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A Little Research Goes A Long Way

, , , , , | Working | January 15, 2022

We have been getting a lot of bad job applicants lately; many don’t turn up, are completely unprepared, or clearly have no interest, despite all having a great (if a little similar) CV.

It’s a massive waste of all of our time. Three of us spend a day a week not actually doing our jobs and instead doing pointless interviews and all the paperwork that goes with it.

I’m confused as to why so many people just are so terrible. That’s when one of the team members tells me that, to get certain benefits, people have to be seen to look for work. So, by showing up and wasting our time, they can falsely claim that they are actually looking for work.

Not anymore.

The next two interviewees don’t show up. I tell Human Resources to categorically tell anyone who calls that they didn’t show. (Apparently, they weren’t doing this before.)

The very next guy refuses to give any answers at all and is rude about the pay (even though it’s on the advert). To top it off, he accidentally knocks over the magazine rack on his way out and just leaves it all over the floor.

Again, I tell Human Resources to just say he didn’t show up. They get quite a few calls, but I tell them to keep to the same story.

Eventually, I get someone at the door wanting to see me. It’s the most recent interviewee, and he looks angry. I go down to see him.

Interviewee: “Why are you lying about my interview? First, you don’t give me a job. Then, you lie so I can’t claim. I mean, you lie about me not coming.”

Me: “You weren’t present in the interview; you didn’t answer questions. You have no idea what the job was even for.”

Interviewee: “That’s a lie! I would love to work here. I just don’t do interviews well.”

Me: “So, you really want to work here, huh?”

Interviewee: “Yes!”

Me: “You are interested in the company and know what we do?”

Interviewee: “Yes!”

Me: “What’s the name of the company?”

Interviewee: “Err…”

Me: “What do we do?”

Interviewee: “Err… make things?”

Me: “If you want a job like you say you do, apply again and I’ll interview you. But turn up like you did, and I will tell them you didn’t show.”

He went away, promising that he would show me and that he would apply again. He never did.

Word must have gotten around because, while we got a lot fewer applicants, we only got people that actually seemed to want to work here. We filled the vacancy less than a week later.

Lying Is The Lazy Way Out

, , , , , | Working | January 14, 2022

Out of the blue, one of my team members (rather dramatically) announces to me that she is leaving. 

Me: “I’m sorry to hear that. Any particular reason you want to talk about?”

Employee #1: “I’m just not progressing. I’ve been here two years and I don’t see any way forward.”

Me: “Oh, really? You never said that you would like to progress. You’ve never applied for any other positions that I’m aware of.”

Employee #1: “Well, yes, but sometimes you expect a bit of help from… people.”

I’m guessing she means me, but I am always really open about helping anyone who wants to progress. I’ve never stood in anyone’s way, and I’ve helped arrange training, etc. [Employee #1] has regularly said she didn’t need anything when we’ve talked about her development.

Me: “Well, I am sorry you feel that way. How much notice are you giving?”

Employee #1: “I want to leave as soon as possible. I’ve told them I could start next week.”

Me: “I don’t think I can allow that. You have a notice period for a reason. We need time to find a replacement and train them.”

Employee #1: “But I’ve already told them!”

Me: “I’ll do what I can, but next week leaves us in a massive hole.”

She stomps off angrily. I get it, but this isn’t a new thing. Everyone has the same thing in their contract. A month’s notice is pretty typical.

I ask around and see if anyone is looking for a change in role, anyone who could pick up the job at least for the short term, but I get nothing.

I ask [Employee #1] to spend the rest of the week detailing her role and to share what training notes she has. It takes several attempts to get anything from her.

The next week:

Me: “Has anyone seen [Employee #1]?.”

Employee #2: “No. She left, didn’t she?”

Me: “No, she has three more weeks.”

Employee #2: “Are you sure? She was telling everyone that she starts her new job today.”

I get Human Resources to call and call and email, but they get no response. At the end of the day, [Employee #1] replies that she has started her new job today, so she won’t be back.

