5 Ballsy Ways People Applied for Jobs — And Got Them

If you’ve been having trouble finding a job, have you considered kidnapping?
5 Ballsy Ways People Applied for Jobs — And Got Them

Applying for a job is a very straightforward process today. You just fill out a form online or upload your résumé. Or, often, you fill out a form and upload your résumé, for some reason no one can explain. Then an algorithm processes your data and instantly rejects you, without any human needing to consider your application. It’s all very efficient. 

Maybe you’d be better off thinking outside the box. That way, you can list “thinks outside the box” on future applications, and you also stand a chance of being hired right now, like the following people somehow managed. 

A Kidnapper Asked His Victim for a Lumber Job

In 1935, four kidnappers grabbed a nine-year-old boy who tried walking home from school early. If you, a parent, are now panicking at the thought of something similar happening to your own child, take comfort in knowing this child got nabbed because he was far more valuable than yours. This was George Weyerhaeuser, son of J.P. Weyerhaeuser, head of the Weyerhaeuser lumber company. Weyerhaeuser is still around today and takes in some $10 billion a year.

The kidnappers sent a note to the elder Weyerhaeuser, asking him to pay a ransom of $200,000 (that’s $4.5 million today). The man followed the instructions, and the kidnappers released the boy. The kidnappers had asked for “unmarked” bills, but no bills are truly unmarked; all notes have serial numbers, and when these ones popped up in Salt Lake City, the FBI traced them to the men spending them. The four kidnappers were arrested and were each sentenced to an average of 34 years in prison. 

Harmon Waley at Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary

Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary

They were sent to some strange island. 

You’d think that’d be the last we’d hear of any of these kidnappers. But one of them, Harmon Waley (pictured above), wrote to George repeatedly during the years he spent in prison. Then, when he was released, he wrote again, asking George for a job. The boy was a 37-year-old man now and had just become CEO of the Weyerhaeuser company. He was powerful enough to have Waley captured and killed, but he instead fulfilled Waley’s wish and hired him.

George didn’t do this to teach the world about forgiveness but rather because he remembered Waley treating him well during the kidnapping. Evidently, it had been the rest of the gang who’d chained young George in a hole, while Waley had been kind. There's a lesson here about how we should all treat one another. Either that or a lesson about the importance of networking. 

Someone Applied to the CIA Without Qualifications and Ended Up Becoming Director

Try getting a job at the CIA, and you might not enjoy the interview. Out of nowhere, they ask if you’ve ever used cannabis. You don’t know if your answer will cost you the job, but you fear that it will, and you withdraw your application. Maybe the interviewer was really just testing how you handle pressure.

They’re looking for someone with balls. Someone like E. Henry Knoche perhaps, who applied to join the agency in 1953, with his primary qualification being his basketball skills. He’d played in college, been drafted by the proto-NBA and almost played for the Knicks, but he demanded too much money. Then he joined the Navy during World War II, but while naval intelligence is great and all, CIA operatives generally require additional qualifications. We won’t list those qualifications here because if we did, we’d have to kill you. 

E. Henry Knoche

via Wiki Commons

We’re only joking! Actually, this other guy would kill you. 

Despite having no clandestine experience, Knoche kept getting promoted till he ended up the deputy director of the whole agency. And when the absolute director left (some guy named George H.W. Bush), Knoche became acting director in his place. 

You, too, can do this. Just walk into CIA headquarters one day, sit at a desk and get grinding. Guards may try to escort you out, but you must stand firm. 

Alan Turing Wrote ‘No’ When Asked If He Understood the Application

If an application asks if you understand some detail of what the job entails, you have to answer “yes.” It’s like clicking “agree” on a program’s Terms & Conditions — you could pick no, but if you do, you won’t be able to proceed. 

laptop screen

Scott Graham/Unsplash

You’re not supposed to even read the agreement. If you do, you're declared insane and are locked up.

During World War II, in addition to his famous work in codebreaking, Alan Turing signed up for the Home Guard. One question on the form asked, “Do you understand that by enrolling in the Home Guard you place yourself liable to military law?” Turning wrote “No.” No one noticed this choice of his, and he joined the Home Guard, which he enjoyed, because this let him learn how to shoot.

By 1942, Turing stopped showing up for Home Guard duties, as it became clear that the citizen militia would not be playing an important role in battling the Germans. His officer attempted to discipline him, but Turning replied that this was impossible, as he was not subject to military law thanks to how he’d signed the form. History does not record how the officer responded. We choose to believe that everyone clapped as the officer remained paralyzed, and we refuse to believe any suggestion to the contrary. 

A Cop Got a Job by Submitting a TV Prop

Try applying to be a police officer, and it helps if you boast of some experience in the field. That’s what Douglas J. Smith did when he joined a police force close to Chicago in 2013. He’d worked for 30 years in departments all over the country, from California to Georgia. He offered a picture of his badge from his LAPD days:

LAPD Dragnet pin

Chicago Cop Shop

He couldn’t show the physical badge because he’d slammed it on the chief’s desk when he resigned.

Except, hold on. That was really the badge of Joe Friday, a character from TV’s Dragnet. It turned out that Smith had never worked as an officer before and didn’t even have any training. He got the job anyway, till the department discovered the truth and kicked him out. 

The department’s police chief also resigned. It’s unclear if he resigned because of Smith. Really, there’s always some reason or another for a chief to resign. 

Someone Stole the Crown Jewels, Earning a Thumb’s Up from the King

In 1671, a parson and his wife entered the Tower of London, just two regular tourists there for a tour. The parson befriended the Master of the Jewel House, and the two men talked of arranging a marriage between their children. He came back again, for a private showing of the crown jewels. Then he whacked the jewel master with a mallet and stabbed him. The parson was really Thomas Blood, Irish insurrectionist, and he was here to loot the place. He slipped one piece of the jewels under his coat. A confederate slipped another down his pants.

Imperial State Crown of the United Kingdom

Cyril Davenport

Fuck the Crown. 

They got out of the tower and made it roughly as far as their horses before guards stopped them. And that was the end of the gallant attempt to steal the crown jewels. Clearly, a sad fate awaited Thomas Blood after this. Maybe he would return to the Tower, this time as a prisoner, for the rest of his life. Maybe they’d behead him. But when they took him in chains to talk to King Charles I, the conversation ended with the king gifting him land and offering him a job as a royal advocate. 

Historians still debate why the king would do that. Maybe he feared Ireland rising up, or maybe he admired Blood’s audacity. Or maybe he was responding to some surprising further details that came up during Blood’s testimony. Blood had earlier planned to assassinate Charles, he admitted, and had hidden himself near a spot in the Thames where the king regularly bathed. But when he actually set eyes on the unclothed king, he changed his mind because his “heart was checked by awe of Majesty.” 

That’s right. He complimented Charles’ penis, and this won the king over. Be sure to apply this tip to your own next job interview. If your interviewer lacks a penis, substitute a comparable organ as necessary.

Follow Ryan Menezes on Twitter for more stuff no one should see.

Scroll down for the next article
Forgot Password?