That Time I Worked a Job Fair

by Jacey on March 21, 2014

Customer service stresses me. I have trouble getting passed the one person who was an a-hole to me. Even if everyone else was the world’s best, most polite customers. So you can imagine how thrilled I was to be running a booth at  a local youth job fair. Notttttttt. I barely slept the night before. I wish I was joking. Sounds pretty lame admitting that. I mean, who can’t handle a couple hours talking to some kids looking for jobs….. This girl.

I tried my best to prepare for the event. I’m not sure that my company has ever participated in anything like this before. My first clue to cut and run should have been when I tried to order a banner or poster or something to hang with the company logo on it and we didn’t have a jpeg with a high enough resolution. So I printed it on legal sized paper. If that doesn’t scream throw in the towel I don’t know what does.

Set up began at 8:30 and I arrived about 20 minutes after that. I wasn’t sure what the protocol was for such an event. Do you arrive early and meet and greet or play it cool and stroll in late like you do this all the time. I put my meager box of belongings (tape, post-its, pens, job descriptions) on my table and scanned the room, sizing up the few other vendors that were there already.

I still had an hour to go so I went to Bulk Barn for treats. The treats were multi-purpose. They might attract some kids to the booth, and they’d be good for stress eating if things got crazy. I went with Hershey Kisses. They seemed like a safe choice and the wrappers make them sanitary. Who knows where those grubby hands have been.

When I got back, some more people had arrived; pulling out their banners, backdrops and pulley-downey things. I headed over to the coffee bar. I don’t even drink coffee. I was desperate. At least this would give me something to hold in my hand. It might even make me look like a real adult or something. Not being a coffee drinker, I wasn’t even sure how much cream or sugar to put in. I guessed. I couldn’t take too long. The other booths would smell a fraud for sure.

The coffee was disgusting. It brought me back to the first time I had tried coffee. I was probably 12, and Secord and I had dared each other to try some of mom’s cold coffee. It was as disgusting as you would imagine day old Tim Horton’s coffee to taste. This stuff didn’t taste much better. Somehow I had gotten through University without coffee. I was never the all-nighter type. And if I was tired, there was a cure for that. And it was called my bed.

Drinking the coffee gave me something to do, and frighteningly, after half of a cup, it started to taste ok. Now I knew I was drunk. Sleep deprived and drunk. I even contemplated a refill. Yep, definitely drunk, desperate and sleep deprived.

At this point I wasn’t sure If I should put up my legal paper with the logo on it. Did this make me more or less pathetic? I couldn’t be sure. But then I thought it might save me from answering what my company was, so I scotch taped it to the table. I can feel your pity through my computer screen.

Turns out I’m a boss. It was way easier than I thought. I mean, they are high school kids. So they travel in packs, clinging to each other, afraid to approach you by themselves as you do when you are 16. I wielded my clipboard like a pro. That definitely gave me some points. I knew the basics of working a booth from my years of craft shows. Don’t eat in the booth. Stand up (Do NOT sit down. Even when you realllly want to). Look the part. Smile. Check, check, check, check.

The commaderie between the companies was interesting. The man across from me gave me some almond nougats. Probably payment for taking his picture at his booth. “Don’t fall asleep.” from the man next to me when things started to slow down. He was watching hockey highlights and playing on his tablet. Jealous. I would have killed to be loitering on Pinterest and reading blogs.

Moral of the story? I don’t know. I guess, job fairs aren’t so bad. And coffee isn’t either.


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Hollis March 21, 2014 at 4:51 pm

Oh Jada. That re-cap was awesome. I can picture the entire thing. Stooping so low as to have to drink coffee…you poor thing. Haha. I love you! Happy Birthday pal!! xo


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