Right Working Romantic Related Learning Friendly Healthy Legal Inspirational Unfiltered

Enough Red Flags To Make A Sail And Take A Boat To New Zealand

, , , , , , | Working | March 13, 2023

Back in the 1990s, I was a programmer between jobs, and I saw a six-month software contract with a public hospital in the town of Napier, New Zealand. It was being advertised in Australia, so the deal included flights and a house, and because of the short-term nature, the salary was a decent bump above what I could expect to make in six months in a local, permanent role.

I’d have to leave my partner and cats behind, but it would be an adventure, and Napier is a beautiful town that I was excited to know. And my partner’s work was flexible; he could fly across — four hours plus internal transport — and we could enjoy some tourism on weekends, and he could explore during the week or at the end of my contract.

I started dealing with an agent, and everything was very professional. We did a phone interview, and they decided they wanted me. The agent then told me the employer wanted to deal with me directly, via email. I thanked the agent and waited for an email to arrive from my (potential) new boss. That’s when things started falling apart.

First, the salary, originally offered in Australian dollars, was now mysteriously in New Zealand dollars, representing a pay cut of 20%. Still, adventure and all — and still more than the going rate locally. Then, the house turned into a room at a boarding house for nurses and new doctors; it was clear [Potential Boss] expected me to find rental accommodation and pay for it myself. Still, I figured I’d look at the contract and see if I could still do this without losing money. I asked him to send me the contract.

Potential Boss: “Let’s sort that when you get here.”

Well, maybe it was worth the risk. I wouldn’t travel unless I had an open return ticket in my hand, and if I didn’t like the terms, I would just go for a week’s holiday in Hawke’s Bay and fly home on his dime.

Then, there was the final exchange of emails:

Me: “How do I get a plane ticket?”

Potential Boss: “Do you have a credit card?”

Yup, he expected me to pay for my own ticket to fly to him for a contract I hadn’t seen, let alone signed, and he certainly wouldn’t reimburse me for the flight before I signed. He had changed the terms multiple times when I had bargaining power. What might he do when I was thousands of kilometres from my home and out of pocket? 

I did not reply to that email. I called the original agent to tell him the whole bait-and-switch story and how I did not trust that person and had no desire to work with him. The agent thanked me and was very understanding.

I might add that I am a female, and though I have no reason to believe the job wasn’t real, it just seemed another reason not to throw myself at the mercy of a stranger who had not proved himself to be trustworthy in a country where I literally knew no one.

I’ll Transfer You To EXACTLY Who You’re Asking For!

, , , , , , | Right | March 8, 2023

It’s barely 7:15 in the morning and most days I’ve usually had several cranky callers by this point, but this particular morning has actually been pretty pleasant. Until this guy:

Caller: *Cuts me off before I can even start my usual greeting.* “Let me talk to service.”

I roll my eyes but stay polite and professional, starting with the usual questions to get the guy where he needs to go. It basically boils down to whether he needs semi-truck, equipment, or generator repair and if he needs us to make a service call or if he’s coming to us. All of two, maybe three questions unless the caller is being particularly difficult.

Me: “Sure thing. To make sure I get the right guys, what do you need serviced?”

Caller: “Honey, just let me talk to service.”

Me: “I’ll be happy to get you to our service guys if you’ll let me know what we’re working on. We have multiple service departments.”

Caller: “Give me the service manager.”

Me: “What are you needing worked on so I can call that service manager for you? Each service team has their own manager.”

The caller starts talking to me slowly as though I’m an idiot and should just know what he wants.

Caller: “Sweetie, I don’t need anything serviced. I just want to talk to a service manager.”

Me: “What is this regarding, then, so I can get the proper manager for you?”

Now I’m convinced this guy is probably a telemarketer; he’s too evasive and pushy, but I have to do my due diligence and make sure he’s not just wanting parts or something and thinks he needs to talk to service for that. That’s happened plenty with new customers who don’t know we have other dedicated departments outside of service.

Caller: *Irritated sigh.* “I just want to talk to your truck shop manager about becoming a mechanic.”

Me: “Ah, okay! Our service managers don’t actually handle recruitment until later in the process, but I can get you over to a technician recruiter.”

This is our process since our managers are so busy; the recruiters can answer most of the questions applicants have, and they can weed out people who don’t qualify.

Caller: “No, sweetheart, you’re going to let me talk to your service manager.”

I’m now absolutely done with this guy. He’s been nothing but condescending and difficult and I’m sick to death of being called pet names by a total stranger—I deal with this kind of behavior constantly but I usually can’t do anything about it because they’re customers.

Me: “Alright, one moment.”

Instead of sending him to a recruiter—none of whom are in that early, so he would just call right back—I call our truck service manager, who is a busy guy, and no-nonsense, but he’s always nice. I know he’ll take a few minutes to deal with the caller and set him straight.

Truck Service Manager: “Please tell me you have something more fun than the last few ‘I need my truck fixed yesterday’ calls you’ve sent.”

Me: “Oh, I do! This guy is demanding to talk to you about a mechanic position, refused to talk to a recruiter, talked down to me and didn’t want to answer my questions, and kept calling me sweetie and crap like that. I’m sure you would love to have such a peach on your team!”

