Paperwork Is Too Much Work

, , , , , , | Working | March 25, 2020

(I am a volunteer working directly with the Administrative Manager of Volunteer Services for a non-profit. One of the things I have to do is double-check that every prospective volunteer’s paperwork is completed before they are activated. I come across one file that is… special. It is marked, “Rejected: Not a Good Fit,” by the assistant manager. Curious to see why the file was rejected — and to make sure the appropriate notes were made as to why this volunteer was rejected — I open the file and am soon reading it out loud to my manager. This is a summary of printed emails between the prospective volunteer and the assistant administrative manager:)

Administrative Manager: “[Prospective Volunteer], just about everything is ready except for your references. You didn’t fill out the form.”

Prospective Volunteer: “Oh, it’s [Reference #1], [Address #1], and [Reference #2], [Address #2].”

Administrative Manager: “[Prospective Volunteer], we sent out the surveys and both came back as not residing in those locations. We need their current addresses to send the surveys to.”

Prospective Volunteer: “Okay, well, here are their phone numbers. Just call them up and ask for their new locations. [Phone numbers].”

Administrative Manager: “[Prospective Volunteer], as they are your references, you need to contact them yourself and get their information. Their current information is supposed to be on the form we gave you to fill out.”

Prospective Volunteer: “I already sent you their phone number, so you can just call them for the relevant information. Thanks.”

Administrative Manager: “[Prospective Volunteer], it is not our responsibility to fill out your paperwork for you. It is yours. If you do not supply us with the information, we cannot activate you as a volunteer.”

Prospective Volunteer: “Well, I sent you their phone numbers, and it should only take a quick phone call, so I don’t know what the problem is. I’m doing you a favor by trying to volunteer my time to your charity. I even did you the favor of calling them and telling them to expect a phone call from you soon.”

Administrative Manager: “[Prospective Volunteer], that is not how this works. We require you to fill out all of the paperwork yourself. Since you are refusing to do the minimum work required, we will not be needing your assistance with our charity. I will be deactivating your file.”

Me: *to manager* “Soooo, this volunteer literally called them to tell them to expect a phone call from our office, but refused to ask for their addresses herself while actually on the phone with these people?”

Manager: *sighing* “I wish I could tell you this is the first time someone expected us to fill out their paperwork for them but… Well, welcome to my world.”

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You Can Courier That Sexism Out Of Here

, , , , , , , | Working | March 12, 2020

(I go to an interview with a very well-known delivery company. I’m female; I have sent my resume with my female name on it. A guy greets me and leads me to an office. I tell him that I worked for a rival delivery company before and we’re chatting until he drops this bomb.)

Interviewer: “So, I’m not a sexist, but I haven’t hired females here before.”

Me: “Oh, really? Well, I’ve seen females working here before!”

Interviewer: “Yes… Well… I don’t hire them. But lately, I decided to. And they were better than our males!”

Me: “Is that so?”

Interviewer: “Yes, so, I figured that females can deliver packages, too!”

(I wanted to leave, but I stayed because I needed the money. But really, how sexist! And creepy — he kept winking unnecessarily at me. I told my family about it and the males didn’t believe me, and the females said I should’ve recorded it and sued. Alas, I didn’t, or else I’d be a millionaire! Only the Internet knows the truth.)

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Wouldn’t Hire Him Even If They Were Hiring

, , , , , | Working | March 7, 2020

I’m the assistant manager of a fairly busy store. We have been open for over six years and have been fortunate enough to have a pretty steady team; we’ve only needed to hire a handful of times. It’s the end of November, and if we needed to hire Christmas temps, we would hire in August in time to train them up.

A guy walks straight up to me at the till and mumbles, “Have you got any part-time jobs?”

I reply, “I’m sorry, we’re fully staffed at the moment and won’t be taking on anyone else before Christmas.”

He then gets quite aggressive with his tone and snaps, “I always come in here and ask and you always say that! What is wrong with you?”

Quite surprised at his reaction, I politely explain that we have a full team, and therefore will not need to hire unless one of our members leaves. He seems satisfied with that and leaves, but I certainly wouldn’t consider hiring him even if we were looking!

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History Will Record This Job As Never Existing

, , , , | Working | March 6, 2020

After graduating, I am struggling to find a job that fits my MA in history. In the year after that, my sister sends me an email about a vacancy she saw. It turns out that a certain book which has something to do with a prominent Dutch historical figure will be republished, and therefore they want to make a glossy(magazine) about the historical figure. Obviously, they need historians to help them with the research and writing the articles. 

Interested, I apply for the job. After a few weeks, I get an answer by email. The person doing the applications mentions that he selected a few of the candidates and will make a definitive selection from these. Therefore, we have to supply some ideas, to show how professional and creative we are. Since this is one of my first job applications since college, I do not think too much of it and start working on ideas. This is tough, since I am not experienced with making this kind of article and have no clue what kind of audience they want to reach. After a while, I deliver my ideas by email. 

After that, several weeks go by without any reply. Looking back in the email, I realise the guy never gave us a deadline when we had to deliver nor a date when he would let us know. With the weeks passing by, I am starting to wonder whether I will hear more of him or not.

Much to my surprise, the guy sends another email. By this time, almost a month has passed. His reply, however, only mentions that he will look at our “ideas” and then will let us know of his final decisions. Again, no date is mentioned. Also, he never explains why his reply is so late. I feel tempted to ask him, but I decide not to do so, since it could threaten my chances.

Not very surprisingly, I never hear from the guy again. I conclude that either he took all of our ideas for himself — a conclusion many people I know made — or that he did take on some people after all, but simply couldn’t be bothered to tell the people who failed — which is also likely, since he never put on any deadlines or dates, meaning he might be kind of careless. A few years later, I mention the story to someone, who replies that if you want a job and you don’t get an answer “you have to go after them.” Although that might be true, I am quite sure that it would have been a waste of effort with this bloke.

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Having No Social Media Is Antisocial

, , , , | Working | March 2, 2020

Several years ago, I suddenly found myself unemployed — partially a relief as I’d been in a toxic work environment — and went to sign on for Jobseeker’s Allowance while I looked for work. The advisor I spoke to when signing on told me about something called “Job Club” that offered advice for jobseekers and taught skills like how to write a CV, how to sell yourself at interviews, stuff like that. He informed me that if I went to Job Club it would count as me being proactive in my job search, so I signed up and went along.

The “club” did turn out to be useful as it helped me to boost my self-confidence, but there was one little incident that irritated me just a little. We’d been talking about Facebook and the importance of maintaining a presence on social media. One of the coordinators explained that employers routinely check out job candidates on social media to see what they are like. 

I explained that I didn’t use Facebook and had no intention of doing so. The coordinator didn’t like this and told me that I was “reducing my employment prospects” if employers couldn’t check me out on Facebook before an interview. I politely informed her that I wouldn’t want to work for an employer who’d rather judge me on my Facebook profile — which admittedly would be rather boring because I don’t go to wild parties, etc. — than on my ability to do the job. The coordinator sulked and told me that I wasn’t being very proactive.

In the end, I got a rather good job doing something I loved, and I didn’t need a Facebook profile to get it.

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