I almost worked for them.
The front end of their establishment was an odd garish scene. Walls that were TOO white contrasted with flashy abstract art, the likes of which would seize the brain of a Japanese Pokemon fanatic. The furniture designer had obviously listened to a european in a tight black shirt spouting "less iz more" while trying to imagine what LSD must be like. (the only rationale I can imagine) This might have flown for an art gallery or the office of a specialty design company, but for a place that purports to "Help children" it was a bit unsettling. Hell, jsut their front end was walking up to a grand mal seizure and poking it with a stick.
Fellow applicants (Who I largely outdressed thanks to absence of sneakers, "Wu-wear", and a properly arranged tie), were not chatty, as we were all put to work on informational and screening paperwork. The drudgery and the backdrop which could only be described as bizzare was all set to the tune of a very carefully scripted and arranged short video of the center's prospective clientelle, (the kicking screaming berserk type), describing only superficially the services the center could offer (Focused on "Education" of course), ending with a well rehersed GED presentation ceremony to a graduating client. Tolerable, if you have to watch it once, but this was on repeat.
Anyways. Down through the usual riggermarole. I have not been arrested, I have a driver's licence, and on and on.
The application also had a few questions focusing on how I would handle specific situations, deliberately vauge or miss-worded. I smelled a test, answered to all possible meanings. At best, english comprehension, at worst projective testing.
Later, waiting for my turn on the interview, I had a vistitor. An old school buddy, one from the team, who had been one year ahead of me in learning. (Wait, wasn't he going to grad school? Motioned outside, we had a quick chat after pleasantries.
"So what's going on, I thought you had grad school lined up?"
"Didn't go through Rich. You serious about working here?"
"If they take me and it looks good, sure."
"OK, basically, keep your head down for the first six months then. After that, you're golden."
We said our goodbyes and I went back in to wait.
My turn in the hot seat was unremarkable at best. Wait, did I mention the furniture and decor? It got better. I was ushered into a room outfit with the same garish wall hanging. (focusing once again, on abstract reds and yellows) Stark white walls (as standard), recesed lighting, and the funiture.....
Was all lime green tranlucent plastic. Lime Green Transclucent Plastic, that had obviously been cut and bent from a single peice of 3/4" sheet plastic. I had left the land of the wannabe surrealists, and was in hell done by the designers IKEA can no longer abide.
Standard intervew fair otherwise. I didn't know the important questions to ask yet, and they were almost happy to be vauge and nonforthcoming. A few basics followed, and I asked about their obviously loaded application questions on the application. My interviewer smiled to herself slightly and made a notation while answering me that it WAS intentional. God help me, I just passed some sort of test.
A quick walkthrough of an adjoining building, decorated in much more standard schoolhouse / office furniture followed. Normal classes, we only witnessed one restraint (handled deftly, by large men inadvisably wearing neckties and shirts). None of the shock rigs that I'd read about later. It was soon done, and we were led back to the nightmare reception building to be sent on our way.
Thanking my hosts (another approving nod and a note) and I was back on the highway. Odd experience, and I'd wonder in future why other joints didn't display sanity damaging accoutrements or psychological testing in their interview process. Still, few enough jobs and interviews under my belt, I didn't know that yet. I would likely be offered a job, but circumstance and providence had me land elsewhere.