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How To Prove Them Right

, , , , | Working | December 29, 2021

As a technical lead who has had the experience of hiring in the past, I deal with a lot of the vacancies we have, as many of our staff have worked here all their lives. It is a job in itself as people retire and leave the company.

I get a pointed email from a guy who says he has applied for several positions and never heard anything back. He states that his experience is perfect for the company and wants to know if he can talk to someone in the business.

I read through his CV (resumé), and it is pretty good. I recall passing it on a few times, so I apologise and tell him we normally do let candidates know the reason why they weren’t hired and that I will look into this for him.

First, I talk to the hiring manager, who remembers the CV; they passed it to Human Resources as a recommendation. Then, I speak to HR, who can’t remember exactly but say they would have passed it to the director to sign off; he would be the only person who could tell me.

So, I go to the director.

Me: “Excuse me, sorry. But I’m following up on a CV. The person tells me that they have applied several times and never heard back. Everyone has told me so far that they liked it and I’m wondering what happened.”

Director: “That’s odd. Can I see the CV?”

I hand it to him.

Director: “Ah, yes, I can tell you why. The guy is an a***hole.”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

Director: “Oh, yes. I worked with him before at another company. Overly negative, condescending… I actually fired him in the end when he publicly ridiculed an employee in front of everyone. You can tell him that if you like.”

Me: “Thanks? I will make sure he gets some feedback.”

I go away and wish I never promised him a reply, but I said I would, so I give him a call.

Me: “Thank you for your interest in [Company]; however, after a review, I have discovered that your applications are not being considered for employment here.”

Job Seeker: “Well, why not?”

Me: “Speaking to our director, [Director], he believes that you don’t have the right fit for our company.”

Job Seeker: “Oh, him. Well, if that Bible-thumper works there, maybe I don’t want to work there, anyway. F*** him and f*** you; f*** your whole company.”

Me: “I think we certainly don’t want you, either. Goodbye, Mr. [Job Seeker], please do not contact us here again.”

She Has Resting Fired Face

, , , , , | Working | December 28, 2021

We have a late application for a job vacancy; she applied the day before the interviews were going to start. She turns up just on time. She looks respectfully dressed, but this young woman has a constant sneer for everyone and everything.

Me: “Good morning, [Applicant], is it? I—”

Applicant: “Oh, good. I’ll have a coffee, white, with one sugar.”

Me: “Actually, we are ready to interview you now. I will see if someone can get you a coffee, though.”

Applicant: “Hmm… Okay, then.”

I walk her to the meeting room. She doesn’t talk to me on the walk over. She stops several times to look at notice boards or out windows, causing me to wait.

Me: “Please take a seat.”

She dusts some imaginary dust off the seat and finally sits down. Throughout the whole interview, she answers questions but only directs the answer to my older colleague. When I ask for my details, she sighs and treats each answer as an inconvenience.

We get near the end.

Applicant: “I think you will find I’ve answered every question satisfactorily.”

She fumbles in her bag.

Me: “Well, yes. Thank you for your time.”

She pulls out a cigarette. This is years after indoor smoking was banned. We stare in disbelief as she lights up in front of us.

Me: “There is no smoking inside.”

Applicant: “Ugh.” *To my coworker* “Can you believe this guy?”

Coworker: “I’m afraid he’s right; you can’t smoke in here.”

Applicant: *Almost to herself* “Well, I know who I won’t be looking forward to working with.”

Me: “Yes, I think that’s clear. Now, let me show you out.”

I didn’t hire her. No way could she work on my team. I wonder how she thought that was going to get her a job even if I wasn’t the hiring manager.

Not Slated To Be A Valued Member Of Our Team

, , , , , | Working | December 15, 2021

I interviewed a guy who looked good on paper, but in the interview, he came across as very full of himself. According to him, he was the best of class and best in his department. He boasted about what books he read, and all his interests were very pretentious. Generally, he didn’t seem very likable and or like a great fit for the team.

That being said, it wasn’t enough to rule him out completely. He got through the interview and seemed to answer most of the questions okay, and at the end, we asked him if he had any questions.

Applicant: “What are these values you mentioned earlier?”

Me: “Oh, they are the corporate values, integrity, teamwork, and acceptance of others.”

Applicant: “So, do you believe in them?”

Me: “Well, yes, the company follows a set of values in how we work and treat others.”

Applicant: “But do you believe in them?”

