Kelly Van De Walle: Job application: Whole Foods

So you want to be a Whole Foods employee. We don’t blame you. Working amongst our fine, imported, tear-and-frown-free produce is only the most magical, eco-friendly things you can do aside from donating all your worldly possessions to guide dogs and living your life as an Amazonian tribal person (which would be awesome because, hey, free guano, which is a renewable resource!).

However not just any Marge Wallflower or Hieronymus Palestine can become a Whole Foods-er. For example, do you even HAVE pink Himalayan sea salt in your cupboards? See the application below to discover if you have what it takes.

1) You don’t have some kind of weird facial hair configuration, do you?

A) Yes

B) No

C) How I choose to express myself is my business. You can’t tell me what to do…man.

D) Whatever

Upon hiring, every new male employee will be issued a Weird Facial Hair Configuration (WFHC). If you cannot grow your own, a suitable version will be supplied – made, of course, from the hair of a farm-raised, cruelty-free, grass-and-pineapple-fed, thrice-daily-tickled voter-registered duckbilled platypus. Don’t worry, the platypus freely donated the hair (in a canvas bag) during last month’s Invite-Your-Platypus-To-Work-Day.

If you’re working with fresh food we’ll give you a hair net to use, which doesn’t at all look ridiculous covering your hummus-stained chin thatch.

2) Do you have any tattoos?

A) Yes

B) Yes

C) Yes

D) All of the above

It goes without saying you’re not allowed to work at Whole Foods without a tattoo. Don’t worry, we’ll provide you with one of those. You can have your choice between a pelican carrying a daisy in its beak symbolizing the need for peace in the Sudan or a dolphin jumping between two rainbows symbolizing the hallucination you’ll feel after your 30-minute lunch break where you’re allowed to eat nothing but organic kale and beets.

Don’t worry, the uniform we provide will ensure people see each tattoo. Any attempts to cover your tattoos will be met with a strict reprimand in the form of a deduction of four body piercings or one shorn dreadlock.

3) Do you have any gauges?

A) Of course

B) *sigh*

C) This kale tastes like newspaper

D) I’m so tired. I need nutrition. Feed me real food. Pass the ranch dressing. I don’t care if you had to waterboard a cow to get it.

Gauges are, of course, cylindrical discs that are typically VOLUNARILY placed/stretched within the earlobe to make middle-aged people uncomfortable and ward off evil spirits. They look like someone pushed a buffalo nickel into a soggy pancake and then decided to attach that that to the side of your head. Clearly, they’re pretty amazing. But more than that, they make a statement, that statement being: “Hey, skin is stretchy!”

Here at Whole Foods, gauges are used like stars on military uniforms, the more you have, the more highly you’re ranked. Those in “upper management” literally have wooden sticks protruding from their ear holes like they just returned from unsuccessfully navigating a booby trap-ridden Mayan tomb.

Removing the gauge leaves a hunk of sagging skin reminiscent of the time you accidentally saw your grandmother in the shower. On the positive side, your saggy flesh tunnel will be a great place for your pet hamster, Kafka, to roll up and take a nap.

4) How many chickens do you own?

A) A flock

B) A gaggle?

C) Trick question: you can never “own” another living thing. You form a partnership where the chicken gives you eggs in exchange for food and lodging.

D) Chicken? Do I get to eat chicken now? You kind of look like a chicken. I want to cover you in barbeque sauce.

All of our eggs are provided by chickens are raised by listening to the smooth tunes of Kenny G overlaid with a Japanese bamboo water fountain. Each is fed communally-grown organic mustard greens, that way the eggs come out with the right flavor of pretentiousness you just can’t get anywhere else. Martha, who works cosmetics and has stocked the Voodoo/organic moisture creams for the last 19 years, can actually lay her own eggs now.

5) Essay Question: “Do you like dogs?”

Answer: Please begin with, “I love dogs more than anything including human people because…”

As you know, we at Whole Foods think dogs are probably the best things after our delicious made-fresh-daily Sonoma chicken salad that we think probably cures hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia (fear of long words), but we’re legally obligated not to make such claims. At any rate, you’re required to own at least one dog (rescue). Red Whole Foods neckerchiefs will be provided so you can attach and make them look like they’re about ready to rob a bank.

That’s it! If you meet these requirements … congratulations! You can officially become one of us! Oh, and if you see anyone with a plastic sack, you’re authorized to use your employee-provided Whole Foods Blow Dart Gun to sedate them (blow dart gun made from a sustainable dart farm in Eastern Guam).


Kelly Van De Walle can be reached at or via message shaved into a weird beard. Follow Kelly on Twitter @pancake_bunny because he smells so good.