Job Seeking And Destroying

, , , , , | Working | March 14, 2018

(I’m a department manager at a specialty retail store. We frequently get phone calls from people inquiring whether we are hiring, have we seen their application, when will they get a call back, etc. Standard stuff. Most people are very polite. My cashier pages me to let me know there is a call for a manager.)

Me: “Thank you for holding. How may I help you?”

Caller: *abruptly* “Yeah, I’ve left my number twice now, and I’d like to know what’s going on.”

Me: *confused* “Um… Who… I’m not sure what you’re referring to. Left your number about what?”

Caller: “I put in my application, and I have called and left my number twice in the last couple days. When will I be getting a call back?”

Me: “Well, our hiring manager has already left for the day. Let me check and see if there are any notes… No, I don’t see anything. I don’t have access to the application system, so your best bet would be to call tomorrow and speak with [Hiring Manager] after noon or so.”

Caller: *sighs* “Look: I’ve got a lot going on, and I’m really busy, so could you just have him call me? I don’t have time for this.”

Me: *done with his attitude* “Well, my manager is also very busy. If you’re too busy for this, perhaps you should look for a job somewhere else.”

Caller: *pause* “I guess I should do that, then.”

Me: “Good.” *ends call*

Got A Bad Reading About This

, , , , | Working | March 14, 2018

(I am a recently-hired grocery store assistant manager. An elderly relative of mine comes into the store shortly before the start of the holiday season with her neighbor’s son. Apparently, this young man got his girlfriend pregnant and is in desperate need of a job. She is asking me to use my “connections” to get him a job.)

Elderly Relative: “This is [Job Seeker]. He needs a job because his girlfriend is pregnant and he needs money to support the baby. He would preferably like a management position.

(I am a little taken aback by this, as I am the latest management trainee to graduate from the corporate program. The corporate training program requires at least FIVE years of management experience or a bachelor’s degree. This kid doesn’t look old enough for either.)

Me: “Well, [Job Seeker], let’s go over to the application kiosk so you can fill out an application. I can’t guarantee a management position, but we are hiring for a bunch of other positions in the store.”

(The job seeker goes over to the computer terminal that we use for job applications and I tell him to sit down and click the start button.)

Job Seeker: “What is the start button?”

Me: “The button that says, ‘Start.’ Use the mouse and click on it.”

Job Seeker: “I can’t read!”

Me: “What do you mean, you can’t read?”

Job Seeker: “I was homeschooled, and my mama never taught me how to read!”

(Thinking this is some kind of a joke, I ask my relative if this is true. She says that it is indeed true, and that he was homeschooled by barely-literate parents who just taught their children oral Bible stories as their entire homeschool “education.” The state standards on homeschooling allowed his mother to fudge his grades and grant him a high school diploma.)

Me: “[Elderly Relative], what did you think you were doing, bringing him down here? I can’t hire someone who doesn’t even know how to read well enough to fill out a job application!”

Elderly Relative: “But you can teach him how to read! Isn’t that your job as the assistant store manager?”

Me: “It’s not my job to teach this kid how to perform basic life functions. I’m busy enough trying to manage the store. My manager would fire me on the spot if I hired him!”

Elderly Relative: “I can’t believe that you are going to let this kid go without a job! He is going to be a father, you know! He failed out of Job Corps because he couldn’t read!”

(I then ask if someone tried to teach him how to read while he was in Job Corps. Someone indeed did, but he didn’t think he “needed to know how to read” to function in society! The job seeker then goes into a rant about how his daddy says that reading is “stupid.” He tells me that his daddy makes $11 an hour loading trucks and can’t read, so he doesn’t understand why he can’t get a job at the store. I then take the job seeker to a section of the store that needs restocking and show him a very basic plan-o-gram. Most of the positions that we have are for replenishment associates. I ask him to tell me where a specific product should go on the store shelf based upon the plan-o-gram. Not surprisingly, he can’t.)

Me: “[Job Seeker], I can’t hire you because you can’t perform the basic functions of the job. Have you tried Vocational Rehabilitation? Maybe they can put you in classes to teach you how to read.”

Elderly Relative: “I don’t understand why you can’t get him a job here! You were homeschooled, so you should know how hard it is for homeschooled kids! You didn’t graduate from college until you were 30!”

Me: “If you can’t recall, I could read when I was four! I also went to college and earned my degree eventually. I dropped out of a program that I didn’t like and did a stint as a truck driver to see the country. I received a quality education that prepared me for basic life skills and even prepared me for college.”

Elderly Relative: “What about the trucking company that you worked for? Could they hire [Job Seeker] as a driver? He doesn’t have a driver’s license, but he could get one.”

Me: “I don’t think you understand. The testing for commercial drivers is much harder than a simple job application. If he can’t read enough to fill out a job application, there is no way that he is going to be able to study the driver training manual and take the test. I’m not even going to bother embarrassing myself by talking to my old boss about hiring [Job Seeker].”

Elderly Relative: “But it is your fault that he can’t get a job! You won’t hire him!”

Me: “I’m not going to hire someone who can’t perform the basic functions of the job and who would be a hindrance to my other employees. If he couldn’t hack Job Corps, he isn’t going to hack it working here.”

