A half century and more ago while I was growing up in Atlanta I started working part time jobs at various local stores, one of which was a Winn Dixie grocery near where I lived at the time. Other nearby stores where I held part time jobs included JC Penney’s, Sears, Radio Shack, and a Rexall drug store. Those specific store locations have long since gone the way of all flesh. Those part-time jobs helped support me while I attended college, paying for books, tuition, and other basic necessities. Once I had an official degree I moved on to more official jobs, working my way through adulthood and into retirement.
Because I’ve worked as long as I have, I’ve developed considerable intolerance towards institutional stupidity; I do not suffer fools gladly. Nevertheless I threw caution to the wind and filled out a Publix online job application for a chance to work part time at one of three Publix grocery stores local to where I live. Local means ten minutes or less to drive from the front door of my home to the front door of those stores. I’m fortunate that there are three Publix stores in this area that fulfill that one basic requirement. I filled out the online application and took the online psych test in May, then sat back and waited for a nibble. Unfortunately for me there’s a 30 day timer on a Publix application in that it goes “stale,” meaning if you haven’t heard anything in 30 days you need to log back in again and re-fill the application to re-activate it for another 30 days. Here’s what my application looks like right now:
There’s one more part I need to show you on my Publix application:
Note I’ve selected not to receive updates, meaning text messages.
So today I got a text message from Publix that my application had been selected for a job interview at a store twenty minutes north of me, not one of the three I had selected. I got both the email message which I wanted as well as a text message that I did not want. I’m very strict about nuisance text messages from any and all. If possible I block them all.
You can say I should be thankful for the opportunity to apply. And I am, but not the opportunity you imagine. Job interviews are an opportunity to judge a prospective employer as much as an opportunity for them to judge a prospective employee. Publix doesn’t impress with just grabbing me out of their on-line collection and sending me off to wherever. If there are no openings in the three stores I selected, then that’s fine. But don’t send me off a lot farther than I’m willing to commute, especially in this day of $5-plus/gallon gas. Furthermore, when I say don’t text me, I mean just that. If you as an employer can’t follow your own basic rules, then what else are you going to break when it suits you?
I wanted a grocery store job because I thought it would be nice to get out and interact with people. Except I’m still wearing a mask these days, and I’ve noticed recently that Publix employees are no longer wearing theirs. I’m not ready to give mine up just yet.
This experience with Publix shows I’m really retired and that I should stay retired, at least from retail.
I wanted out of the Publix job application system, so I went back looking for a way to delete my application. There is none. Instead I deleted my cell phone number and put a bogus email address guaranteed to bounce if Publix uses it.
I was finally called to two interviews at two different stores close to me. I didn’t get called back for either.