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.)

This Salon Has Very Bad Reception

, , , , | Working | October 21, 2018

(I am a client at a very busy hair salon. They never take walk-ins and usually there is a four- to six-week wait for appointments. Since they are amazing at their narrow specialty — and the only ones around in this particular specialty — I am always willing to wait for an appointment. They have just hired a new receptionist, and she knows none of the clients.)

Receptionist: “Hi, welcome to [Salon]. You’re [Other Client], right?”

Me: “No, I’m—”

Receptionist: “Sorry, we don’t take walk-ins. I can schedule you for sometime next month.”

Me: “I don’t need an appointment. I just need—”

Receptionist: “Look. We aren’t like those cheap places where you just walk in, sit down, and wait. We are professional specialists and—”

(The salon owner notices what she’s saying and rushes to the front.)

Owner: “Stop! That’s not how we speak to clients.”

Receptionist: “But she doesn’t have an appointment!”

Owner: “So, we ask why she’s here.” *turns to me* “Sorry, [My Name]. She’s new, and I guess the training isn’t going as well as I thought. What’s up?”

Me: “I was just stopping to buy some shampoo and some travel sizes before my trip.”

(The owner apologizes to the client she has in the chair and personally rings up my purchases. All the while, the receptionist is fuming and muttering under her breath about needing an appointment. A month later I come back for an appointment and there’s no receptionist.)

Me: “What happened to the new receptionist?”

Owner: “I had to let her go. I found out you weren’t the first person she yelled at about appointments. She sent two other people away without letting them buy their products because they didn’t have an appointment. She insisted they needed an appointment to buy shampoo and conditioner.”

Getting A Medium Is A Large Problem

, , , , , | Working | October 17, 2018

(I am in line at a fast food restaurant. After reading the menu, I note that the menu states the value meal includes a small drink and small French fry. I pull up to the speaker and order.)

Cashier: *on speaker* “What can I get you?”

Me: “I would like a #4 value meal with a [Soda]. That will be all, thank you.”

Cashier: *on speaker* “That will be $6.98. Please pull forward.”

Me: *even though it seems a little high* “Okay, thanks.”

(I pull to the window and the cashier hands out my food with the order ticket taped to the bag. I hand her my debit card for payment and I glance at the order ticket.)

Me: *to cashier bending over register* “Hey, you charged me an extra $0.58 for a medium drink and a medium fry. The meal comes standard with small sizes.”

Cashier: *sputters* “Well, we were trained to up-size if the customer doesn’t say they only want small.”

(The manager notices us and comes to the window. The cashier closes the window to confer with him.)

Manager: *opens window back up* “I am sorry about that. Let me refund that for you. She is new and is supposed to be trained to ask if you want medium sizes. Please let me see your receipt and debit card for refund.”

Me: *hands debit card and receipt back to him* “I literally asked for the meal number with a [Soda] to drink. I did not ask for anything extra and she didn’t ask. I assumed I would get what the menu states.”

Manager: *returns debit card and refund receipt* “Again, sorry about that.”

Me: “I cannot hold those big size drink cups, and a lot of customer don’t want the extra calories.”

(I pulled out of the parking lot thinking that they only want to squeeze every penny out of unsuspecting customers.)

I Scream For Justice

, , , , , | Working | October 5, 2018

(I am in high school. I am looking around my neighborhood for a part-time evening job, and I walk into an ice cream shop to ask if they are hiring. The manager behind the counter literally throws a t-shirt and apron at me.)

Manager: “All right, get started.”

Me: “Uh, right now?”

Manager: “Bathroom’s that way; go put it on.”

(She gives me no more than a ten-minute tour behind the counter and explanation of how to work the register, then asks:)

Manager: “So, you think you got it?”

Me: *a little dazed* “I… I think so?”

Manager: “Great. I’m going next door to do some shopping. See you.”

(She walks out and leaves me there completely alone. A while later, a few customers walk in: a couple and one man by himself. The girlfriend asks for some complicated mint concoction that I have no idea how to make, but I try. I also struggle with ringing it up, and apologize, explaining that I only just barely started. The girl sneers at me the entire time, takes one sip of her drink, and hurls it at me and says:)

Girlfriend: “This is disgusting. No wonder you work at a place like this; you are such an idiot.”

(She then grabs her boyfriend and flounces out. I am so disoriented at this point I’m almost in tears. The man behind them is sympathetic and asks quietly:)

Gentleman: “I’m sorry. How long did you say you’ve been working here?”

Me: “Only about twenty minutes or so. Really.”

(He is in disbelief, and asks me where the manager went, and then goes next door to find her. She comes storming back and says:)

Manager: “Ugh, I thought you said you were fine!”

