That Was Still Productive

, , , , , | Working | January 1, 2019

(When I first get promoted to management, part of my training is learning to interview a potential employee. My first interview, monitored by my boss, is of an older gentleman who is retired and just needs something to occupy his time, part time. It goes like this:)

Me: “Are you capable of multitasking, and if so, can you give an example of when you did?”

Interviewee: “So, let’s just say there’s a terrible car crash. And you—“ *points to me* “—are horribly mangled; your limbs are everywhere! But he—“ *points to my boss* “—just has a concussion. Clearly, I would help you first right?!”

(Okay, not an example of multitasking, but I guess it’s good prioritization? I proceed with my final question.)

Me: “Have you ever worked with an unproductive coworker, and if so, how did you handle the situation?”

Interviewee: “What does that mean? Unproductive? I don’t know what that means.”

(End of interview. But my boss said it was a great example of who not to hire.)

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Interview With A Ghost

, , , , , | Working | December 19, 2018

(I’m near the reception of the offices when a young man in a shirt and tie walks in.)

Receptionist: “Hello. How can we help you today?”

Interviewee: “I’m here for an interview.”

(The receptionist looks at me, but I don’t have any interviews scheduled for that morning.)

Me: “Is it with [Assistant Store Manager]?”

Interviewee: “Yes.”

Receptionist: “Unfortunately, we just got a call from him that he had some car trouble and will be running late. Why don’t you take a seat? I’ll get you some water.”

(The receptionist gets him settled, and I pass by him a few times, acknowledging him with a smile and a nod. Eventually, my coworker calls and says the manager’s car will have to be towed, and he doesn’t know when he will be able to get in.)

Me: “I’m incredibly sorry about this, but it looks like he won’t be in today. I’d hate for you to have to reschedule, so here’s what we will do. I’ll be on a conference call for the next half hour. When I’m done, I’ll conduct your interview, instead. Why don’t you take this voucher for our café, and get yourself a free cup of coffee while you wait? I’ll just take your resume so that we can get started right away.”

Interviewee: “Okay, thank you!”

(I take the resume, and he walks off towards the café. At the end of my phone conference, I glance over his resume, which seems solid, but I can’t find in my colleague’s notes what position this man is interviewing for. I go out to fetch the man from the waiting room, and he isn’t there. I ask in the café, and they say he left a few minutes prior. Confused, I set his resume aside. Two hours later, the assistant store manager finally comes in.)

Me: “Hey, your morning interview was in. I offered to do his interview, but he disappeared. Do we want to call him back or…?”

Assistant Store Manager: “What morning interview?”

Me: “This guy.”

(I hand him the resume and my colleague stares at it, confused.)

Assistant Store Manager: “I didn’t have any interviews scheduled today, and I’ve never seen this name before in my life.”

(It’s been a week and we haven’t cracked the case of the mystery job hunter. I hope he enjoyed his free coffee!)

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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.)

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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*

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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.

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