This Questionnaire Is Not Always Hopeless

, , , , | Working | June 19, 2017

(I’m applying online for a job at a chain pet supply store. There’s a pretty exhaustive application process, including a long list of statements you have to mark on a 1-5 scale from “strongly disagree” to “strongly agree.” Most are pretty typical for an entry-level retail job. For example, “I work best as part of a team” or “I appreciate constructive criticism from my superiors.” And then…)

Application Questionnaire: “When I look at the world around me, I feel little or no hope for mankind.”

(For the record, I marked “moderately disagree.” I never did hear back about that job, and not taking a screenshot of the question is one of my great regrets in life.)

When It’s Them Having The Blonde Moment

, , , , , , | Working | June 18, 2017

(I naturally have very blond hair. It’s been this way since I was a little girl, and I’ve never dyed or bleached it or anything of the sort. I am at a locally well-known grocery store picking up a few things for dinner, and the woman behind the counter strikes up a conversation with me.)

Clerk: “I really do love working here. It’s a lot of fun.”

Me: “I bet it is. I remember applying here a few years ago, but I never really heard back from the manager after the interview.”

Clerk: “Well, that makes sense.”

Me: “What do you mean?”

Clerk: “Well, the store doesn’t generally hire anyone with unnatural hair colors.”

Me: *stares*

Clerk: *hands me my bags* “You have a wonderful day, then!”

Me: *walks away, both confused and offended*

Desperately Seeking Organizational Skills

, , , | Working | June 17, 2017

(I turn up for an interview, arriving early. I find the reception.)

Me: “I’m here to see [Manager] for an interview.”

Reception: “Oh! He’s in a meeting at the moment; can you wait a while?”

Me: “That’s fine. I’m a little early anyway.”

(I wait 5, 10, 15 minutes. I start to think something is wrong.)

Reception: “I’m sorry; his meeting has overrun. I will give him another call.”

Me: “No problem.”

(Eventually he wanders down, barely apologising.)

Manager: “So, the first thing I want to do is show you around. Oh, let me check if he’s available.”

(Makes a phone call.)

Manager: “Okay, so my engineer isn’t available; I will walk you around the factory.”

(If his organisational skills didn’t fail to impress, the company certainly did! We go from room to room and the place is a mess. We eventually go around to this engineer.)

Manager: “Part of the role is to program this CMM.”

Me: “I’m sorry, I thought it was explained. I made it clear to the recruiter and on my CV, that programming is something I haven’t tried in years and not something I market myself with. I am more than happy to pick it up, but I have to be totally honest; it’s not something I can hit the ground running with.”

Manager: “Okay, well, I will leave you with [Engineer] and see how you get on.”

(The engineer seems pretty decent and understanding. We drag through some questions and answers before the manager comes back.)

Manager: “Okay, I think we are done here. I will speak with [Engineer] and give you a call.”

(Needless to say, I didn’t get the job. The funny side of this story was that a year later I was asked to look at a CV. It was the same manager for a much more junior position. I explained to my boss the story and what do you know?  He didn’t get the job!)

Should Have Lawyered Up

, , , | Working | June 17, 2017

(I turn up to a job interview and I’m waiting in the reception. I get disturbed by a familiar voice.)

Ex-Coworker: “Hey, [My Name]! How are you doing?”

Me: “Hey, it’s great to see you! I didn’t know you worked here.”

Ex-Coworker: “Not just working here; I’m giving you an interview!”

(The interview goes great! We are laughing and joking, and swapping stories more than answering questions. I meet some of the team and get on well. The job, the people, the company, all seem great. I’m told the job is mine if I want it. A week later I arrange a second interview with the director, knowing that my ex-coworker would have put a good word in for me. I’m quietly confident).

Director: “Good to meet you. Take a seat. [Ex-Coworker] has told me a great deal about you and your experience. I’m impressed.”

Me: “Thank you. I’m feeling very positive about this role as well.”

Director: “Great, great. Let me ask you something. How would you feel about working with copyright law?”

Me: “Er, I’m confused. Would that be a part of the role?”

Director: “Well, we have a legal team, but we want to bring it in house.”

Me: “I will be honest with you; I’ve never studied or practised law. This would be a totally new field for me.”

(The interview goes on in this fashion for another half an hour. We never refer back to the job description, just more and more roles that are totally alien to the job. Each one is not on my CV or hinted at previously. I leave the interview feeling very let down, with an ideal opportunity on my doorstep turned into a total waste. The director shows me out, but not before telling me:)

Director: “I hope we haven’t put you off. I don’t want you to think that we don’t know what we want in a candidate.”

(That was exactly the case; I never bothered to ask for feedback!)

When Education Costs You More Than The Fees

, , , , | Working | June 14, 2017

(I am one of the unfortunate former students of a for-profit college that was fined for massive student fraud and shut down. At the time of this incident, I am struggling to find a position in the career I graduated for, and have my resume posted on as many job search websites as I can find. I get a phone call one day:)

Caller: “Hello, is this [My Name]?”

Me: “This is she.”

Caller: “Hello, [My Name], this is [Caller] from [Door-to-Door Insurance Company].”

Me: “Uh, I believe there’s been a mistake. I haven’t signed up for any talks on insurance.”

Caller: “Oh, no, we actually saw your resume online and believe we have a position that you would be perfect for!”

Me: *immediately suspicious, but I put on a falsely cheerful tone* “You have a position for medical administration? That’s great!”

Caller: *her own cheerful tone is suddenly forced* “Oh, uh, well, er no… but we DO have many positions available and—”

Me: “Oh, so you have a regular administration position open?”

Caller: *through her teeth* “Uh, no, ma’am. My position is the only position in our company that deals with administrative duties and it’s not available….”

Me: *no longer pretending to be cheerful* “So you saw my resume, a resume CLEARLY marked for ‘administrative positions only’ and you wanted to offer me a job that I’m not qualified for?”

Caller: “Well, we do have a class you can take that will certify you to sell insurance. It costs $1,500 to complete, but we waive the cost of the class if you graduate and if we hire you.”

(She said the ‘if’ parts really fast like she was trying to hide it.)

Me: “IF?! Are you being serious right now?! You want me to attend yet another school and accrue MORE debt, which will only be waived IF I graduate and IF you hire me?! You saw my resume. You should KNOW that my skills are specific to administration, and especially medical administration. Knowing that, why did you even call me in the first place?”

Caller: *half mumbling* “Actually, my manager read your resume and just gave me your contact info…”

Me: *coldly* “I think we’re done here.”

(And I hung up. Months later I was told that due to the aforementioned fraud, employers in my field don’t consider my education to be valid enough to risk hiring. I’m still waiting on the decision for loan forgiveness for my worthless education.)

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