Top Marks For Honesty

, , , , , | Working | December 10, 2018

(I’m a manager at a chain restaurant and one of my responsibilities is interviewing potential employees for a job. I like to ask people why those chose to apply for us instead of our competitors, because we hold ourselves to a higher standard and want employees who actually want to work for our company specifically, not just a job for money. This happens when I ask that question.)

Me: “So,why did you choose to apply specifically to us? Our competition down the street is also hiring, but you chose us. Why’s that?”

Candidate: “Well, when I think of them, they always be busy and stuff. But when I think of y’all, I don’t think y’all get busy. And I’m trying to get a job where I don’t have to work so hard.”

(She did not get the job.)

Don’t Call Us, We’ll Cell You

, , , , , | Working | November 26, 2018

(The place where I worked has closed down. I cannot find a new job, and I start to be under pressure as my savings are decreasing. I decide to just take whatever, and move on from this point. I spot a Halloween pop-up store looking for staff, so I go in and bring my CV, which I give the manager.)

Manager: “Wow, you worked at [Place, which is much better and somewhat related]?”

Me: “Yes.”

Manager: “Great! Sounds all good to me. The only thing is I’ll need your cell phone number.”

Me: “I don’t have one anymore. But you have my landline here; I usually stay at home and if anything, I have an answer machine.”

Manager: “No, that won’t do. Give me your cell.”

Me: “I can’t. I don’t have one.”

(I deactivated it, to save money, as I was not using it much, as it is the old times of SMS when we are charged per letter and call per minutes only. I leave on that. One week passes with no news from them. Almost two weeks pass, and I start to think I’ll never get a call, as October is advancing. My friends ask me to go out with them, and stay at their place in the next city over after, which I accept. The next morning, someone calls from my place to say I had a call from that Halloween store and to call them back. I think, “Of course. The only day I’m not here they call me.” I still take the number, thinking I got a work offer and that’ll be given a schedule and all, so I call back from my friend’s phone.)

Me: “Hi. Yes, this is [My Name]. I got a call today about a job?”

Manager: “Yes, I tried to call you to come in this morning, but since you would not answer I called someone else in.”

Me: *surprised* “Oh, I was not expecting that.”

Manager: “Look, just give me your cell phone.”

Me: “As I told you when I gave you my CV, I don’t have a cell phone.”

Manager: “Just give me your cell number.”

Me: *now frustrated that the “no cell” still can’t print in this guy head* “I don’t have one!”

Manager: *disbelieving* “Really? What’s [number I called from], then?”

Me: “My friends line, where I’m calling from, in [City]!”

Manager: *after a long and deep sigh* “Look, do you want to work or not?”

(That’s when I put all the pieces together… the guy is not believing me, at all, when I claim to not own a cellphone. He won’t give a schedule, but rather calls unexpectedly, whenever he feels like he needs extra help, and there’s less than three weeks of work left at best.)

Me: “Really, no. Not for you.” *click*

You Gauge While I Rage

, , , , , , , , | Working | November 26, 2018

Shortly after I graduate from college, I’m working part-time in retail. I apply for a full-time event photographer’s position online and receive a call back. I’ve had several other interviews that didn’t pan out recently, so I quickly agree, despite the location in question being over an hour-and-a-half drive away, when the position listing had said it was more local. They inform me that they have multiple candidates to interview that day, and would like to meet on neutral grounds in a chain coffee shop.

Being a bit paranoid about traffic and not knowing the area well, I arrive early on the day and read in my car while I wait. About five minutes before my appointed time, I head into the coffee shop. The interviewer is clearly in view, with a laptop and large drink in front of her, and a small placard with her name on it like you’d see on someone’s desk in reception.

I walk up to introduce myself, and she points vaguely behind her without even looking up to see who I am, and informs me that there are two interviews ahead of mine, so I’ll have to wait.

A bit annoyed now that I was paranoid about being so early, I sit down. After half an hour, none of the interviews have started, and staff have pointedly come by to wipe my table down twice, so I get up and order a cold drink. After another fifteen minutes, the interviewer calls all three of us to her table and says we’ll just do some of the interview all together, to save time. She waits until we’re seated, turns her laptop around, and a video starts playing.

