Ever been tempted to tell a lie to snag that job? If you watch 'Glee,' you know that Finn Hudson (Cory Monteith) told a whopper – that he was confined to a wheelchair – to earn some extra money; that's a pretty extreme example, but no more than the real-life tales that follow.
Can I speak Hebrew? Of course, I'm Israeli!
Of all the lies I've told to get a job the absolute worst was lying about my ethnicity and religion. One year after college I was scrounging for any sort of employment when I ran across a want ad for a secretary at an Orthodox Jewish school. Knowing little about Judaism and even less about Orthodox Judaism, I nevertheless doctored my resume to make me look like the ideal candidate. I looked online into what Orthodox Jews wore, dusted off my longest skirt and headed into the city.
When I walked into the school, I was surrounded by writing on the walls that I could only assume was Hebrew. I began to panic. Not only did I have no qualifications to work in a Jewish school, I had never been a secretary, had horrible phone skills and even worse people skills. The one thing I did well was make a first impression. I was praying for the sake of my pride and my pocketbook that a first impression would be enough to secure me this job. I was badly in need of a paycheck and thought my parents might disown me if I came home yet again without some sort of job.
I greeted the secretary and was directed to take a seat and wait for the administrator that would be interviewing me. As I sat wondering what on earth possessed me to do something so dumb, I overheard several conversations. The one thing I picked up on was that in answer to the question "How are you?" -- all of the people I had seen so far replied, "Baruch Hashem." I thought that if I didn't have the qualifications, I could at least fake them.
When the administrator called me into her office, I felt as if I might faint, but still put on my best nice-to-meet-you face" and took a seat in her office. To my astonishment she asked me little about my secretarial abilities. She asked where my family was from and mentioned that she didn't recognize my last name as one of the families in the Orthodox community nearby. I panicked, thinking that I'd been found out, but felt the warm rush of relief when she explained to me that she was one of the few non-Jews who worked at the school, so she didn't really know everyone.
That was when it slipped out, something that was impossible to take back. I actually said, "Well we just moved here from down south, but originally my family is from Israel." I said that with all the confidence in the world.
"Great!" she replied, "So you know Hebrew?" I nodded my head yes and was offered the job on the spot. As I walked out to my car, I said "Baruch Hashem" out loud. Not knowing then that the phrase meant "Thank God."
I was employed with that school for over a year. I ended up converting to Judaism and marrying one of its graduates.
Thank God indeed!
– Callie Armstrong
My dad Is at death's door!
Well, I was 17 when I told a terrible lie to get a job; but let's face, at at that age we make a lot of mistakes.
The job title was supervising manager at the local Kentucky Fried Chicken and the competition for the position was between a 40-year-old man named Frank (who probably deserved the job more) and me.
Most importantly to me, there was a cruise coming up at my high school, and I did not have the funds to even step foot on the ship with all of my friends. So when this position was placed on the table, I was so excited that I worked extra-hard for two weeks, cleaning the restaurant really well, and scrubbing the floors of the filthy bathroom.
I even remember the smile plastered to my face as the regional manager walked through the door, there to decide who got the promotion. It was time and I could already see the ship in my mind, I could taste the sea salt in my mouth: I had to have this job.
The manager called Frank first. I sat waiting and tried to think of something great to say. The interview started out normally, but then I had a idea. Tears burst from my eyes and I told him that my father was dying of cancer and I was the only income coming into our house.
The manager's eyes softened and she said, "I lost my best friend to cancer." That was it! I had a new title, a larger salary and a heavy heart.
I ended throwing up the whole time on the ship. I felt awful then, and I still do about that lie.
– Eve Gandy
I adore little children!
I hate children. I only like them if they're old enough to speak for themselves and laugh at my jokes. So how did I become an au pair?
I lied so well, in fact, that I convinced even myself that it would be a rewarding experience leave the United States to go over to the Czech Republic to care for a 9-month-old baby as an au pair. And I got the job.
I acted like I couldn't get enough of his cute little hands and feet, his adorable inability to express what he really wanted and that I didn't mind changing those post-Gerber filled diapers. I lied, until I simply could fake it no more.
The epiphany occurred one evening as I was pushing the kid around the small Czech village where we lived. I couldn't get him to stop crying and I walked behind the stroller, wailing my heart out and sobbing twice as loud as he was. It was then that I realized how truly pathetic the situation was that I had gotten myself into. One of the only things I loathe -- babysitting -- and I had signed myself up for a full-time position.
After that walk I had a lengthy talk with the family and ended up quitting. I told them I would gladly return -- when the kid is 14.
– Katie Arvidson
Related Stories from Examiner.com:
- The Consequences of Lies in The Workplace
- The Language of the Job Search: Lies vs. Truth
- Dumbing Down Your Resume To Get That Job