” advertisement on Craigslist for a dog walker. Follows is a condensed version of the job requirements (my comments in boldface):
I want to hear from you if:
# You are a 100% reliable person. No “no shows” or last minute “call ins.”
# You must love animals – particularly the canines. Experience with dog walking, ASPCA, shelters is preferred.
# This is an outside job that can be dirty sometimes. If you are resilient to rain, wind,snow,(soon) sun, cold, poop and have a keen eye for chicken bones read on…if not please don’t apply. WAIT— I have a keen eye for chicken bones!
# You must have a cellphone, digi camera or cellcam and a computer with internet
After some thought I finally concluded that this woman probably wants photographic evidence that “Fluffy” or “Fido” did a deuce. God, what is this world coming to???
# You must be a US citizen
Illegals do just about every other crappy job (no pun intended) in this country, why are you being so choosy?
# You will submit to a criminal background check
# I prefer you live in Williamsburg, Greenpoint or Bushwick maybe Clinton Hill. This is a part time job so a long commute makes no sense.
# I need you to be available M-F 11:30 am to 4:00 pm. There may be some weekend work too but I will only hire someone who is available during weekdays.
Please copy, paste and answer all of the following questions into your response. The Subject line must read “Part Time Dog Walker” – if it says anything else it will not be opened. Um, this is a dog walker ad, it’s not the fucking SAT for chrissakes!
Subject Line : Part Time Dog Walker
(Just in case you didn’t get it the first time.)
# 1.Your full name:
# 2 Your cell phone#:
# 3.Tell me why you want to be a dog walker?
Let’s cut the crap: no one wants to be a dog walker. It has been my observation that people WORK so they have a roof over their head and food in their stomachs.
# 4.What experience with animal care, if any, do you have?
Five cats and one husband. A good friend of mine asks me to walk her dog when her regular dog walker calls out sick; she says I am the only other person her dog will poop for. My presence encourages defecation. I have the face that launched a thousand shits. I’ve even had a pigeon crap on my head once. That sucked.
# 5.Will you submit to a background check?
Sure, why not? I’ve always had the presence of mind NOT to get caught.
# 6.Are you always available M-F 11:30am to 4pm?
# 7.What neighborhood do you live in? What train line do you live near?
# 8.Do you own a bicycle? A camera?
I do not own a bicycle but I DO own a digital camera. In fact, I had to upgrade my Flick’r account because I had over 200 pictures of dog shit and ran out of space. Does this count?
# 9.What is the highest level of education you have completed? I have a Master’s Degree in Fine Art from Parsons School of Design and graduated magna cum laude with a BFA in Fine Art and a minor in History. Both of the previous degrees are suicide pacts with poverty. However, I am ready, willing and able to converse with “Fido” about art theory, Lacan, Heidegger, Spanish History, Latin American History and (for your leftist chicano canine clientele) Liberation Theology.
# 10.Are you planning any vacations in the next 3 months? WTF? If I go on a trip will I get paged to pick up some errant piece of crap on Ainslie Street or something?
# 11.This is a part time job (7 to 12 hrs week). Are you employed elsewhere? What do you do?
# 12.Last one! Tell me what hobbies/interests you have, what you’re about.
* Location: williamsburg
* Compensation: $100 to $150 per week. 7 hours to 12 hours week. Approx.
After doing the math, I deduced that this job pays between $12.00 and $14.00 an hour. Most of the part-time Administrative jobs I have found (that am qualified to hold) pay less. MUCH LESS. Suffice it to say that I find it oh so refreshing to see that unpaid interns (READ: slave labor) have become such an integral part of the administrative workforce.
Truth be told, ALL work entails shoveling shit, be it literally or figuratively. Picking up dog shit appears to be the more lucrative use of my time. This is a pretty damning indictment of our society (and the values it espouses) if you ask me. I suppose I shouldnâ€™t be surprised given our nation’s increasing reliance on a service-based job growth: scooping up designer dog dung cannot be “outsourced”. Yet, anyway.
I did not reply to this ad. Although I am OK with dog shit, own a digital camera, have Internet access and a “keen eye for chicken bones”, I know damned well the first time a dog under my care wretches up/shits out parasites I will lose both my composure and my lunch! Living in Greenpoint (and NYC in general) has given me a strong stomach. Shit (canine, feline or hominid), puke, stink, noise, public masturbation, the G train, crazy homeless people and self-important rich people, while annoying, are manageable to me. Roundworms, tape worms, pin worms, etc., freak my ass out. These things are, to use Orwellian parlance, my “Room 101”.
I did, however, send a resume and cover letter regarding Help Wanted ad posted by a local publication seeking an Administrative Assistant. Not only was I qualified for this position, but I felt my being The Dog Shit Queen of Greenpoint made me one cut above my fellow applicants. It did: during the interview I had for this job last Friday.
After a slow and fitful start, my potential employer posited the following question to me:
Give me an example from your personal life that demonstrates your ability to organize.
Here’s what I told him:
As you may or may not be aware, I have a web site: New York Shitty. This web site is (mostly) about the dog shit problem in Greenpoint. I frequently take walks, though I prefer to call them “fact finding missions”, to ascertain the amount of unattended dog shit in any given area. Sometimes I cover a designated area (when I get a tip), other times I merely cover an area I happen knocking around in on that given day. I take photos of the dog shit I find, note the address where it is located and use this data to generate Crap Maps.
One time I inspected far north Greenpoint. This is area is notorious for having a lot of dog shit. As it happens, there is a retirement home that straddles Eagle and Dupont Street and I discovered that dog owners are pretty fond of taking their dogs behind this establishment and letting them shit all over the place. There must have been at least twenty pieces of dog crap there. This required particularly rigorous record-keeping on my part. Sometimes I’d make a written annotation about a noteworthy piece of poop, other times I made qualitative observations about a one piece of shit or another, etc. When you upload fifty plus pieces of pictures of poop on any given day (like I do), you need to ensure that each piece of shit corresponds to the correct address. Otherwise, the “Crap Map” will be inaccurate.
I prefer to take the time to keep exhaustive records so I can dedicate the rest of my time to constructing “Crap Maps” or doing fun stuff like making customized shit-shaped bullets for my “Poopipoint” presentations.
A lengthy and enjoyable scatological/philosophical discussion followed. Some of the topics covered were: hobo porn (“smegmen”), garbage (“offal”), the night I ended up hanging out at the Briarwood Police Station because a dude was jerking off in front of me on the N train, and of course, how I may (or may not) fit into this organizational structure. I must have been there for at least an hour.
I sent a follow-up email the next day. This email had a jpg of today’s “Dung of the Day” attached to it. Part of it read as follows:
…I thought you might enjoy the dog shit assemblage I found at a parking lot after we met. As always, I took a photo and noted the location: across the street from 212 Grand Street. After doing a little research (Google Maps and the Department of Buildings BIS database are excellent resources when a piece of property is not clearly demarcated) I deduced it that this turd was located at 215 Grand Street. I may be demented but I am detail-oriented…
I have yet to hear back. Maybe I will, maybe I won’t. Then again, the satisfaction I got from talking about dog shit in a job interview is a reward unto itself. And you can’t put a price on that.