Desperately Seeking Organizational Skills

, , , | Working | June 17, 2017

(I turn up for an interview, arriving early. I find the reception.)

Me: “I’m here to see [Manager] for an interview.”

Reception: “Oh! He’s in a meeting at the moment; can you wait a while?”

Me: “That’s fine. I’m a little early anyway.”

(I wait 5, 10, 15 minutes. I start to think something is wrong.)

Reception: “I’m sorry; his meeting has overrun. I will give him another call.”

Me: “No problem.”

(Eventually he wanders down, barely apologising.)

Manager: “So, the first thing I want to do is show you around. Oh, let me check if he’s available.”

(Makes a phone call.)

Manager: “Okay, so my engineer isn’t available; I will walk you around the factory.”

(If his organisational skills didn’t fail to impress, the company certainly did! We go from room to room and the place is a mess. We eventually go around to this engineer.)

Manager: “Part of the role is to program this CMM.”

Me: “I’m sorry, I thought it was explained. I made it clear to the recruiter and on my CV, that programming is something I haven’t tried in years and not something I market myself with. I am more than happy to pick it up, but I have to be totally honest; it’s not something I can hit the ground running with.”

Manager: “Okay, well, I will leave you with [Engineer] and see how you get on.”

(The engineer seems pretty decent and understanding. We drag through some questions and answers before the manager comes back.)

Manager: “Okay, I think we are done here. I will speak with [Engineer] and give you a call.”

(Needless to say, I didn’t get the job. The funny side of this story was that a year later I was asked to look at a CV. It was the same manager for a much more junior position. I explained to my boss the story and what do you know?  He didn’t get the job!)

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  • Wendigone

    He wasn’t trying to get a management position. Why eff up his chances at a job you’ve never seen him perform when it’s been a year and he’s clearly learned his lesson losing his management job? That’s kind of low.

    • Jamie Burroughs

      OP sounds a bit spiteful, comes out as the douche canoe on this one.

    • jonoave

      I’d agree. The manager could be a technical kind of worker that was recently promoted to manager when the previous manager left suddenly, so he’s a little inexperienced in terms of managerial skills.

      And people who work in technical side e.g. iT, engineers could be a bit “chaotic” in the sense they work on their own things at their own time, instead of sticking to 9-5 hours. The fact that the manager called his engineer and wasn’t surprised/annoyed that he was not around seemed to be me that the manager could be cut from the same cloth.

      Or maybe I’m just projecting too much. 😉

    • WonderRabbit

      There’s no evidence that the manager learnt anything though.
      OP can only go off what he knows, and that is that the manager didn’t make a good first impression. You try to hire the best person for a job, not give handouts to people who’ve done nothing to earn them.

      • NessaTameamea

        But there’s also no evidence that he didn’t. Like wendigone pointed out, it’s been a year since OP saw the manager, and he wasn’t even applying for a managerial position.
        Even if it turned out the guy wasn’t suitable for the position, I think it still would have been better if the boss has the possibility to talk to him without having his opinion manipulated by an old story.

      • Wendigone

        It isn’t a handout for OP to keep their mouth shut about the irrelevant story and let the boss go by the resume and interview. If the first impression on the boss sufficed and the resume was good, he may have gotten the job. It’s nearly sabotage, what OP did, because their experience was not at allall related to the type of position being applied for. Not everyone is cut out to be a manager (if they were, nobody would need managers); that doesn’t mean they can’t do well at other positions.

        • I once made the mistake of doing the thing you’re suggesting OP should have done. Once. My boss asked me to review résumés and give my general impression of candidates. I wasn’t terribly impressed with one woman who had great qualifications, but typos in her résumés, on the phone she was scattered, and when she showed up for her interview her clothing was wrinkled and not what my boss would accept. Still, I recognized the desperation for a job and wanted her to have “a chance” and didn’t want to be the one to ruin it for her, so when my boss asked for my opinion I said, “she seems fine, shall I send her in?” Yeah, that interview was over in record time and I got an ass-chewing for wasting her time with someone I should have known she would never hire.

          Lesson learned: when you’re asked for information, you give it. Because that’s your JOB. If people don’t want to have bad opinions out there ruining their chances, they shouldn’t go around creating them.

          • NessaTameamea

            But there’s a difference between “yeah, this woman here, based on what I saw from her over the past week, I have a bad feeling” and “oh this guy? It’s been a whole year since I saw him but I’m absolutely sure he didn’t change a bit”

          • dannym

            Yeah but who’s to say OP wasn’t like “Well, it was a year ago but this was my experience with this person.”

