College Employees Are A Dime A Dozen

, , , , , | Working | August 22, 2018

Me: “Hey, you guys keep asking me to be in charge of the time sheets.”

Boss: “Yes, you’re very responsible.”

Me: “The thing is, I don’t like that. I have to get to the job site before everyone, I can’t leave until everyone else does, if someone is late I’m expected to snitch on them, and I have to drive out to the office on my own time to turn it in or no one gets paid.”

Boss: “Ah, I understand. How about if we give you a bonus for handling it?”

(I’m in college, where even $10 can mean a great deal to my finances.)

Me: “That would be great. Thanks.”

(The next time I got paid, I did, indeed, receive a bonus. Ten cents. Not ten cents an hour. Just one dime. I found work elsewhere soon after.)

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A Testing Set Of Interviews

, , , , | Working | May 24, 2018

(I’m applying for a job at a temp agency, and I overhear this conversation between the clerk and one of their employees. The employee just finished a temp job and is looking for more work.)

Clerk: “We just need you to take a drug test before we can send you on another job.”

Employee: “I’m not taking a drug test.”

Clerk: “Refusal to take a test qualifies as a failed test.”

Employee: “Okay, so, when am I going on my next job?”

Clerk: “You’re not. You failed a drug test. You can come in in 30 days to take another one.”

Employee: “I didn’t fail a drug test!”

Clerk: “You refused the test.”

Employee: “So?! I didn’t fail.”

Clerk: “So you think that people can just refuse a test, and that’s the same as passing it?”

Employee: “Yes! I didn’t fail any test.”

Clerk: “It doesn’t work that way. You will not be sent out for any more work until you pass a drug test.”

Employee: “Okay, fine! I’ll take the test.”

Clerk: “Okay, but have you taken any drugs?”

Employee: “I smoke marijuana, but if you’re going to say that I failed, I might as well take the test!”

(He goes to the back to take his test. I walk up to the counter a few minutes later with my application, still laughing a little bit about what I just witnessed.)

Clerk: “Okay, now we just need you to take a drug test.”

Me: “I’m not taking a drug test! When do I start?”

(She gives me a death glare.)

Me: “I’m joking.”

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Unkle Scam Want’s Yoo!

| Working | June 22, 2016

(I am just out of the military and looking for work. At a work seminar, I speak with a recruiter for a temp agency. She has me fill out an online application, and sets up an appointment for me. She’s very enthusiastic and helpful as well. Several days later, I go in for the appointment. The office has a small waiting room, with several girls behind the counter who take people back for the initial paperwork.)

Worker: “[My Name].”

(We got back and she clicks on her computer for a bit. Suddenly, she turns to me, her demeanor no longer bright and cheerful.)

Worker: “So, just so you know, we’re not based here in [Town]. Our main office is located out in California. When you apply online, they are the ones who review your application. Okay?”

Me: *confused* “Er, okay.”

Worker: “So, it looks here like they’ve marked you as ‘Unqualified.’ That means they don’t want you interviewed because you’re not qualified.”

(I have over seven years’ worth of knowledge in computer systems and data analyzation, thanks to the military, as well as a B.S. in computer engineering. On top of that, the temp agency specifically lists professions such as medicine and law for those they want to place.)

Me: “So… what makes me unqualified?”

Worker: “Oh, I don’t know. Only the main office will know, and they don’t tell me.”

Me: *getting suspicious* “Uh-huh. Look, I spoke with [Recruiter] at the seminar. She set this all up for me. I want to speak with her.”

Worker: *gets a weird look on her face* “Um… I think she’s in a meeting. Let me go check.”

(She takes me back out to the waiting room, and then disappears into the back. Five minutes later, she returns.)

Worker: “Yeah, sorry, she’s on a phone conference right now, and can’t come speak to you. She says she’ll be available in an hour. Do you want to wait?”

Me: “No. I have her number.”

(The recruiter had given me her card, so after I got home, I e-mail her, and leave a voice message. She calls back, saying she has a “new strategy for selling your resume” and will get back to me. I never hear from them again. Two months later, while working at my new and wonderful job, I get a text.)

Text: *quoted verbatim* Hi! Ths is [Agency]! We’d like to set up Apppointment for you to interview. If youve already got a job we understand :) but we’d like t o speak with you if possible send us yur resume and identification pleaz!”

(I also got an e-mail which stated that for my interview, I needed to bring in my SSN card, bank information, and a personal check. I can only guess the reason I was “Unqualified” is because they knew I would spot the scam!)

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Temporarily Misplaced

| Working | May 7, 2016

(While I am unemployed and actively looking for a new job, I put my name down with a temp agency so that I don’t go broke. I’ve been with them, and have already done several placements, for over a month. I’ve never had a problem finding the location, or with any of the previous placements. My regular temp agency representative is on vacation, and I have one of the other representatives. I’m given a new placement, and told to arrive at Address #1 and talk to Boss #1 at 8:30. I don’t have the contact number for Boss #1. This position is as an admin/receptionist at a downtown university. It’s a large sprawling campus. I arrive at Address #1 early, and wait for the office to open. There are several other people there waiting in line to approach the counter. I join the line.)

Counter Attendant: “What can I help you with?”

Me: “Hi, good morning. I’m [My Name] from [Temp Agency]. I’m reporting to [Boss #1].”

Counter Attendant: *confused look* “I’m sorry, I don’t know who that is, or what you’re doing here. I can’t help you. Maybe another name?”

