Today's tale comes from Evan Wade...

I had the unique treat of interviewing for my replacement after accepting a promotion in the state agency for which I worked.

Being a civil service organization, we had a verrrrrrrry structured multi-step hiring process. If you made it past the paper screening, the background checks, and the written test, you would first be given a panel interview with subject matter experts and only the top candidates would make it to the final interview. Theoretically.

The first candidate was a woman that, in the middle of answering a technical question, interrupted herself to explain that she had low blood sugar and needed to eat something. She proceeded to pull out and eat a tuna salad sandwich. I mention that specific detail only because she both chewed with her mouth open and talked with her mouth full of tuna salad for the rest of the interview.

Candidate number two showed up in a ratty t-shirt and shorts, dripping in Mr. T chains and bracelets, which is not generally a look I would recommend for a balding, overweight middle-aged white suburbanite. As we shook hands, he opened with, “I don’t really want the job, I just need health benefits.”

Candidate three was The Incredible Shrinking Applicant. As the interview progressed, he slid farther and farther down into his seat, until only his head was visible above the conference table. When asked how he would handle phone calls from upset users, his response was “I have to talk to PEOPLE?!”

Our final candidate was well groomed, well dressed in a nice suit, and carried a briefcase. He sat down at the conference table, and produced a disposable grounding wrist strap from his briefcase. He attached it to a nearby wall outlet, then burst into tears without a word. A few times, he almost regained his composure, but ultimately ended up fleeing from the conference room without ever saying a single word.

Ultimately they hired a grossly incompetent cocaine addict. That is to say, she was incompetent at network administration (for example, “upgrading” a Citrix server farm to Novell 3). She was fantastically good at the cocaine addiction.