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Expert and Above

GLYNN WASHINGTON, HOST:

Welcome back to SNAP JUDGMENT. From PRX and NPR, the 2014 Look Back Special. My name is Glynn Washington and we're going to put the icing on today's SNAP JUDGMENT special with a stunt - a stunt that every listener must vow never, ever to try at home.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SEAN FLANNERY: So I was interviewing at a specialty electronic repair store in Akron, Ohio. It was called the Battery Hut. They had a hilarious logo. It was a humanoid battery and it looked like this insane battery. They made most of their money in custom batteries and I knew the assistant manager and she recommended me, so the job's kind of in the bag. I know nothing about batteries.

I'm just lying throughout the whole job interview. And because the job's so much in the bag and he seems to be impressed with me he, he starts showing me the inventory. And at one point he pulls out this drawer of boxy unmarked batteries and they all look like nine volts. And me and my brothers, when we were growing up, we would always lick nine-volt batteries. And it just feels like little droplets of rain are sort of dancing on your tongue. And he asked me, like, how would you describe your level of battery knowledge? And I go expert or above. And then I pick one up and ask him have you ever done this? And I just lick it - turns out each and every one of these is, like, a 20-volt or higher garage door opener custom battery and it shocks me. I collapse full on.

It was sort of like at full speed you walk into a low ceiling and it - you're half in pain, but also just half so confused by why you're on the ground all of a sudden. The store was in a mall kiosk. There was a customer waiting to have his watch battery who just ran away (laughter) when I licked it and fell down to the ground. And I always imagine that he ran off just thinking he saw me die. And from a distance it almost looked like I had just eaten the world's hottest slice of pizza because my tongue's sticking out and I'm fanning air onto it. It felt, like, almost like a wasp stinging directly in the middle of my tongue. And I finally sort of regained my composure and we locked eyes and that's when we both realized that I had been completely lying about all of my battery knowledge.

I got a call from the friend who recommended me the next day and she was livid 'cause she's like I had told them you were the smartest person I know, but I look like I hang out with morons. I've learned whenever something doesn't look mass-produced that is normally mass-produced, don't just stick it in your mouth, you know? But I think the most amazing thing about it is I got the job.

STEPHANIE FOO, BYLINE: What?

FLANNERY: Yeah, I got the job. What I found out is he just hate - he wasn't the owner or the manager, you know, he just worked there and he just hated his job so much. And everyone he was interviewing was incompetent, so he figured he may kill himself here, but it will at least be interesting.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

WASHINGTON: Big thanks to Sean Flannery. Sean was named the Best Stand-Up Comic by the Chicago Reader. He hosts a weekly show in Chicago called The Blackout Diaries. You should go see it. That piece - it was produced by Stephanie Foo. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.