    • Leiko Burningbear

      You’re making a LOT of assumptions.

      One, you assume the position Manager is applying for is not Management-type.
      It could be a junior management sorta job, like a shift supervisor or such. We aren’t told exactly what this “more junior” position is.

      Two, you assume Manager “learned his lesson”. Nowhere is there any indication of this. OP would have no way to know if Manager learned anything or not, thus we readers can not know if the Manager figured out they had a problem and “fixed” it.

      Three, you assume he lost his Manager job. There is no indication that Manager was fired from that position. Perhaps they left voluntarily. Perhaps the company shut down. Perhaps they decided they wanted a change an applied to other jobs while still working the Manager job.

      Four, you assume OP was being spiteful. I’ll give partial credibility to that one. OP obviously doesn’t think much of Manager based upon the single interview experience. So there is some pre-existing bias. However, all OP did was be honest with their Boss about what they thought of Manager. They did this after being specifically asked to view Manager’s CV and let the Boss know they thought of it. We, as readers, have no way of knowing if OP would have shared the interview story with their Boss had Boss not specifically asked for OP’s opinion.

      And Boss could have given Manager a chance despite OP’s poor opinion of ’em. Boss could have figured that OP was sour about not getting that job, and put less weight on the negative commentary. Ultimately, OP’s Boss made the decision to not hire Manager. Perhaps there’s more to this story than we readers are told. Perhaps there were other factors in play as to why Manager did not get the job. Again, we readers do not have access to that information.

      • Will Flynn

        Have to agree with you. If asked, and the OP was, you give your opinion and any relative history, if any. What the boss does with it is up to them. Frankly, an employee who would *not* give me the honest facts wouldn’t be worth having around to ask the opinion of. Obviously the opinion of this employee/OP was worth something, as it should be. Win for the OP, cosmic Karma beat down for for the ex-manager.

  • Fanatastic

    So OP screwed a victim of the Peter Principle? Cool. They seem awesome.

  • Leiko Burningbear

    I don’t really understand why so many peeps are hissing at OP.

    The meeting running longer than expected can be excused. That sorta thing happens. OP does come across as a little self-focused with the “barley apologizing” thing. That could go either way, depending on non-verbal cues and tone of voice and exactly what was said; all of which we readers do not know.

    Now, Manager calls Engineer to join OP’s interview. Why wasn’t that arranged beforehand if Engineer needed to be part of it? The way this story is written makes it seem like Manager only just that second realized they needed Engineer. That’s a Management Fail, although not a huge one.

    The factory was apparently one big mess. I take that to mean disorganized, dirty, and a bad work environment. Maybe “messy” works for that particular company, but most places prefer tidy, well-organized spaces to keep work flowing smoothly.

    Manager revealed they probably hadn’t actually read OP’s CV, since they asked OP to do programming when programming was not something OP claimed as a Skill. That’s a waste of everyone’s time, interviewing someone who isn’t proficient in a needed skill for the job in question.

    I’m not surprised one bit that the Manager left a bad impression on OP. I don’t blame OP one bit for telling their current employer about the previous encounter when Manager applied to that company. It doesn’t matter which job they applied for, some organizational skills will be needed to do it well.
    OP’s Boss was ultimately in charge of deciding whether to hire Manager or not. OP’s opinion was taken into account, but Boss could easily have decided to give Manager to chance. (I wouldn’t, but that’s me. If a current good employee doesn’t like an applicant, then that personality hissing must be considered. You don’t hire folks who dislike each other to work together; leads to all kinds of trouble.)

    And finally, we do not know what sort of job Manager was applying for. It might’ve been a junior supervisor type job, where they were towards the bottom of the command structure but still with some command responsibilities. We just don’t know enough to say firmly that Manager would’ve done fine in that “more junior” position.

  • Novelista

    I don’t know why I let Walmart keep me waiting for seventy minutes. (Manager got busy on a call, then forgot about me.) (Oh and I didn’t have a smartphone or a tablet yet, so it was a pretty darn boring seventy!)

    He made it up to me, though. That’s how I went from interviewing for a graveyard stocking position to being hired for afternoons in electronics. 😉

  • Matt Westwood

    “Needless to say” this post was the usual substandard boring bragfest.

    • Cathina Haynes

      “I sure got HIM, didn’t I?!? That’ll learn him!” I also hate exclamation in the wrap-up. Because, by golly, they’re proud of themselves!!