Monday, April 26, 2010

There's an "app," even for kids' jobs

Years ago a young man could walk into the local pizza joint, look the crusty owner in the eye, flash a smile, and get a part-time job flipping pies.

No application. No human resources department. No experience.

Not any more.

My pizza order was late so I cooled my heels in the restaurant vestibule ready to read last year's Outdoor Life and last week's yellowed Free Press spread on a table. Seated next to me was the fuzzy-cheeked store manager interviewing an equally youthful would-be job applicant.

Apprently the new kid had made the cut. But the manager handed him a copy of the pizza company's employee handbook. The duo proceeded to read aloud every point in the dozen-page tome covering everything from punching in to food safety expectations. And, of course, the new hire had to sign a form than he and the manager had read and discussed the contents. Equal opportunity meets child labor law meets work relationships.

One side of me acknowledged it's good to have rules and expectations spelled out so thoroughly. But the other side thought that, only a decade ago, such a grilling would have been reserved for the executive director of a nuclear plant.