Me: *Pause* “Yes, we all believe in them, and we encourage others to do so. Was there a particular value you had a concern with?”

He thought for a moment.

Applicant: “Well, no. All of them really. I mean, it all sounds like a load of hippy, religious BS to me.”

Me: “I don’t think any of the values in any way—”

He cut me off.

Applicant: “I mean, if I don’t believe in all that, do I have to follow them?”

Me: “You don’t want to show integrity or value other people?”

Applicant: “I don’t mean that. I just don’t want some cry-baby complaining because I ‘offended’ them.”

He actually did the air quotes.

Me: “Well, yes, we do expect everyone to follow the values the company holds.”

He seems to think for a moment.

Applicant: “Well, that’s not very fair, is it?”

I hurried along the rest of the interview. It was pretty clear that he wouldn’t be a good fit. I sent him the rejection email, but it was my coworker who got the phone call from the guy, who shouted down the phone about how he was the right person for the job and how we were all stupid and prejudiced for not realising how brilliant he was. He called three more times — luckily, he was sent to voicemail — to shout at us and tell us how brilliant he was.

Funnily enough, that wasn’t enough to change our minds.

Apparently, “Withdrawn” Doesn’t Mean All That We Thought

, , , , , | Working | November 26, 2021

I had an interview with a company that initially went really well, but it became clear that the company just wasn’t what I was looking for in job security, development, or any real long-term future. I withdrew my application a few days later and thanked them for their time.

A month later, I had interviewed and accepted another job when I got a call from a familiar area code. I was busy so I let it go to voicemail. I got a message, and it was a woman from the first company. I applied directly, so I knew it was about the job. I wondered if they might be trying to win me over — not that it would change anything. When I had time, I called back.

Me: “Hi. I got a missed call earlier. It’s [My Name].”

Woman: “Oh, yes, that was me. I was ringing to let you know that you have been unsuccessful with [job role]. We keep details of all applicants on file and may consider you for other roles.”

Me: “Thank you for ringing me. I do appreciate that. But can I ask you not to keep my details on file, please? I won’t be interested in any roles with [Company].”

Woman: “I don’t think that is the attitude to take.”

Me: “No, I think you misunderstand. I withdrew my application weeks ago. I don’t think [Company] offers what I looking for. So, I won’t be interested in any position, thank you.”

She muttered something and hung up without a goodbye. No loss on my part. I thought no more of it, other than a funny story to tell.

Nearly two months later, I got another phone call from the same woman, offering a chance to “re-do” my interview for the same position. I declined and this time blocked the number.

Flattery Will Get You (Almost) Nowhere

, , , , , | Working | November 19, 2021

Outside of my former workplace is a strip of stores and restaurants that I would go to on my break to get a bite to eat. For some odd reason, there would always be girls there collecting signatures to promote some kind of environmental or political cause or trying promote a charity organization. Each one of them was very passionate about what they were representing, and if you weren’t careful, they would happily talk your ear off while showing you various pictures and information slides. Even if you weren’t up for signing up to donate monthly, they still felt it was their duty to make you aware of their causes.

This got to be a serious problem when I was on my freaking lunch hour!

Regretfully, I’m one of those people who are afraid to offend others or say no, so more than once I spent a good portion of my lunch hour listening to some girl babbling about an air pollution issue.

I soon discovered a remedy for this. When approached by one of them, I would continue walking while loudly saying, “My God, you are absolutely beautiful! You need to make a portfolio; there are plenty of modeling agencies looking for people like you!” It would catch the girl completely off guard and stun her into an awkward silent spell — sometimes with a stuttered, “Thank you!” — allowing me time to escape.

Fast forward to the health crisis. Unfortunately, I lost my job. I managed to score a job interview coincidentally in a building near the same strip of businesses. As I hurried into the lobby, a lady approached me with a notepad and what appeared to be a stack of pamphlets. Uh-uh, no time for this! 

Lady: “Excuse me—”

Me: “Lady, you are absolutely gorgeous. You should be modeling for Vogue magazine! How’d you get your hair so perfect?”

I rushed into an elevator as it closed. I went up to the floor of the office and let the receptionist know I was there for my interview.

Receptionist: “She’s actually waiting for you in the lobby. A water pipe burst in her office so she has to interview you there.”


Yeah, it was her, all right. I noted that she maintained a bright smile throughout the interview, and at the end, she remarked that she didn’t feel I qualified for the particular job I was applying for, but she DEFINITELY would call me should a more fitting position become available.