Finally Managed To Hire The Right Employee

, , , , | Working | April 17, 2020

(While working on getting new full-time work, I take on a couple of extra part-time jobs so I lose money more slowly while I’m still under-employed. One of those jobs is working at a store that specializes in selling secondhand Apple devices. The store also does repairs and I am hired as a technician. At this point in my life, I’m in my thirties, I’ve already been working in IT in some form for ten years, I have a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering, and I have many industry certifications including a full CCNP. I’m interviewing for $100K+ jobs, so fixing laptops and iPhones in the backroom of a shop is more than one step back for me, but the extra money is helpful.

The manager is the only full-time position; there are two part-timers besides myself. The manager is not the most reliable person and frequently doesn’t show up or leaves and doesn’t come back for the day. He also refuses to ever turn down a repair job, leaving me to struggle at tracking down replacement parts for ten-year-old or older laptops and hope they function correctly when I install them. I’ve told him that he should insist that those customers replace their computers, but he’d rather I just repair any computer he throws at me.

Eventually, my time there is coming to an end. I have several promising interviews and need the time to prepare for them, but I agree to remain on-call until I start my new job. My boss has put out an advertisement but is quite disappointed by all the applicants he has been receiving.

This takes place after a twenty-year-old college student comes by to discuss his application with the manager and me. The guy is in college and has a little part-time experience, but he also spends a lot of time tinkering with devices he gets his hands on. I think he’d be great for the position, but my manager seems to disagree.)

Me: “What’s wrong with that guy? He’s sharp and eager to please.”

Manager: “He’s got no professional experience, no certifications, and he’s still in college!”

Me: “Are you… Wait, are you trying to find someone with my qualifications?”

Manager: *shrugs* “Something close, at least.”

Me: “[Manager]… I took this job as a temporary gig to make ends meet before starting a new professional job. You’re not going to find another 33-year-old Cisco Certified Network Professional who wants to make $16 an hour fixing iPhones. This is a job for a young, technically-minded person who’s just starting out in the job market, and quite frankly, they’d be better at it than me. I have one bad hand on top of a coordination disorder. I’m not well suited for working with tiny phone and laptop components. These kids are going to be faster than me and less likely to break things. That’s one of the reasons I switched from end-user support to networking. Yeah, he might need to use Google more often than I do, but that guy would be a great long-term replacement for me.”

(The manager still did not seem too enthusiastic despite my plea, and my last day came shortly after. The manager and the owner’s nephew were left to do all repairs themselves, but they were only experienced in fixing MacBooks and iPhones, so their ability to fix PCs was hampered without a tech. I stayed on as on-call only, but they only ever had me come in once before I accepted a new position out of state. I came by six months later when I was visiting Maryland and stopped into my old store. The manager was MIA that day, but there were two employees including the young man we interviewed before I left. Either the manager took my advice or he realized he had no choice but to hire him. I chatted and got caught up with them. The manager had been becoming less reliable since I left and would take off work to run errands or to study for a class with increasing frequency. I frankly cannot understand why the owner still keeps him around.)

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