We didn’t really know exactly what we wanted when we put the ad in the paper. To make sure we had enough applicants we used Craigs List also. We were pretty sure we could hire locally and that the compensation would include room and board for as long as their service was being performed adequately. We would make it clear that if their performance declined in quality we would show them the door and a new specialist would take their place! We kept the ad very general. It read “Wanted, A specialist that will come into our house and improve our comfort level”. We figured that was enough to say for now. Once the resumes poured in we could more readily decide what qualities we wanted and match the attributes of the applicants to what we needed! As expected, we received hundreds of resumes for our position! We found that most of our applicants had been sitting idly since the economic downturn hit. Other lesser skilled applicants had simply become lost in the shuffle.
Applications from candidates such as Combs, Brushes, Hair Dryers, Curling Irons, Bathtubs and Toilets arrived the first couple of days. Of those resumes we immediately ruled out the Combs, Brushes , Hair Dryers, and Curling Irons for being too specialized without the broad based experience we were looking for. They each made a case that without finely groomed hair we could not possibly have comfort! Although they made persuasive arguments in their introduction letters, we decided to send them each a thank you for applying letter. We also weeded out resumes for pencils, pens, clocks, books, and pictures. The later three made arguments about comfort in knowing the time, losing our thoughts in a good book, or the serenity of a nice picture to look at! While being somewhat persuaded, rejection letters were soon mailed.
We were starting to get a feel for what we were looking for although it was hard to put into words. We kept the bathtub and toilet resumes and added to them most of the next batch we received! Listing them in no particular order there were several comfortable couches, beds, pillows, cushions, and chairs.
A few days later we received a batch of resumes that included TV’s, radios, stereos, computers, and phones. We also received resumes from stoves, refrigerators, dishwashers, washers, dryers, vacuum cleaners, furnaces, water heaters, water conditioners, and lawnmowers. We shook our heads collectively when we saw the lawnmower resumes. The economy was worse than we thought!
We started categorizing the different attributes of each applicant. We chose the best bed for instance and the best couch. It got to be a choice of the best in category, almost like the dog competitions you see on TV! More rejection letters followed as the lesser applicants met their fate. By the way, the lawnmowers were told they would probably be better off applying for positions in different fields.
The interviewing process was now in full force! We began categorizing again. We grouped Ms. Pillow, Mr. Cushion, Ms. Bed, Mr. Chair, and Mr. Couch all together. One finalist would come from this field. Then we grouped Mr. TV, Mr. Phone, Mr. Radio, Ms. Stereo and Mr. Computer in our second bracket The survivor would be the second finalist. Mr. Water Heater, Mr. Furnace, Mr. Refrigerator, Ms. Stove, Mr. Air Conditioner (a late entry), Ms. Washer, Ms. Dryer and Ms. Vacuum comprised the third path to a finalist spot. Lastly Mr. Toilet, Ms. Water Softener and Ms. Bathtub would compete for the final birth of our comfort final four!
After many soft interviews Ms. Bed was propped into one of our finalist slots! Ms. Bed made the case that for at least 8 hours a day she could keep us in total comfort! The deciding factor over the other plush options was that we could see her value on a nightly basis! Although Mr. Chair and Mr. Couch had strong interviews it was decided that Ms. Bed’s attributes were head and covers over the other candidates in this group!
In the selection between Mr. Stereo, Mr. Phone, Mr. Radio, Mr. TV and Mr. Computer, we chose Mr. TV as our finalist! His reception to our needs was strong and while the other candidates rambled on, Mr. TV seemed to have the big picture in mind! He had a great personality and we knew we would enjoy spending time with him if he were hired! Missing our favorite TV shows would certainly decrease our comfort level was his sales pitch! He also made the point that his voice could be comforting even if nobody was really listening!