I can feel the other two candidates deflating next to me as the video plays: the job listing advertised for a professional event photographer for a new company, but is actually just a newly named branch of a well-known yearbook photography company, who has decided to expand into the market of preschools.

The video is all about their ideal candidate:

“Good with kids!” “Cheerful and punctual!” “Willing to go above and beyond!” “No photography experience necessary!”

The more we hear, the worse it gets compared to the original listing, and the more it sounds like a scam. They don’t compensate for driving time. They don’t compensate for set-up time. There’s a fee that acts as a deposit on the equipment that we apparently have to pay before we start. They pay a flat rate per school no matter how many kids, or how much time it takes. So on and so forth.

After we watch the video, we split up again for individual interviews. By the time it’s my turn, I’ve been at the location for roughly two hours, in addition to the drive to get there. By now, I’m considering whether to leave or stick it out. I decide to finish the interview, and do my best throughout, because a full-time position might still be better than my current job, even if it isn’t what I’d expected it to be. I put genuine effort into the interview, though the interviewer seems distracted and keeps looking down at her watch as we talk.

Towards the end of the roughly fifteen-minute interview, she asks if I have any questions, and I give the usual responses:

“What kind of training do they provide if experience isn’t necessary?” “What kind of equipment do they use?” “What is the deposit fee like?” “Are we expected to do retouching, or just straight photos?” “When can I expect to hear back about this interview, and when would I be expected to start if I receive an offer?”

She glosses over most of the questions, but sticks on the last one. Her expression changes entirely and she finally looks me in the face and says, “I don’t know why each of you has asked that. We’re not even hiring for the new school year yet. This was just to gauge the market.”

And suddenly I feel like screaming. I’m pretty sure my face turns bright red from holding in that sudden surge of absolute humiliated rage. I say that’s all I have, thank her for her time, and shake her hand. I then march straight to my car with my portfolio. By the time I leave, rush hour is starting, and the drive home takes two hours. The minute I get in the door, I find the nearest couch cushion, and finally scream into it.

I’ve never received a call about the interview, and even if I had, I think I’d have told them quite politely to shove the offer up their a**es.

Now Interviewing For A New Interviewer

, , , , , , | Working | November 20, 2018

(I have been trying to get a job for over a month, with over sixty job applications, several interviews, and no luck. Today, I have a scheduled interview with a manufacturing company for a data-entry job. I enter the interview room after I am called.)

Interviewer: “Mr. [My Name], yes?” *takes out my CV and starts reading it* “[My address], huh? What, daddy didn’t give you enough money?”

(I am livid. While we do live in a rich neighbourhood, my life is nowhere near what would be considered rich. The only reason we live there is that we bought the land when it was still cheap and a normal neighbourhood. My dad has been retired for over a year, as well, and I was barred from getting a job before I finished my first year of university. I snatch my CV from the jerk’s hand and go home. When I get home and check my phone, there are eight missed calls from the same company. Then another call comes in. I pick it up.)

Man: “Is this Mr. [My Name]?”

Me: “What do you want?”

Man: “I’m [Man], sir, and I’d like to apologize for what my ex-colleague has done. His behaviour was completely unacceptable. I can assure you he has been dealt with. Would you like to reschedule another interview?”

(I end up declining as the traffic in that area was rather rough, but I was glad that the jerk didn’t get away scot-free.)

Interviewee Who Lied On Resume About Microsoft Proficiency Excels At Wasting Time

, , , , , | Working | November 11, 2018

(I am a sales director at a manufacturing company, hiring for a position directly under me that does data entry and prepares quotes to send to customers. The position requires daily use of Outlook, Excel, and our basic data-entry system. I am currently in the interview with a woman whose stunning resume boasts several administrative office positions and high-level Microsoft office skills; in fact, based on her resume, she seems a little overqualified for the position.)