This is annoying. Everyone has to pitch in, and we scramble to get a new member of staff up and running. It takes a few weeks, but we seem to level out.

I’m in Human Resources talking about how the new starter is settling in.

Human Resources: “Oh, [Employee #1] called asking for you.”

Me: “She can have the basic job reference, I guess.”

Human Resources: “No, she was asking if we were still struggling for staff, and she said could come back if we discussed her pay.”

Me: “How much does she want?”

Human Resources: “Well, let’s just say I think she is after your job.”

Me: “Wow. Tell her thanks, but we are okay, and good luck with the new job.”

[Employee #1] eventually applied back at our company and got a similar job to her old one. Someone told me that she had lied a bit to get a more senior job and then couldn’t do it. Again, I sat with her to help her train, but she just wouldn’t commit to anything.

The Cleaning Company Did Them Dirty

, , , , , | Working | January 14, 2022

My wife and I both work full time and we were finding that we didn’t have enough time to do more than a cursory clean of the house unless we wanted to spend all our weekends deep-cleaning. So, we decided it was in our finances to hire a cleaner to come around every two weeks to do a deep clean of the house. We set out looking for a cleaning service and found one that one of our friends had.

They came for a consultation and everything seemed to be in order. They looked at the house and gave us a cost estimate. We signed the contract, gave them the code to our front door, and scheduled the first cleaning appointment.

On the day of the cleaning appointment, the service called twenty minutes after the cleaner was supposed to be there to tell us that the cleaner was sick and they had to reschedule.

The day of the rescheduled appointment rolled around and nobody showed up. We called the service and they told us that the cleaner (a different one this time) was sick.

On the third attempt, nobody showed up and nobody would answer the phone at the service. Over the next couple of days, I tried to contact them but they never answered the phone.

At this point, I was very worried that this was all just a scam to get our door code and times when we would be out of the house, so I changed the door code and left a bad review stating that they just never showed up and people should be wary of giving them personal information.

They wrote back on the review, “How can you be upset with our service if you never even had us clean your house?”

We spoke to our friends who had recommended the service and found out that while we were going through this, they had fired the service because the cleaner had stolen an iPod from them.

Well, It Was Worth A Shot

, , , , , | Working | January 14, 2022

A friend of mine told me this story. It’s about half an hour before a hiring interview, and he’s talking with a coworker about the applicant’s resume. His second most recent listed job is as “Home Guard” for a company they don’t recognize, with a very vague description of what his duties entailed.

Coworker: “Did you say ‘Home Guard’?”

Friend: “What about it?”

Coworker: “I think he might have been unemployed for that period. You’d better question him about it.”

During the interview, my friend does indeed probe about that particular job. His coworker was right on the money; the applicant was, in fact, unemployed. His wife is an independent masseuse, and the “Company” that the candidate has on his resume is just the name she uses for her business. After the interview, my friend talks to his coworker again.

Friend: “You were right; he was unemployed. How did you know?”

Coworker: “‘Guarding my own home’ is a Japanese euphemism for unemployment. It came up in a manga I was reading.”

Who knew being an avid otaku would pay off in business?

Getting Owned By The Owner, Part 19

, , , , , | Right | January 10, 2022

I own a small soap business and sell at fairs and festivals occasionally. A woman who looks to be in her early sixties approaches.

Woman: “Wow, this all looks so nice!”

Me: “Oh, thanks!”

Woman: “The owner is such a sweetheart. We’re good friends. She said I could come by and pick something out for free. Just write it down as Karla, with a K, so she knows it’s me.”

Me: “That’s funny, I’m the owner and I’ve never seen you before in my life. Karla with a K.”

Karla with a K looked stunned for a second and then took off across the street. Nice try.

Getting Owned By The Owner, Part 18
Getting Owned By The Owner, Part 17
Getting Owned By The Owner, Part 16
Getting Owned By The Owner, Part 15
Getting Owned By The Owner, Part 14