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“Just Go Get A Job,” They Say

, , , , | Working | May 18, 2021

During eighteen months of unemployment, I try to figure out new ways to increase my chances. I get a lot of generic advice from people around me, like, “Look beyond the qualification list!” and “Try every possibility!’” and “Why don’t you just do [something that doesn’t make money at all]?” You get it. Getting desperate, I try some of this advice after all, only to find out that they are completely useless.

One piece of advice I see on several websites and hear from several people is, “Making a phone call still is the best way!” This seems a bit outdated to me, but it also isn’t a good combination with my shy personality and autism. At some point, I decide to try it anyway. In the case of a few vacancies, I try to call the person who is mentioned as a contact for questions. The problem is that I am not very good at finding real questions about the jobs, so the phone calls feel forced. After some time, I realise it isn’t working and I quit making forced phone calls in the hope of making more personal contact.

There is, however, one very interesting case. I call the contact person for a vacancy at a museum.

Me: “Good afternoon, this is [My Name]. I want to ask you some questions about the vacancy for [job].”

Contact: *Somewhat mockingly* “Really? That’s a bit strange. The text is quite clear.”

Me: “Well, I still have some questions. For instance, it’s a bit vague on salary. It says—”

Contact: “Right, hang on. For questions like that, you’d better contact our financial department.” *Gives contact information* “Anything else?”

Me: “Ehm… No.”

Contact: “Okay. Goodbye, then.”

Me: “Yes, goodbye.”

I felt baffled. Why is there a phone number for questions if you don’t want to answer them in the first place? At least I learned two things from this phone call. First of all, I need to have real spontaneous questions instead of calling in for the sake of contact. Secondly, I learned that I didn’t want to work at a place where a stranger is treated so rudely. I became unemployed after years of working for a rude, ungrateful man-child, and I was not about to make the same mistake again.

So, to some extent, the phone call served its purpose after all. I came into personal contact with the people there and might have dodged a bullet by doing that.

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