Me: “This all looks really great. So, this job entails sending quotes out to customers, and because of the products we deal with, these quotes need to be accurate, consistent, and done in a timely manner. We get 30 to 40 requests a day that need to be entered into our system, tracked, and responded to. It requires daily use of Microsoft Excel to create the quotes, and Microsoft Outlook to send the quotes and converse with customers. It requires a lot of time management, organization, prioritizing, data entry, and high-level attention to detail. How would you rate your skills in these areas?

Interviewee: “Oh, excellent! All my past jobs have been administrative, and pretty much all I’ve done is work with Excel and Outlook.”

Me: “And how would you rate your organization and prioritizing skills?”

Interviewee: “Fantastic. I really love a fast-paced job that keeps me busy, and I’m almost OCD when it comes to details and making sure everything is correct.”

Me: “That sounds great. What kind of manager do you like to work for? Do you like a manager that gives you in-depth detail on how to perform your duties, or do you prefer to make the job your own and tailor it to what works for you?”

Interviewee: “I prefer to make it my own. Once I know what to do, I like to find what works best for me and do it that way, so long as it gets done correctly.”

(I’m secretly very pleased at that; I HATE to micro-manage.)

Me: “Wonderful! I just have a final follow-up question. Let’s say that you have a task to do that requires you need get a cell in Excel to do something specific, but you’re not sure how to get the formula right. What would be your process for solving that problem?”

Interviewee: “I’d probably check YouTube, or Google, and try and figure it out. If I can’t, I might ask someone else, but you can find how to do almost anything on YouTube.”

(I’m silently cheering the answer; I love self-sufficiency.)

Me: “Well, that’s great. I think I have everything I need. Any questions for me?”

(I end up hiring her based on her fantastic resume and her saying she has all the skills I need. She starts work the following Monday, and I spend the day training her, going through the process. Then, I sit back and let her do one quote herself.)

Me: “Here is an email like all the others requesting a quote. Go ahead and download the files and set it up in the system.”

([Interviewee] clicks, “Download,” struggles to find the file despite it being right in the downloads folder, then struggles to unzip the file.)

Me: *trying to remain calm* “Okay, go ahead and generate the Excel quote, make the changes I showed you, and save it the way I showed you.”

(She struggles to find and open the downloaded Excel file, struggles to hide the columns not needed on the quote, struggles to widen a column so the quote text isn’t cut off, struggles to save the file as a PDF, and then proceeds to struggle to find the email in Outlook, where she doesn’t even know how to reply to an email.)

Me: “So… your resume said you were highly skilled with Microsoft Office, including Excel and Outlook. You also said that in all your previous jobs you used these programs and did this same kind of work.”

Interviewee: “Yes, yes. I’m usually better than this; I’m just nervous with you watching over my shoulder.”

Me: *not buying it* “I understand. Go ahead back to your desk and do this next one, and send me the PDF of the quote to review when it’s ready.”

(This process should take at the most twenty minutes. I can do it in less than two, but I give the new person a fair chance. An hour later…)

Me: “I am just checking up on you. How are you doing with that quote?”

(I notice she has her cell phone propped up so she can watch some kind of video while she works.)

Interviewee: “Oh, I’m just stuck on this. I can’t figure out how to enter the information here.”

(She is in our database where she needs to be to enter the customer’s information, the very first step of the process. She hasn’t clicked, “Edit,” to make the fields editable. Apparently, she has spent an hour clicking on the greyed-out boxes, not sure why she isn’t able to type in them.)

Me: “You need to click the big, green ‘Edit’ button up there at the top.”

Interviewee: “Ohhh. Also, I couldn’t figure out how to get the files from the email.”

Me: “It’s that big, red link that says, ‘Click here to download project files.’”

Interviewee: “Ohhh… Fuh.”

Me: “Okay… Send me the PDF when you’re done.”

(It was another hour before she finally came to me and said she couldn’t figure out the next step, uploading the project files to our server. This literally just involves unzipping the file, and then dragging and dropping them into the server. I had to let her go. I felt bad, but I don’t have time to teach computer basics before teaching the actual job. It’s also not my fault she lied on her resume and in her interview about her skills.)

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