DALLAS, TX–As the human resources manager for a large sales and marketing firm, Marvin Gillespie is regularly tasked with recruiting, interviewing, and hiring new employees. In a work environment best described as a “revolving door,” hiring makes up nearly the entirety of his job these days. Sifting through hundreds of applications every month, Marvin has begun to feel desensitized to every resume that reaches his desk.
“Sometimes it feels like nobody is a good candidate. I don’t give a shit if you know Excel. Photography won’t help you with cold-calling. Interning for you dad doesn’t count in my book,” Marvin would frequently reflect. At times, the job felt utterly hopeless. Most new hires never even stick around for more than a month or two at his company. The work culture is crap. Marvin doesn’t know any of his coworkers because they always quit, and he’s at his wit’s end with having to explain how the food-labeling system in the break room works day after day. “My Lunchables go missing from the fridge at least once a week.”
Then, on a seemingly average November day, a godsend of an application injected life into Marvin for the first time since casual Friday extended beyond just Hawaiian shirts. “Timmy Webster. I never even heard of this guy, but he went to my alma mater. He holds a law degree, which is great because we’re always getting into legal troubles. And the real clincher was something Timmy wrote in his cover letter; he said he had a ‘passion for sales.’ That nearly brought a damn tear to my eye. We do sales, and this lawyer has a passion for sales?” Marvin couldn’t set up an interview quickly enough. He even wore his favorite bolo tie to put his best foot forward for Timmy.
Unfortunately, Marvin’s bubble would soon be burst. “So, Timmy shakes my hand, and I shoot him a friendly question about our alma mater. Guy takes his seat while giving me the blankest look I ever seen. I only asked which dorm he lived in, and it took Timmy five minutes to decide he was a commuter student. That was my first clue,” Marvin recounted about his initial impression. Things were clearly off to a rocky start. “I asked Timmy point-blank, ‘are you really a lawyer?’ He said he was and that he’s also a doctor. That immediately impressed me, so I let my guard down. I’m thinking there’s no way in hell I’m not hiring Dr. Timmy Webster Esquire to be a sales representative. That’s management material right there.” But that was the extent of Timmy’s time in Marvin’s good graces. “We start talking shop about sales, and before long, it’s clear that this kid had no passion for sales. There’s no twinkle in his eye while talking about it.”
This disappointment was more than a week ago, but it still makes Marvin emotional to talk about. “At first, I was angry. Real angry. And there was no way I could hire this kid who betrayed my trust.” Then, Marvin’s expression softened. “But, then I got to thinking, ‘isn’t that what sales is all about?'”