Today I applied for a job at Caribou Coffee. My mom, being a regular visitor at their Livonia shop got a tip from the manager that some other locations may be hiring, and with the increasing likelihood that I won’t start my grown-up life anytime soon, I thought I should find some way to pay for plane tickets, shoes, falafel, or whatever else I decide is impractically necessary in the interim. The application was online, and consisted not only of the standard list of work experiences and references, but also an aptitude test to determine a potential brand ambassador’s ability to communicate with customers, press buttons, and produce piping hot drinks for MILFs with eating disorders, middle-aged men in suits with wandering eyes, and short-shorted teenagers carrying Coach (and us secret suburban renegades). The questions began simply and reasonably enough, but got progressively stranger as the 15minute test progressed. Rated on a scale from strongly agree to strongly disagree, Caribou got me to thinking and laughing about exactly what I’m in for.
You consider yourself “tidy”.
Well sure. Let’s call my room this year an exception to the rule and cite the fact that I actually enjoy cleaning. How could I not be such a compelling word as “Tidy?” I’m sure I am also swell, nifty, spiffy, and nice, in case you were curious. Agree.
People are often mean to you.
To steal a phrase that’s been stolen at least once before – Life is hard for one so young, boopety boopety boop. I’ve known a few assholes, but I can explain why most of them were mean to me, I’ve gotten used to not caring. Disagree.
You have no close friends – people can’t be trusted.
Hello Caribou application reader, you’re bold for a first date.
We were walking down the beach, stars perfectly visible and the waves lapping on the shore. She was talking fast and intimately, like she does when she’s not silent as a stone. “I don’t trust people very much; ever since they were sick and they weren’t there – because they were being cut and radiated and drugged, you know? – and we did it all totally on our own. After I got used to doing it all on my own, it didn’t make much sense to let anybody else in.” I looked up at Orion and nodded.
And then we were in the dining room. I was bawling, and it was a Tuesday. I said I’d be ready for the honors dinner in 5 minutes and Chrysler was declaring bankruptcy and I told them I was island. Her curls didn’t bounce like they sometimes do when she replied, but her head was steady – you’re not an island. Islands cry alone. You’re being too hard on yourself. Which is somehow not surprising.
Strongly Disagree. Disagree.
You have no major regrets about your past.
Major? Like the kind that might flare up and render me unable to interact in socially acceptable ways with customers because their magnitude is so emotionally compelling. No. I mean, sometimes I wish I hadn’t spent 4 years in a cornfield because I thought I was a person that I wasn’t, and that I hadn’t pretended to be asleep and that I’d done what I couldn’t stop thinking about and that I’d given up the things I thought I needed but were actually parasitic and that I’d seen the sand-hill cranes and that I’d tried the raspberry beer at the Darkhorse and that I’d hung out more at Goodrich *drop the piping hot coffee all over myself and scream obscenities without regard to the petite blonde woman and the small children by her side in matching dresses who would now repeat those words and become strippers one day* No. Agree.
It is maddening when the court lets guilty criminals go free.
What? What is this even supposed to be testing? Agree.
You consider yourself somewhat of a thrill-seeker.
Somewhat. Not too much, otherwise you wouldn’t be here right? But a little bit is ok; we like a little spunk in these parts. We need a few of those people who’ve been to Africa, camping in jungles, and topless tanning in European countries on their vacations. Without them, what would we talk about at our Bar-B-Ques? Agree.
I wonder if I passed…
your Aspiring barista. Rachel