Alaskan Postcard No. 4: A strange
interview on the last frontier
Creek Street, main draf at Ketchikan. / Photo by
Editor's note: USU student Ginger Warburton writes
of an outsider's experience in Alaska exclusively for
the Hard News Cafe. This is the second in a series.
By Ginger Warburton
September 27, 2006 | I set out to find another job.
My job search started and ended at the most expensive
restaurant I knew of: The Heen Kahidi Dinning Room at
The Cape Fox Lodge.
The search ended because after I applied there I lost
motivation. After a week I hadn't heard back, so I called
the manager. She said she had been trying to get ahold
of me. She sounded irritated at me, as though it were
my fault she hadn't been able to reach me. I immediately
had a bad impression. We set up an interview for the
When the day came I had to rush home from work, getting
a ride home from one of my co-workers. For the interview
I got ready as fast as I could and hopped on my bike.
I had only been there once and didn't know how to get
there, or how long it took so I wanted to have plenty
of time. This plan not surprisingly did not happen.
Curse my perception of time!
It of course began raining after the first block.
I was wearing heels, dress pants, a blouse and a silly
little hoodless jacket that was really great at trapping
my body heat after I was warm, but before that was pretty
I arrived at the restaurant late with fuzzy/wet hair,
a glistening forehead and labored breathing. I was led
into a conference room filled with a large table surrounded
by huge chairs. I sat near the door facing the immense
windows that overlooked the town, and historic Creek
Street below. Frantically I tried to quiet my hair and
wipe my forehead.
Through the large doors entered a short, strawberry
blond, pink-skinned woman wearing a red polo and a long
black apron. She half-smiled and sat across from me.
She immediately began asking me questions about availability,
my other job. I answered wondering who she was. She
was very disappointed I would be unable to work days.
She acted as if she didn't want to hire me at all. That
was fine by me; I already had a job, and didn't know
if I wanted to work with this mean little woman anyway.
She said someone else would be coming in to speak with
I sat again looking at the view. Next a very large
woman came in. I imagined the strawberry blond woman
next to her and smiled, imagining the giant woman squishing
the little one. She was also blond and possibly a little
younger. She was more jovial, and thought it was hilarious
I was from Utah. I failed to catch the joke. This time
I asked who she was. she was the general manager. "OK!
Looks good. Nice to meet you. Someone else will be coming
The next person to come in was a guy in his late 20s
with bleached blond hair, small eyes with large shadows
underneath. His face betrayed how tired he was although
his voice and movements were very energetic. He looked
at me and said, "I never have much to say at these things."
I didn't really know how to respond. "Oh," I said.
"Do you have any questions?" he said.
"Not really," I said, wanting to say more, but not
knowing what. "OK, someone else might come in. I don't
know." He said these last words over his shoulder as
This was the strangest interview I had ever had. First
the small, mean lady, the jovial blond giant who basically
made fun of me for a few minutes, followed by the tired
young guy. I wondered if I would have to dye my hair
blond to work there.
The young guy came back in. "Tomorrow at 3."
I knew it was a question although it was said as a
statement. "OK," I replied.
"Good," he said and walked out.
"Wait!" I scrambled to follow him. He half turned.
"What's tomorrow?" I thought it would be another strange
"Banquet" he said and began walking again. I followed
him again, asking, "Should I wear anything in particular?"
"Oh," he said. He thought for a second. "Black pants,
Our conversation was like strange cavemen talk with
only the necessary words. He began walking again, this
time I let him go, feeling I had sufficient information.
I watched him walk away still feeling a little bewildered.