(This is only the beginning of the nightmare. I tell my parents the story, but they pressure me to keep the job. The only information the place collects from me is my first name and phone number which they make me write on the list of employees — an extremely long list with many names crossed out. They never process my social security, and distribute the wages in cash, in unsecured and unsealed envelopes on a piled table in the back. They only ever have one person manning the store, which means that employees are left alone with all the money, and the store has no concrete ID on them. Yes, wages do get stolen, and the management refuses to restore it to wronged parties. I also quickly realize that my wage is always a flat $100, despite the fact that they have me working five shifts a week, which often go over my scheduled time because the next person no-shows. The manager never appears in the store, but watches over the cameras from home constantly and calls. Because there is supposed to be someone behind the counter at all times, and there is only one person in the entire store, he yells at me if I even go to use the bathroom during my shifts that sometimes go nine or ten hours. There are no breaks for meals, either, and I am told to just eat some ice cream when I complain that I can’t work so long without food. He keeps trying to schedule me or make me cover shifts during school hours, and yells at me when I try to work on my homework. When no one comes to relieve me yet again, we get in a screaming match over the phone and he threatens to call the police on me if I walk out, since I have no key to lock up the store. Since the money is on the table, I hatch a plan and ask him how far from the store he is. He says he is a fifteen-minute drive away.)

Me: “Okay, you have fifteen minutes to get here, or I’m leaving.”

(He continues to threaten and abuse me.)

Me: “Now you have ten minutes. Hopefully no one walks in before you get here.”

(He demands I give him my parents’ phone number.)

Me: “No. Now it’s five minutes.”

(He starts screaming so loudly I have to hold the phone away from my ear. I turn and give the camera the middle finger, hang up, and walk out. Now, I don’t leave yet; I wait around right outside and look up the non-emergency police number on my phone. I ring them up and explain that I have a tip that this business is paying workers under the table and hardly has any customers, so there’s some tax evasion and possibly other financial crimes going on here.)

Me: “The evidence is lying all over the table in the back right now, and the guy in charge is on his way here. He’ll arrive in approximately ten minutes, so hurry if you want to wrap this up easily.”

(They said they’d send a car right over, and I took a seat on the patio at the coffee shop next door to wait. The cop car arrived first. By this time, I figured the manager must be in his car and unable to monitor the cameras, so I waved them down and quickly showed them to the table in the back with the money. Then, right on cue, the manager arrived and stormed in, muttering and cursing. He came round the corner to where the office was, saw the two officers standing there, and went pale. They put him in handcuffs and took him away, then thanked me and said they would investigate. I went home and told my parents that I was let go suddenly because the place was being shut down. Later, it came out that the place was a money laundering front. For some time afterwards, I was worried that whatever organized crime behind it would find me with what little info I had given, and retaliate, but nothing ever happened.)

Toxicity Begets Toxicity

, , , , , | Working | October 4, 2018

(I am looking to leave a toxic work environment. The manager has threatened to fire me, using loopholes, for being out recovering from an injury I sustained at work. I have recently interviewed for a position in an office environment. The pay is about the same as where I am, but it’s also closer to where I’m looking to move with my spouse. The interview goes well, and I come back to fill out some paperwork. I walk up to the receptionist.)

Me: “Hello, my name is [My Name] and I’m here to see [HR Manager].”

Receptionist: “Hi. Let me just page her for you; if you would just take a seat over there…”

Me: “Sure!”

(I sit down and wait for a little bit. The receptionist calls me up to tell me that the manager is at lunch and I need to wait a bit longer. I agree and sit back down. I arrived around the same time I did the interview. The manager didn’t schedule a time for the paperwork, but just gave me a day to come back. As I sit, silently looking at my phone, the waiting room fills up with people, all looking for the HR manager. After forty-five minutes, I begin to recognize this as a red-flag from my current job. But I am desperate to get out, so I figure, “What the h***?” and let it slide.)

Someone Next To Me: “Man, I’ve been waiting for twenty minutes. When is she going to get back?”

Me: “Probably soon. I’ve been here nearly an hour.”

(I occupy myself with my phone until I hear my name called. I am escorted back to the HR manager’s office. We greet each other, and I start filling out the paperwork.)

HR Manager: “I have to say, I’m very disappointed.”

Me: “Why?”

HR Manager: “I was told that you were quite rude to the receptionist. You know, I always say, you can tell how a person truly is by the way they treat the receptionist. You think you get to know them in an interview, but they’re just putting on an act to get hired.”

Me: “What?”

(I have high social anxiety. I am red in the face at this accusation, desperately wondering what I did wrong.)

HR Manager: “You were condescending and complaining the entire time. I told you that I had lunch this time of day. Why did you come now?”

Me: “I think you must have the wrong person…”

HR Manager: “No. They very clearly told me it was [My Name].”

(I finish the paperwork, trembling and embarrassed, feeling like crying. I hand it back to the HR manager.)

HR Manager: “So, are you good to start [date]?”

(I think about the other interviews I have lined up and decide that there is no way I am going to accept a trade to an environment that is an exact match for my current one.)

Me: “No.”

HR Manager: “Oh? And when would be good for you?”

Me: “I am formally rescinding my acceptance. Have a nice day.”

(I was escorted out. I drove home, shaky and terrified that I’d thrown away my only opportunity for a new job outside of my current position. But it worked out; I got another job offer a week later, and the managers are super chill, and everyone is friendly and gets along. Always trust your gut instinct!)

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