When I first saw the posting, I knew the job was for me. “Wanted: People Removal Technicians. Must have valid Class A license & ability to operate a Mack-Five plow w/proficiency. Must be available to work night/early morning shifts when traffic is light & on short notice when bodies accumulate rapidly on streets. Prior felons/DUI need not apply. Pay $17/hr. Great benefits. Applications at City Hall.”
I thought the interview went well. The guy asked me standard questions about how long I’ve lived here and where I went to school. But then he jumped right into a bunch of stuff I could care less about.
“What if you see someone on the road you recognize?” he’d ask. Or, “How will you deal with clearing children off the road?”
I know that stuff’s important, but he just went on and on. “Say a head comes loose and gets stuck in the auger; will you be able to pull over, get out of the plow, and free it?”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah,” I kept saying. It’s a people-removal position. I get it. What I wanted to hear about were the perks of the job, you know, where you get to drive and how fast, working extra hours, stuff like that.
“Will I get to do the Bigelow Gulch Parkway route?” I’d ask. He’d poo-poo the question and say something like, “We’ll discuss that later if you get the job.”
Or I’d say, “I don’t have anyone to watch my daughter in the afternoons. If I gotta work then, can I bring her with me? She loves riding in the Mack-Fives.”
He hum-and-hawed about that one and then went right back to questions about ethics, medication, and things like that. He also said something about them needing a blood test and psych exam if things went forward.
For the most part, I felt I did well. The interviewer said I didn’t even need to send a thank you letter or follow-up with a call. “We have a lengthy list of highly qualified candidates this year. We’ll call you if you’ve made it to the next stage.” He gave me a firm handshake and smiled, so I felt pretty good about it.
It’s been over a month now and no call. I know they’ve hired others because the streets are cleared more regularly in the morning when I take my daughter to school. It’s a bit discouraging to have waited this long when I know they need the help and I’m qualified. I’m a positive thinker though; I keep my fingers crossed.
I also pray every night in my head. Please, Lord, I want that people removal position. I’ll work hard and do the right thing, promise. I feel the job was made for a person like me. It’s all I’ve ever wanted to do.
MICHAEL CARTER is a full-time ghostwriter in the legal profession. When he’s not lawyering, he writes short fiction and creative nonfiction, fly fishes, and spends time with his family. He also enjoys cast-iron cooking and occasional India pale ales. He’s online at http://www.michaelcarter.ink and @mcmichaelcarter.