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Sometimes Karma Is A Little Less Instant

, , , , | Working | February 11, 2021

I apply to work in a call center for a major bank in the USA. I have worked in call centers for years and figure I have a decent shot at it.

During the interview, I have the usual “interview jitters” and am a little nervous, but I do pretty decently. The interviewer tells me that they will let me know in the next few days if I’ve got the job and what the starting date is, so I feel pretty confident leaving. My sister interviews right after me and is given the same parting discussion.

Maybe three days later, she gets a phone call offering her the job and I do not. A few days after that, I call and ask if they have decided to go with another candidate. They apologize that I have not been called and state that since I did not reply to them within twenty-four hours, I am no longer eligible. That’s within twenty-four hours of a call I never got, mind you. 

Fast forward to about two years later. I am working in a super-maximum-security prison with death row and segregated housing populations. Thank you, snarky call center, for rejecting me; I am so much happier now!

My sister calls me up and we talk about our respective jobs. She says she is considering moving to join me and asks what the application process is. In the twists and turns of the conversation, she asks me if I remember my interview for the call center. I say I did and she comments that she ran into our interviewer a few days ago. I am surprised that in two years, she only just now ran into her again, but then again, it is a building that literally takes up four square city blocks with sky paths over the roads.

My sister asks if I want to hear what she found out about why they picked her and not me. Of course, I am curious, given that they pinned the blame on me not calling them at the time, which was clearly a cop-out. Their conversation went like this:

Sister: “Hey, long time no see. How have you been?”

Interviewer: “I’ve been good! Glad to see you’re still with the company. I knew I picked the right sister!”

Sister: “Oh? Well, they told her it was because she didn’t call them back to accept the job offer, even though they never called her.”

Interviewer: “Yeah, that is what we tell the types that just don’t have the confidence and assertiveness to work in such an intense work environment such as this. She was pretty timid and clearly would let a customer just run right over her.”

Sister: “Right. You do realize she isn’t timid at all, right? She was nervous, while I was half-drunk during my interview so I didn’t give a flip. Oh, well. She has a better job now, anyway, so it was a blessing in the end.”

The interviewer completely ignores everything my sister just said.

Interviewer: “Well, I hope she found a good job. Where did she go? [Third-Party Call Center down the street] or [Time-Share Scam Call Center]?”

Sister: *With a huge smile* “Neither. She works at a SuperMax as a guard with their death row and segregation populations. Doesn’t seem that being timid and unassertive is really an issue she has.”

The interviewer loses her fake cheery smile.

Interviewer: “Hmm… Maybe I dropped the ball there. Can you do me a favor and not make that too public? I had to convince a lot of people that she was too timid to work here because she was a guaranteed hire based on her work history alone. I could get in trouble if they found out I was wrong.”

Sister: “As long as I work here, I will never volunteer that information to anyone. Don’t worry.”

About four months later, my sister put in her notice as she got hired on at the prison to be a guard, as well. When she moved in with me, I asked her one night if she kept her promise or if she told them. My sister laughed and told me the interviewer had demanded she do an exit interview. 

During the interview, the Big Boss asked my sister why she was quitting. My sister told them that she was joining me at my job which was better and for the state. They asked her if I was the same sister that had applied to the call center with her, and she told the Big Boss that I was. At that point, the interviewer started trying to end the exit interview, but the Big Boss told her to be quiet as she was the one who had insisted on it after my sister initially refused one.

Big Boss then asked my sister what type of job it was. My sister told him she was to be a guard at a SuperMax one state over, and at his prompting, she told him I work in the segregation unit and with death row on occasion.

Big Boss got a dark look on his face and asked if my sister had anything else to say. When she said no, he told her she could leave but the interviewer must stay. My sister, when leaving after packing her desk up, watched the interviewer getting walked out in tears.

We had a good laugh, toasted her for rejecting me and pushing me to pursue my dreams in corrections, and then moved on with our lives, as I hope the interviewer did.