Friday, May 27, 2011

JHW: forgive the executioner?

Job Hunt Woes
Well, I should've probably posted while my emotions were fresh, but at the same time perhaps it's better I've cooled off.

I'm not a man with a temper generally, so quite probably my "angry" is not recognizable as such to many other than myself and others near me.

Story to follow: but my immediate quetion for you is: if some manager fires you wrongly or company representative treats you dishonestly, should you be mad at them? After all, they are only doing what they are told. They have a job to do, after all. It reminds me of the old custon of an axe-weilding executioner being forgiven by the prisoner before a beheading. I don't recall if it was a commonly practiced custom or not.

For me? It's hard to say. Bottom level flunkies I am more likely to forgive but middle managers I am more likely to reserve hard feelings for. Like a few days ago.

On to the story (for anyone wishing to read this far). Anyways, stage one, a few days ago I had a call from a job posting I'd found via Craig's List. (and this is not a critisism of that website; if anything, it has proven an unexpectedly useful resource) They said if I could be to a town nearby in 10 minutes they could see me about a job opening. I asked what the job was for, not recalling the company's name, but I was misdirected with talk of "setting up displays". I wasn't fooled with the clear euphamism, and despite resevations, I agreed, despite the inconsiderate timing. But it turned out I could only fill out the application and talk to a receptionist as a pre-screening. I was told I would be called (a nebulous and inconsiderate allowance) at some point to set up an "real" interview the following day. I was misled to apply, and further still misled by having my requests for a job description denied. A kind soul in the company did recommend I highlight "sales" in my application.

Stage two, I wait and keep myself open all morning, inconveniencing my family. More inconvenience to my family, especially my sister. Finally a call: I had to be there (30 min away) in an hour and a half. Pretty inconsiderate, but not as bad as yesterday. I imagine the company is "testing" applicants to find out who has few to no prior commitments and is at the company's beck and call. A single mom? A caregiver for aging parents? Have a part-time job? Share a car? Ride a bus? You won't be able to just drop everything. To continue, I get there at the expense of my sister's kindness and I give a great accounting of myself. I am head-and-shoulders above average applicants, prepared and having letters of recommendation. My interview is with a middle manager who I haven't met before. (As an aside, unsuprisingly, he asked my birthdate, showing either an ignorance of law or a disregard for law, or both.) However, the man will still not tell me what the job is. I ask, twice. His line (and a line I've heard before) that in the name of equality all answers are addressed in a group orientation. I have to come to this orientation tomorrow, and for once I have a clear time to show up. I ask two questions further: is the orientation paid traing? No. Have I just been offered a job at this point? No, there will be another interview after the orientation where final hires are made. This is disgusting. I have explained to friends and such that if confidentiality was the reason, that could be explained as such, and I could accept that. But this? Screaming scam, or at best a horrible job with a worse company to back me up. I theorize they don't want applicants to know the reality because it's rather bad and few people would apply. They want people to get in so deep, like I was feeling, they can't leave without feeling like they've wasted a good deal of time and effort.

Stage three: I leave, knowing that I am walking into a disaster of a job, but I want a job badly. Do I show up tomorrow? Talking to a nearby store owner, I learn the company has something to do with vacuum cleaners and maybe shampooing carpets and maybe hiring illegal Mexicans for the labor. I think of the situation as one very common: It's like an aging car: you keep fixing it, dumping money into it, and you wonder when it's time to stop, and you feel like you've spent this much you might as well keep going. Well, about two hours later I reach a decision. I propose laying down an ultimatum, although I won't announce it for propriety. I call the company, ask for the middle manager I'd spoken to earlier, and once and and for the last time ask: "Can you please tell me some more about this job I am applying for" He replies: "Well, let me just take you off the list for orientation" The bastard! I give him a few choice words, but nothing extravagant and quite breif. I wish I had gone on longer. This job is taking advantage of the down-and-out and abusing people without the intelligence and/or will to stand up for themselves.

So, I am glad, but I am also rather upset at the state of things in this latest installment of Job Hunt Woes.


  1. Ox, that smells fishy to me and I'd say you did the right thing. Whatever that job is, you don't want it. I know it sucks, but keep trying.

    -Tobin Dax

  2. Tobin! Long time no see! How are you doing, buddy?