A sign of the times Wednesday at the Tacoma Dome: More than 800 people showed up for a test to become a water meter reader.
For one open position.
Tacoma Water advertised the opening from Jan. 15-29 and received 1,400 applications, according to Sonja Hall, a spokeswoman for Tacoma Public Utilities. Typically, the utility receives about 300 or 400 applications for a meter reader position.
Utility officials reviewed the applications and invited 1,300 of the hopefuls to take an 88-question test.
Of those invited, 807 came to the Dome Exhibition Hall for the testing, which took place in two sessions.
One explanation for the crush of applicants could be a new online application system that the utility recently launched. But Hall acknowledges that "the economy and the decrease in available job opening" may have something to do with it too.
Human Resources officials will grade the tests and determine scores, Hall said. They hope to notify candidates of their scores by Feb. 20. After that, candidates will be selected for interviews.
The hourly pay range for the coveted job: $17.76 to $23.56.