I placed an ad in a local Pennysaver for a part-time legal secretary, specifying “only qualified applicants” need apply. I defined qualified as those possessing prior law office experience with strong local real estate knowledge. Further, they must be a non-smoker (this was the 1990s).
The calls came in for qualified people wanting full-time work (sorry) and unqualified people asking if I’d train (I had no time for that). I was annoyed and then angry after a week of fielding time-wasting telephone calls (again, this was the 1990s). Finally fed up, I declared myself done with the process. A moment later, the phone rang again.
Against my better judgment, I answered. The man asked if the job was still open, and when I said it was, he declared, “Then look no further! I’m your man!”
OK, I’ll bite. This could be the one, I foolishly thought. So I started by asking what types of law firm(s) he’d worked for, and the answer was “None.”
Did he have any real estate experience? “Yes! I bought a house 20 years ago.”
This was definitely the proverbial straw and I was decidedly the camel. “Sir, didn’t you see what the ad specified? If you don’t have the skills and experience, why are you wasting your time and mine?
His pointed retort was, “Your ad specified you wanted a ‘non-smoker,’ and I am a non-smoker!”