Me: *visibly confused; I pull out the email with all the information* “I’m supposed to go to [Address #1] and report to [Boss #1] in [Department].”

Counter Attendant: “Oh. You want the [Faculty Building] at [Address #2]. Leave this building and [go across the campus].”

(I leave Address #1 and head across the campus to Address #2. I call my rep at the temp agency and let them know I got lost. I leave them a message. I arrive at Address #2 which is about a 20 minutes’ walk from Address #1. I get a call from my rep at the temp agency.)

Temp Agency: “Hi, [My Name]. [Boss #1] called, and said you aren’t there. Where are you?”

Me: “Hi. I left you a message saying I got lost. I went to [Address #1], but they said that that wasn’t where [Department] is, and they said that [Department] at [Faculty] is across campus. I’ve just gotten here, and about to look for the department.”

Temp Agency: “Well, that’s strange. It’s the address in the system, and I’ve been there, and it’s been the right address. I never had to go anywhere else. Where are you now?”

Me: “Lobby of [Faculty Building] at [Address #2].”

Temp Agency: “Well, okay. I’m not sure then where you’re supposed to be. Maybe you should call [Boss #1] to get directions. The number is [number].”

(I end the call and call the number.)

Boss #2: “[Department] at [Faculty]. [Boss #2] speaking.”

Me: “Hi. This is, [My Name]. I’m from [Temp Agency] and supposed to be starting this morning, but I’ve gotten lost. I went to [Address #1] and they directed me to the [Faculty Building]. I’m in the lobby now, just trying to find your offices.”

Boss #2: “Oh. Well, that was the wrong place. You’re in the lobby now?”

Me: “Yes.”

Boss #2: “Do you see [Coffee Shop that’s everywhere on campus, in every office building, and on every street corner]?”

Me: “I do.”

Boss #2: “Okay. Follow the hallway to the right, to the end, and take the elevator to the second floor. The office is then down the hall on the left.”

Me: “Thank you. See you soon.”

(I follow the hallway that’s to the right of the coffee shop to the end, and there is an elevator, which I take to the second floor. I get off there, and there is no hallway to left, only the right. I follow that for a bit, but quickly realize that it’s only classrooms and laboratory rooms. I retrace my steps back to the elevator, and back to the coffee shop thinking I went the wrong way. I call Boss #2 back. By now it’s 9:15. I was supposed to be there at 8:30.)

Me: “Hi, [Boss #2]. It’s [My Name]. I’m really sorry, but I think I’m still lost. I went to the second floor, but there wasn’t a hallway to the left, only the right. I’m back in the lobby. Would you be able to meet me? I’m not sure where I’m going.”

Boss #2: “You’re back in the lobby?”

Me: “Yes. I’m looking at [Coffee Shop].”

Boss #2: *sounding frustrated* “Okay. I’ll be down in a minute.”

(I wait for nearly 10 minutes, when I get a call from the temp agency.)

Temp Agency: “[Boss #2] just called saying that you’re still not there, and that you said you were in the lobby, and asked him to come get you.”

Me: “Yes. I’m still waiting by the coffee shop in the lobby at [Address #2].”

Temp Agency: “Well, figure out where you are, so you can figure out where you’re supposed to be.”

(I call Boss #2 back, and explain again where I am. I ask him for the exact address where I am supposed to be.)

Boss #2: “You need to be at [Department] at [Faculty] at [Address #3]. We’re in the [new wing of Downtown Hospital].”

Me: “I’m in lobby of [Faculty] at [Address #2] on the campus.”

Boss #2: “Well, that’s not where we are.”

Me: “I’m leaving for [Address #3] now. I’ll be in the lobby there in about 30 minutes.”

(I practically run the distance, which is back across the campus, and a further few blocks away from the campus to the hospital. I eventually arrive at the lobby of the new wing of Downtown Hospital. Sure enough, there is the same coffee shop, with a corridor to the right, and at the end of that corridor is an elevator. But I can’t take the elevator. It requires a pass card. So I call back.)

Me: “Hi, [Boss #2]. I’ve found the elevator, but I can’t get to the second floor. It needs a card.”

Boss #2: “I’ll come down.”

(I’m not sure how we got all the way to this point, without it triggering to them that I’d gone to the wrong place, when they knew a card was needed for the elevator. Finally, I meet Boss #2, and am shown up to my desk. It’s nearly 10:30. After some orientation, I meet Boss #1.)

Me: “I’m so sorry I was late. I went to [Address #1] and [Address #2] before realizing that I was supposed to be at [Address #3].”

Boss #1: “Well, we’re not paying you for that time. We need you to be here on time.”

(I was there for just over a month, and wasn’t late again. I left the temp agency shortly after, when a friend of mine asked me to cover for them at another company. Before I left, I figured out that the temp agency had given me the address for the University’s Finance Department where all of their billing statements went. I highly doubt that my representative had actually ever been there.)

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Typecasting Is A Challenge

| Working | December 1, 2015

(Trying to ease back into the job market after having a baby, I apply at a temporary office agency. I give them all the pertinent information, including a certificate for typing 80 words per minute. I am subsequently sent on a number of short-term file clerk jobs. A few months later:)

Me: “Much as I appreciate these jobs you’ve been sending me on, I certainly wouldn’t mind something a bit more challenging.”

Supervisor: “I’m afraid it’s a bit difficult to find placements for someone without typing skills.”

Me: “…”

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