Truck Service Manager: “Oh, really?” *He sounds maybe a little TOO delighted.* “Well thank you for the nice distraction. I’ll get this guy’s information and make sure he doesn’t have a chance, and knows it. If he’s gonna talk to you nice ladies like that when he’s looking for a job, how’s he gonna talk to customers? We don’t need that around here. Hand him over!”

The caller got what he demanded, but it did not work out in his favor. Rule of thumb, y’all: be nice to the people who answer the phones, especially if you’re looking for a job! We will absolutely pass on notes about your behavior, especially if you behave like this guy did. Being rude, demanding, or condescending does you no favors.

Kind Of Nice When They’re Up Front About How Much They Suck

, , , , , , , , | Working | February 27, 2023

Years ago, during a recession, I had a job interview with a computer parts company. It was one that hired at cheap wages and promised frequent promotions and raises. 

At the time, I had freshly graduated from university and was on contract for slightly over minimum wage. I was first interviewed by a Human Resources person. We exchanged niceties before diving in.

Me: “How do you enjoy working for this company?”

Her demeanor changed completely and she glared at me.

HR Employee: “I don’t see how that’s any of your business.”

I was shocked at the outburst, expecting her to highlight the positive aspects of the company. I don’t know why she thought I was asking something personal or offensive. It changed the tone of the interview. 

I continued to be polite, but then, she noted the salary of approximately $20,000 per year.

Me: “No one could afford to live on that salary. It’s barely above minimum wage, and it won’t cover rent or other expenses.”

When the hiring manager (who was pleasant) came in, I repeated this and walked out after twenty minutes. 

It’s the only time I’ve ever been bluntly honest in an interview. But the HR employee’s rudeness showed me that it was not a pleasant place to work and that she would have been miserable to work with. The company doesn’t exist anymore.

The Code To Getting The Job Is Honesty

, , , , , , | Working | February 20, 2023

I work for a huge entertainment company on a software development team. Recruiting is hard; even though we use agencies that take a hefty percentage, we get a lot of applicants who have clearly borrowed someone’s CV.

I can see the sense of this; if they can blag their way through the interview, then we will pay them literally hundreds of pounds a day. Even if you get sacked on the first day, you get paid for that day. £300 is not bad for a few hours of work when the minimum wage at the time is around £5 an hour. And I know my manager; he would give them more than a day because he wants his staff to be successful. Luckily, none of them make it through the interview. 

Because of the way we work, we can use anyone who has some basic programming skills if they are smart and willing to learn. Indeed, our best recruit had only done an introduction to programming course, and we were his first job. We only quiz people about skills they claim to have; if they demonstrate a good working knowledge of something they have used, we can feel confident they can learn the new skills they need. 

The most egregious liar I remember was [Candidate]. The young man’s CV ticked all the boxes, and I was excited to interview him. I did not notice my boss wildly (but covertly) signalling me not to bother when I went in to ask [Candidate] the technical questions at my allotted time, halfway through his interview.

Me: “So, your CV says you know Java.”

Candidate: “Yes, I know Java.”

Me: “How would you create a constant in Java?”

Candidate: “I don’t really know Java”

Me: “Ah, okay. Then I see you know SQL”

Candidate: “Yes, I know SQL.”

Me: “What command would you use to print all the entries in a table?”

Candidate: “I don’t really know SQL”

Me: “All righty, then. Do you MS-DOS?”

Candidate: “Yes, I know MS-DOS.”

And so on. He just kept on lying and didn’t seem to recognise the pattern. I am afraid I went through every skill he claimed to have while my boss was in agony; he had already discovered [Candidate]’s complete lack of knowledge in the first few minutes but had not been able to wrap it up before I came in.

Final hiring decisions are made in consultation with Human Resources, so we are not allowed to tell a candidate they have not been successful during the interview, even if it’s 100% obvious to us (and them). My boss couldn’t find a way to stop me that wouldn’t have told [Candidate].

After this interview, we came up with a test. Candidates who failed did not proceed to the interview portion. It saved us hours of time.

Please Illustrate For Me Why You Hired Me

, , , , , , , | Working | February 13, 2023

After ten years of working for myself as a graphic designer and marketing consultant, I became disenchanted with having to chase after clients to collect my paycheck and sought a typical nine-to-five job. I interviewed for a position as a marketing manager with a company that I seemed like a great fit. During my interview, the CEO asked me what programs I use to “draw.”

Me: “Uh, I usually work in Illustrator, because vector graphics are scalable.”

Client: “Oh, that’s good. Not many people would understand that or know that.”

He offered me the position and I accepted.

A few weeks into the job, when discussing a project with the same CEO, he asked how I was going to prepare a specific piece of marketing collateral. It included the creation of new logos and would need to be sent to a printer in .eps format. I told him I was going to use Illustrator. He replied in a tone that was a unique cross of amusement, sneering condemnation, and anger.

Client: “No. People don’t know how to use Illustrator, and there isn’t anything you can do in Illustrator that you can’t do in Microsoft Word. Use that.”