Elderly Relative: “Well, you’re just being unChristian! Come on, [Job Seeker]. Maybe the Army will take you!”

(I later heard from a friend at the recruiting office that [Job Seeker] was rejected because he could barely write his own name, let alone fill out the paperwork to take the ASVAB. He also had a criminal record that my relative had not disclosed to me. The last I heard, he was doing time in the county lockup for burglary. If I had known the names of the parents, I would have reported them to social services for failing to educate their children!)

Looks Like Those Friends Didn’t Work Out

, , , , | Working | March 11, 2018

(I apply as a forklift operator — a job for which I have years of experience and several certifications — for a three-month job. The company likes my resume and sends me to a one-week, unpaid training course. At the end of the week, I am told that I performed pretty well, and I’ll be called on the following Monday to know when I will begin to work. Monday comes and passes by, and no call. I call the company on Tuesday just to hear that, “Sadly,” because of some lame excuse, I have not been hired. Two weeks later, the same company calls me and asks me if I am still available, as there is an opening for the remaining two-and-a-half months. Still unemployed, I gladly accept… only to be called a day after and be told, again, that because of another lame excuse, I wasn’t hired. After talking around, I’m told the managers of the company are prone to hire “friends” and “friends of friends,” even if they’re under-skilled, so I drop every expectation with this company and move on. Two months later, I have another job that I’m quite satisfied with, when the phone rings.)

Employee #1: “Hello, I’m [Employee #1] from [Company]. There is an opening, so you will begin tomorrow for a two-week contract.”

Me: “Sorry, but I’m not available anymore. Thank you, anyway, for the call, and have a nice day.”

Employee #1: “Ah… Okay… Have a nice day.”

(The next day, the phone rings again:)

Employee #2: “Hello, I’m [Employee #2] from [Company]. I know you already spoke with my coworker yesterday, but we really need you. We are still in the final production rush and we can’t find enough personnel.”

Me: “I’m afraid I’m not available.”

Employee #2: “Please? You already made the training, and you have the needed certifications. We really are short on employees!”

Me: “Again, I have a new job, and I surely won’t quit for a two-week contract. Please do not contact me again.”

(They tried to call me another two times, but I simply dropped their calls until they stopped trying. Seriously, we are still in an economic crisis and many people still strive to find a job, but do they really expect someone to be sitting on his butt for two months waiting for a vague “maybe in the future,” or even willing to quit a better job for a two-week contract?)

Taking A Different View On The Interview

, , , , , , , | Working | March 6, 2018

(I’ve come in for a job interview. The manager seems to like me and keeps asking me questions for 20 minutes, even though I don’t have previous experience in the job. The interview is wrapping up, and I feel like it’s gone pretty well.)

Manager: “Well, unfortunately, I’ve received an application from someone with previous experience doing this exact sort of work, and for that reason, he’s more qualified for the position. But if the other person hadn’t applied, I would definitely have hired you; I feel you could perform this job very well.”

Me: *upset, but plastering on a smile as best I can* “Oh. Well, thank you, anyway. Would it be possible for you to keep my resume on file, in case an opening comes up?”

Manager: “Oh, yes, of course.”

Me: “Thanks. I appreciate it.”

(We shake hands, and I get up and head for the door.)

Manager: “You know, if you manage to get experience somewhere else, please do feel free to come back and apply again.”

(I wish I had just smiled and given her a polite promise to do just that, but I was so surprised by her gall that I ended up making an involuntary, “Are you kidding me?” face, instead.)

Landing A Job Causes Someone Else To Crash

, , , , , , , | Working | March 2, 2018

(I am a teenager fresh out of school. I need some money but don’t have much work experience, so I apply for several retail and entry-level jobs. I get a few interviews, including one at a well-known retail chain, [Store]. The interview goes well, and I am told I’ll hear from them within the week. In the meantime, I continue going on interviews, and about two weeks later I accept a job in another field. Two full months after my interview at [Store], I get the following phone call:)

HR Representative: “Hi, this is [HR Representative] from [Store], calling for [My Name]. We just wanted to let you know that your first shift is on Monday, so we need you to come in and fill out some paperwork before then.”

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry. It’s been so long since the interview, and I hadn’t heard anything, so I accepted another position. I appreciate your call, but I’m afraid I won’t be able to work with you.”

HR Representative: “But you filled out an application and said you wanted a job.”

Me: “Yes, I did. But my interview was two months ago, and no one from [Store] ever contacted me to offer me a job, or to tell me that I was in line for one. Your call is the first contact I’ve had. I applied several places and have accepted a position in another field. I really needed a job, you see, so I took one when it was offered.”

HR Representative: “Well, we’re really short-staffed, so we need you to start on Monday.”

Me: “Again, I’m sorry, but I really can’t. The job I’ve accepted is full-time, Monday to Friday, so I really wouldn’t be available for anything beyond occasional part-time work.”

HR Representative: “But we need you on Monday.”

Me: *pause* “…and I’m very sorry, but I am not available.”

HR Representative: “You shouldn’t lie on your application. If you say you want a job, you should take it when it’s offered.”

Me: “That’s exactly what I did.”


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