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Job Hunting Rarely Makes Any Sense

, , , , , , , , | Working | September 19, 2023

I was talking to a friend about some weird and unusual experiences I have had job hunting over the years, and I would like to share these.

The first story happened in 2019. I had ten years of administrative assistant experience by then, and I had been in my current position as an administrative assistant for two years. I had a new manager who treated everyone like crap, so I started looking for another job. 

I found an ad from a staffing agency that was hiring an administrative assistant with two years of experience. “Great!” I thought. “I have ten years total.” 

I emailed a cover letter, my résumé, and a reference letter I had received from a previous employer. I had all the skills they needed.

Two days later, the staffing agency sent me an email.

Staffing Agency: “Thank you for your interest in the administrative assistant position. We have carefully reviewed your résumé and, unfortunately, we will not be able to offer you any positions with our staffing company. The reason is that you do not have any work experience. Once you have obtained work experience, please feel free to reapply.”

I was shocked by that response. I went back and checked the email that I had originally sent to make sure that my résumé and the other attachments were included. And yes, they were. I don’t believe they “carefully reviewed” my résumé. I mean, how could they have missed ten years of work experience and the reference letter?

I was tempted to send an email back and ask them this very question, but I decided just to look somewhere else.

My second story happened in 2009. I was at the local grocery store and they had a “Now Hiring” sign for an office assistant position, so I went ahead and applied for the job. I spoke to the store manager, and he was very impressed by my experience and skills, and he said he wanted to hire me. I thought this was great. This grocery store was only about five minutes from my house, and it sure would beat the hour-long commute to work every morning.

The store manager said that he couldn’t hire me until his district manager interviewed me first, so he set up an interview with the district manager.

It was a forty-five-minute drive to meet with the district manager. My interview was at eight o’clock, so I got up at 5:30 and took my time putting my makeup on, fixing my hair, and making sure my clothes were pressed. I wanted to make a good impression, so I went the extra mile to do so.

I arrived at the district manager’s office at 7:55 that morning. I went inside, spoke to the receptionist, and let her know why I was there. I was very friendly and polite.

Then, at 8:00, the district manager came out. He took me back to his office without so much as a hello.

District Manager: “Have a seat. Oh, [Store Manager] speaks very highly of you.”

I smiled at him. The district manager sat down and said he wanted to look over my résumé. He spent about three seconds on it, and then he abruptly stood up and started walking toward the door.

District Manager: “Okay, that’s it. Thank you for coming in.”

He did not give me any chance to ask any questions, and he did not ask me any questions. He also did not offer to shake my hand, and he never smiled at me.

When I got my phone out in my car, I saw that the time was 8:03 am. 

I went into that store a few days later, and the store manager came up to me and asked me what happened. I told him of the interaction with the district manager.

Store Manager: *Confused* “Well, [District Manager] did say not to hire you, but when I asked him for a reason, he said he didn’t have one.”

I shopped in that store still for a couple more months, and that same “Now Hiring” sign for an office assistant was up for the next two months.

I am still puzzled about what happened with that one.

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