• John Shore

Annnnd I got a job at Home Depot

My new dream home

A week ago I was telling my wife, Cat, how I need to get out of the house more often.

“I gotta start talking to people,” I said. “After the two-year Covid lockdown, I think I’ve actually forgotten how to socialize.”

“You’re lonely,” she said.

“Well I wouldn’t say THAT,” I said, sitting up a little straighter in my chair. “But I mean, sure, humans are social creatures, and—”

“You’re lonely. I can tell.”

I sighed. “I think you’re right.”

So we started talking about the possibility of my getting a part-time job—one that doesn’t have anything to do with writing and editing (since that’s solitary work, and mostly because I just can't stand the thought of writing for anyone but me anymore).

“But writing's literally all I know how to do,” I said. “I’m a sixty-four-year-old guy who hasn’t had a real job—a job where I worked for anyone but ME—in at least twenty-five years.”

“So what?” said Cat. “Lots of retired guys have part-time jobs.”

“Lots of retired guys know how to DO stuff,” I said. “I don't. My last actual job was at—I don’t even remember. Trader Joe’s.”

“You know where you should apply for a job?” said Cat. “Home Depot. You LOVE Home Depot.”

She had that right. Home Depot is my full-on happy place. All those tools and lumber and . . . ways to fix all the dumb things I’d do with tools and lumber.

“Do you think?" I said.

"Couldn't hurt to apply," she said.

So later that day, on the Home Depot website, I clicked “Careers," more just to see than anything else.

“Tell us where you live,” said the site. So I punched in Asheville, NC.

Next I’m looking at three fields they want me to fill in: Name, Last three jobs, and Are you legally allowed to work in the United States?

So I typed in my name; then “Freelance Writer," "Writer" and "Writer and Editor," and then I clicked the "Yes I'm Legal" button.

And that was that. That's all they wanted.

So I hit the Submit button and forgot all about it.

The NEXT MORNING I got an email from the Home Depot that said (and I’m paraphrasing here): “Great! You seem alive. The next step is for you to take our Screening Test!”

So I was like “Okay.” The whole test was maybe twenty multiple choice questions, all of which were more or less like this (and, again, I’m paraphrasing here):

Which of the following statements would your last supervisor be most likely to say about you:

A. You were never late to work.

B. You were sometimes late to work.

C. You were often late to work.

D. You showed up so rarely that when you did no one even knew who you were.

Another example:

An irate customer is yelling at you about something you had absolutely nothing to do with. You respond by:

A. Calming the customer down, learning what his problem is, and then solving that problem in such a way that he becomes a loyal lifelong customer.

B. Breaking into tears and running off to find your manager.

C. Pretending that you’re deaf and blind.

D. Yelling back at the customer that he is a fool and needs to get out of your face before you knock him upside his head with a can of paint.

Taking the test was actually kind of fun. It took about ten minutes total. Upon finishing I clicked the Submit button, and again forgot all about it.

THREE (3) HOURS later I received an email from Home Depot. Verbatim, it said, “Congratulations, you've been offered a position with The Home Depot! No more interviews!”

I was like wait—what? Did I miss the part where I got INTERVIEWED?

But . . . okay. So I went ahead and, as directed, scheduled my “onsite visit to finalize your SALES ASSOCIATE job offer.”

Then I went to that meeting/interview, where I met two of the people I would be working under. It was like meeting two old friends. One of them had worked at Home Depot for 30 years, the other for 25. They were just . . . normal, hardworking, kind people. I couldn’t have asked for anything that felt better or more natural.

And now . . . here I am! I’ll go in tomorrow to finish the paperwork and do the Home Depot New Employee orientation. My first shift will be soon thereafter. I’ll be working part-time in Doors and Windows. (Both of which, as it happens, I am insanely into—since without them a house is just a dark BOX.)

If I find myself moved to write about my new life as a part-time Home Depot employee, I'll do that here/and or my blog, if that's anything you'd care to keep an eye out for.

Boy, life sure does just keep on happening, doesn’t it?

Wish me luck! I'm actually kind of nervous!

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