My eyes lit up when I received a check from Montage Mountain Water Park for $1,115 toward my upcoming documentary from the Adult Night Swim fundraiser for my online talk show, “The Millennials”. Then, my jaw dropped. I realized my YouTube talk show was making more money than I was.
The struggle to find a job was real.
“The Dollar Store is hiring,” my dad suggested.
“I’m not working at the Dollar Store, dad!” I screamed.
“Is this what my life has come to?” I said in a prayer to Anna Nicole Smith before I went to sleep one night.
Working at a dollar store with a stripper named Spring isn’t where I saw my career options headed when I was interning for “E! News” and “Jimmy Kimmel Live” in college.
Is it really self-righteous to not want to settle for a job that doesn’t require a high school diploma?
While searching for a job that could get my dad to stop reminding me of the open Dollar Store position, I stumbled upon a job I always wanted. A local PacSun store was seeking a new general manager!
I called the next day to request an interview.
“Is this Justin, the guy that comes in wearing tank tops all the time?” I was asked when I called. “Come in tomorrow at 3:30 p.m. for an interview.”
“I can’t think of anyone that would be better at running a PacSun store than you,” encouraged my friend.
“They recognized my voice as being the guy who wears the tank tops all the time,” I added.
“You’re so in,” my friend said.
“I’m so in,” I repeated.
I showed up the next afternoon ready to rock my interview.
“So-and-so is on her break. She’ll be right back and we’ll start the interview,” I was told upon my arrival.
I walked around the store waiting for the girl to get back from her break. She returned 40 minutes later! No organized manager would send the only other employee on a break the same time as a scheduled interview.
The entire time I was waiting, the manager was running around like a chicken with his head cut off, even though there were never more than four people in the store at once. When he almost tripped coming out of the back room, I was convinced I was part of a bad SNL skit or some kind of hidden camera show.
Once it was finally time for the interview, I was taken in the back room - where the manager almost tripped again!
“Sorry for the mess,” apologized the discombobulated manager as we sat down in what looked like the sloppy bedroom of a teenage girl that just shoplifted a ton of clothes at PacSun.
“So, tell me about your communication?” I was asked.
“In reference to what?” I asked, confused by the vague question.
How would I answer that - by saying the English language?
I was next asked how I would encourage my sales team to reach their ADS, LDS, and DELTA, without being told what the acronyms stood for within the company.
The interview transitioned from a bad SNL skit to something that would be written by Lena Dunham for “Girls”.
“I just don’t think, from the answers you’ve provided, that you would be skilled at leading and motivating a team,” I was told by the manager.
“You didn’t ask me any interview questions relevant to my experience leading a team,” I asserted. “How could you make that assumption. Did you read my resume?”
“I lost it,” he admitted.
I was so depressed that an overweight 35 year old man in an American Eagle shirt told me I didn’t have what it took to manage high school kids at a PacSun store that I went home and went straight to bed.
“How could I not nail an interview at the mall?” I questioned.
We’ll all face situations in life that make no sense. They’ll crush our egos and defeat our spirits.
What we find out after, though, is that sometimes things we want don’t come to fruition because something better is waiting for us just around the corner…