We found it very difficult to choose the finalist for our third bracket. Mr. Air Conditioner’s candidacy was dismissed when he admitted that he had a breakdown at his last place of employment in Florida. We studied the remaining resumes again and again. Each candidate made very strong cases in their favor! Ms. Stove, for instance, made an argument for her versatility! Not only was there comfort from eating her hot food, but she could also play a part in heating the house! Mr. Refrigerator’s arguments were based on the hard cold facts of food spoilage and how uncomfortable that would be! Ms. Washer, Ms. Vacuum, Ms. Dishwasher, and Ms. Dryer all made strong arguments that comfort could be found in cleanliness and dryness! Mr. Water Heater in his heated way, kept reminding us how uncomfortable a cold shower would be! While all made strong cases, Mr. Furnace sold us on the fact that without him all of these other “comfort solutions” would die in the cold! He stated that he was versatile enough to make the whole house warm and heavenly! He said that he would do his job without fanfare, and we wouldn’t even notice him, as he would make his home in the basement!
Ms. Bathtub, Ms. Water Softener, and especially Mr. Toilet made very strong arguments for their abilities in our final bracket! Ms. Bathtub gave us all a separate complimentary bubble bath as a sample of her work! We all agreed that while in the tub it was the most comfortable, relaxing feeling we had! Once out of the tub however, the cold reality of uncomfortableness hit us! Although Ms. Water Softener was well versed on her facts and figures, she could not piece her argument together as to how she could make us more comfortable by saving money on our water bill? Mr. Toilet emerged as our fourth finalist! We chose him because he flushed out his competition by pointing out that we would need him many times a day and his abilities to keep things moving would rid us of many uncomfortable smells and debris!
It took another three or four weeks to finally decide on our Comfort Specialist. Along the way we decided to bring back Mr. Water Heater for a second interview! He seemed a bit pushy and demanding in his first interview, but in hindsight we decided he had a lot to offer and he had to be warmer on the inside than we originally thought.
As each losing campaign became apparent, we sent out more thank you for applying letters. In this letter however, we made sure we were more specific. We sent a letter to Mr. TV for instance, stating that although his point that we would have ultimate comfort with him in the house was commendable, we felt another candidate had more of the kind of experience and background we were looking for. We liked Mr. TV very much and hoped our letter gave him a clear picture of why his qualities were not a perfect fit for this particular position. Ms. Bed’s letter was written in somewhat the same fashion with an emphasis at the end that we had chosen a candidate that could work both the day and night shift!
One of our final three candidates, Mr. Water Heater was very persuasive in his second interview, however, we found from a background check that he wasn’t a hard worker. He usually did all of his duties early we were told, showering his clients with warmth to start the day and loafing when his employers had left for work. Our letter didn’t state our findings, it just thanked him for his interest and wished him well in the future. We decided to hire a lawyer, remembering again from his interviews, that he was very forceful and hot headed! We knew he would complain about discrimination. We hoped our new lawyer could keep us out of hot water!
After many weeks we were finally down to two candidates! Both of our finalists Mr. Toilet and Mr. Furnace stuck with us as we stumbled through our long process. Each possessed unique different qualities that made us re-evaluate and discuss our individual comfort definitions daily. Our background check gave each finalist high marks! The only complaints about Mr. Toilet was that sometimes he tried to take too much on at once, therefore his work sometimes got backed up! Although the thought of a backup was not at all appealing, we decided that Mr. Toilet’s work ethic was much desired over Mr. Heaters lazy habits! In our inquiries, Mr. Furnace was found to be very reliable and efficient!
We made phone calls to each finalist along the way making sure they both understood that they were highly desirable for our position! I know for a fact that both turned down other opportunities because they really liked us and how we tried to make them feel at home! In the end we decided to create another position Relief Specialist and hired Mr. Toilet immediately! For all of us this hire almost didn’t come soon enough as his services saved a few very messy situations that very day!
As for the Comfort Specialist we chose Mr. Furnace! His warm personality was a breath of fresh warm air! In his final interview we remembered that he had us close our eyes and picture ourselves on a beach in Florida feeling the nice heat of the sun warming us as we drank a cold refreshing drink! Or was it a warm refreshing drink? Either way, the thought that with him around we could have that kind of feeling was overwhelming! Although we realized he was blowing a little hot air, we decided that there is something very special and comforting in being snuggly warm!
Coming up next: The Furnace