You Really Couldn’t Manage This

, , , , , | Working | February 22, 2021

I’m a manager. One of the other managers pulls me to one side and begs me to talk to one of my team members. Apparently, he has been applying to every job available and then harassing the manager for updates. The problem is that he is not suitable for any of them; the guy barely manages to do his own job and is only still employed because he has been here for so long.

I go to speak to him and he is clearly in a bad mood already.

Me: “Can I speak to you about your recent job applications?”

Worker: “Can you tell [Manager] to respond to my emails? It’s been days and I haven’t heard anything.”

Me: “Okay. One: it takes weeks to interview and get back to everyone. And two: it’s human resources, not [Manager], that will give you a response.”

Worker: “Oh, I should be chasing HR. I knew it would be that woman somehow. She doesn’t like me.”

Me: *Already regretting this* “No, don’t do that. She will send all the responses out at the end. Can we talk about the roles you applied for?”

Worker: “I don’t see what business that is of yours.”

I’m screaming internally for him to shut up and let me help.

Me: “No, but I would like to help. You applied for several management positions—”

Worker: “Yeah, I could do that. I mean, you only walk around. Seems easy.”

Me: *Swearing internally* “That’s not the only thing we do. Do you have any experience in management or managing people?”

Worker: “Well, no, but I get along with everyone.”

He does not; people find him aggressive and difficult.

Me: “Okay, well, just something to think about — if that is really suitable given your experience. I see you have applied to a number of design roles, as well.”

Worker: “Yeah, yeah, drag, drop, copy, and paste. I can do all that.”

Me: “Have you used [Design Software] before?”

Worker: “Well, no, but I get all my reporting done right.”

He does not, in fact, get it right. After many attempts to help him, we long abandoned using his Excel reports due to the many, many mistakes. A grandmother working a few stations past him does it for us without problems.

Me: “Listen. These roles are not for you. But we can sit down and work out what we can do to progress you. I invited you to a development session next month.”

Worker: “Yeah, I suppose so.”

He did not turn up to the session but called in sick, apparently bedridden. But he was later spotted shopping in the supermarket right next to work at lunchtime. He stopped to chat with several employees, not expecting anyone to say anything. I left the company years after; he never got a promotion. Managing people is hard work sometimes.

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Hmm, Wonder If She Got The Job

, , , , , | Working | February 9, 2021

I work in a restaurant. A woman walks in the door past groups of people waiting in line.

Woman: “I need to see [Manager #1] right now!

Hostess: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but [Manager #1] left just a couple of minutes ago. Is there anything I or [Manager #2] can do to help you?”

Woman: “Well, [Manager #1] told me to come in at four for a job interview. I’m just an hour late; he should’ve waited for me. The nerve of some people!”

Hostess: “Umm… I can take your name and number down and have him call you?”

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Pide Aquello Que Quieres

, , , , | Working | January 26, 2021

I have been applying to many jobs, including fast food. I’m mixed; my dad’s Hispanic but my mom’s native, so I have a Hispanic last name. This leads people to think I’m fluent in Spanish, but I’m not. I can understand it but not speak it. I tried to learn but it’s a very hard language in my opinion.

I get a callback from a certain burger fast food restaurant, from a lady with a Hispanic accent.

Caller: “[My Name]?”

Me: “This is [My Name].”

She fumbles, trying to speak English, and then hangs up. The job ad was in English. I don’t know why they don’t put it in Spanish if they want a Spanish speaker.

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Honesty Is Emergency Route To Success

, , , , , | Working | January 14, 2021

I am job hunting. A local temp agency has a job listed, so I apply. They call me that afternoon, and I can smell the desperation through the phone. Apparently, I am the only Excel expert who has replied at all.

I interview the next day. Let the parade of facepalms begin!

The large company needs to update their emergency escape maps so that, in the event of a fire, employees and visitors know where to run and where to gather. Doesn’t sound much like an Excel job yet.

They have hand-drawn maps of some sites, architectural drawings from some sites, and pictures from a helicopter of one. And they had one electronic file! Some gifted employee had drawn a map in Paint, put it in an Excel file (for reasons never explained), and sent it in.

The project manager, a brilliant but non-technical guy, looked at all this and decided that Excel must be the tool to use. And they needed an expert, because, well, experts make them look better.

I have a policy to never visibly facepalm during a job interview. I follow my policy but the temptation is so strong.

Me: “Excel, while an awesome tool, is absolutely the wrong tool for the job. You’re trying to drive nails with a CNC lathe. I recommend that you find somebody who is good with MS Visio.”

We shake hands and I leave.

The temp agency calls while I am driving home.

Temp Agency Rep: “Can you please spell ‘Visio’ for us?”

I do. They call me back again later that afternoon. 

Temp Agency Rep: “Do you know how to use Visio?”

Me: “I do; it is really pretty simple.”

Temp Agency Rep: “The boss you interviewed with was impressed enough with your honestly suggesting he hire someone else that he wants to hire you.”

So, I spent six months tracing Google Earth images of worksites and figuring out which escape routes fit our state’s fairly vague rules for emergency escape maps. Easy work, nice people.

The job could have been done in a fraction of that time by a decent graphic designer, but they wanted me, I wanted the paycheck, and the work got done.


This story is part of our Best Of January 2021 roundup!

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Part-Time Worker, Full-Time Idiot

, , | Working | CREDIT: jennareid | December 14, 2020

We’re looking to hire an additional employee. We put up a post for a full-time position on a job-posting site, and we get a few good candidates. One we have pegged as a “maybe,” but she calls, despite a “No calls, please” notice in the ad, and basically convinces my partner to interview her. My partner has a big heart and sets up an interview for 1:00 pm, a time chosen by candidate.

Based on her resume, this woman is in her late thirties or early forties. On the day of the interview, 1:10 goes by and she’s a no-show, so I send out our usual rejection letter and get the following reply.

Applicant: “Dear [Partner]—

“I am sorry we didn’t get the chance to meet about the [position] job. I was interested in the position. I still am. If you would like to meet another time, please let me know. I was on the bus and I suddenly remembered that I was late for the interview; this was at 1:41 p.m. The thing is, I am not interested in a full-time position. I couldn’t work on Wednesday or Thursday, because of my other job. If this doesn’t meet your requirements, I understand. The hours that were discussed, 10:30 to 6:30, sound perfect for me, as I am not a morning person. Also, I am not too far away, making it very convenient.

“Good luck finding someone to join your team.”

The response pretty much scared me; the list of red flags just seems to go on and on. I’m really surprised just how out of touch this person is. She can’t be bothered to remember an interview. She doesn’t want to work full-time, despite the job being listed as full-time. She doesn’t want to work mornings. And I’m still not sure if the “good luck” part is a threat or not.

An offer had gone out to another candidate by 1:15.

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