No Experience Wanted

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“Why did you leave your last job,” I said looking up from her resume. Kimberly inhaled, expecting the question.

“Let’s just say the Administrator and I didn’t agree on how things should be done,” she said hoping it was enough of an explanation. It was.

One of the first things I learned in Marine Corp boot camp was not to raise my hand, not to volunteer for anything and never speak up and claim I knew something.

Boot camp is more chaotic than practicing fire drills in a dementia ward. Everyone is running around, drill instructors are barking orders and most of us have no idea what is going on.

“Who here can run a mile in under seven minutes,” a drill instructor yelled out. A tall, lanky kid, who was standing in line a few feet in front of me raised his hand Horshack style.

“I can,” he said spinning around on his tippy toes trying to get noticed. It worked. The drill instructor pulled him out of line and sent him to run some paperwork to another building.

“You have seven minutes!” The drill instructor yelled after him.

Twenty minutes later as we were being marched out of the building we passed the runner. He apparently took longer than seven minutes because he was being made to run in place while a couple of drill instructors screamed at him for being so slow.

I saw this same scenario play out over and over again. The drill instructors would ask if anyone had any college, or could swim, or knew how to tie a knot and then they would set them up with an impossible task, knowing they would fail, just to berate and punish them when they did.

On the rifle range, however, the drill instructors were not just busting our chops. “Does anyone here know how to shoot a rifle,” the drill instructor said glaring at us. No one moved. Not a single hand shot in the air. We had all learned the lesson.

“Cause if you think you learned how to properly shoot a rifle while chasing squirrels up a damn tree; I can guarantee, you learned the wrong way.” He had a permanent scowl on his face when he talked to us. “Which means it is going to take us a lot more effort to teach you how to shoot a rifle the right way and I don’t have the time or the energy to waste on any damn know-it-alls.”

I studied Kimberly for a long minute before Refocusing on her resume. She had a lot of management experience and I wondered if I had the time; if I had the energy to try to retrain her. On the back of her resume she had attached a copy of the help wanted ad I had written. I reread the tag line, “No Experience Necessary.”

I laughed in spite of myself. “Wanted,” I thought. I should have put “No Experience Wanted,” then I got up thanked Kimberly for her time.

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