Lee Wochner: Writer. Director. Writing instructor. Thinker about things.


Hiring in 2022

No, this isn’t my office. We do better signage. And where the Hell can you find a payphone???

Here’s what it’s been like hiring people the past year.

At my company, we have three open positions. We locked one in on Friday (phew!), but I also had interviews over Zoom with candidates for one of the other open roles. Here’s a verbatim quote from one of those interviewees, who on paper was well-qualified:

“I can get you where you want to be. I just need a little bit of freedom. Sometimes I’ll be gone for a whole week in the month, to South America or Europe. But I’ll come back.”

Mind you, this is for a key management position: receiving payments, making payments, handling HR, operations, insurance, etc. The sort of position most of us would assume requires reliability. As in: You’ll know consistently when she’ll be around. It isn’t the sort of position where on, say, Wednesday, one might say, “Where’s Carol?” and an acceptable response would be, “Ecuador. But she said she’d come back.”

I shared this baffling interview response on my business partner, whose reply was “Uh, no.” Then I tried it on a couple of friends, one a longtime business owner and another a close friend who runs a non-profit. Just to, you know, make sure I’m not being too demanding in expecting people on the payroll and healthy to actually show up as expected. One said, “Frankly, I don’t know how didn’t start laughing hysterically.” The other said, sarcastically, “Well, she said she’d be baaaaaaack…..”

I’m calling this applicant “Carol.” That’s not her real name; I’ve struck her real name from memory. Life being short, I’ve moved on. But if they rewarded confidence with dollars, “Carol” would be a billionaire. Because: She also wanted to know in this initial interview when she should start, but first volunteered that she’d “need to come by and check out the office first” for “the vibe” and offered to do that the same day, say around 2?

I was out having lunch at 2. And here was the vibe in the office the rest of the day: just me, and whatever my vibe is. With everyone else either out with COVID or working remotely anyway.

2 Responses to “Hiring in 2022”

  1. Adrian Says:

    You kept a straight face the whole time? Your raised eyebrows didn’t start poking your hair WAY back on your head? While that interview may have seemed a waste of your time Lee, it has given you comedy gold!

  2. Dan Says:

    “Conduct that recalled the worst excesses of the French Revolution.”


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