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There are two things in this world, that I loathe and despise perhaps more than any other things.
One of them is searching for a new place to live. Good Lord willing and the creek don't rise, I won't have to deal with that again for a long long time.
But the other thing that I loathe and despise is job hunting. I hate it with a passion you cannot begin to imagine. If hate were strength, I could pick up the state of Kentucky by its western corner and swing it about my head like so much bailing wire.
The reason I hate it so, is that it is essentially a broken system, and it dehumanizes every single person subjected to it.
Look, it isn't easy trying to figure out whether or not a person has the right temperament for a job or is an ethical person. And it isn't easy on the employee side, to figure out whether or not your erstwhile new employer means to bend you over the coffee table and have their nasty way with you. Each part of this little drama needs to be approached with a certain amount of caution and it's best when two people can sit down and honestly determine if they are a good fit for one another.
But that never happens.
What happens is a kabuki-style exhibition of utter horse-shit designed to ignore and demoralize the person looking for work. Moreover, I can count on one hand, the number of times a prospective employer has gotten back to me to tell me that they've decided to hire someone else. Fuck you and your "We'll keep your application on file for six months." I'm going to have make other plans, that is if I can determine that you've left me to twist in the wind. You don't even have to talk to me on the fucking PHONE. You can just send an email to my address in the coldest and most bloodless terms. I'll accept it and get on with my life, for Christ's sake.
I realize that a lot of people are oversensitized to workplace conflict and talking with a person you AREN'T going to hire ratchets up a person's quick factor for uncomfortable human interactions. But I am sick and tired of waiting to hear back on a job and not being given a word yea or nay. That's simply, abjectly, completely chickenshit.
I once applied for a sales position at a well-known chain computer store. I am Mac-savvy and they sold them there and I was looking for something different to do. I filled out their exhaustively complete 10-page application. ("Jesus. My MOM doesn't know this much about me…") and I waited by the phone.
They called me and had me come in and talk to a supervisor. I think the interview went well and after many years of auditioning for stage plays, I think I have a pretty good radar for that sort of thing. The guy said, "I'm going to call you next week and we'll schedule you a follow-up interview with my manager."
So I go away pleased, because invasive application or not, it did look like an interesting place to work.
Next week comes and goes, no call.
Another week of fruitless job-hunting goes by, still no call.
On advice from a friend, I call them back to follow up, and I am told that the manager which I spoke to, is out and could I leave a number and he'll call me back. So I do.
One more week slides by like a slug over a razor blade.
I try calling again, but while I am on the phone I am suspiciously cut off.
I get enough of people cutting off all contact with me and hoping I'll take the hint in my love life. I don't need it in my professional life too. It's chickenshit no matter which way you do it.
So, I go get some other job and forget all about it.
Six months later, I get a phone call from the place. Some mook looking to fill a position in the warehouse and do I want an interview?
I wish I could say I was cool and said some witty thing on the phone, but I was incoherent with rage. I do remember yelling that I'd applied six fucking months ago and for a position in sales and you gotta lotta damn balls calling me up after the run-around you put me through when I was out of work. You do yourself a favor and SET FIRE to my goddamn application because I wouldn't work for you pricks now if you paid me in gold and pussy. And you can tell your manager I said he can go fuck himself.
Thinking back, I was less than kind on the phone. Also, the mook probably had no way to know any of this. So I feel bad for being so harsh on him.
But that's what the whole process does. It reduces us to numbers and sets of skills. It reduces us to being less than people when we are far more than cogs in a machine. They make you take boring and repetitive personality profiles where they ask you if you'd report a fellow employee if they had stolen a dollar. They ask you this same question over and over in different ways, hoping to trip you up. Invariably, the kind of places that have these things are the sort of places that want to pay you so little that you and your co-workers daydream idly about blowing the safe and murdering the boss.
The advent of the internet ought to mean some ease in the process, but I have yet to see it. Craigslist is no roadmap to career success but it'll get you to scam-town and spamville pretty quick. Also, I find it incredibly annoying to be told that the ONLY way to apply for a job is via the internet. It simply means they've decided to automate the process of ignoring you.
I have seen SO many job application websites that were poorly thought out and even more poorly organized and implemented. It's like someone throws them up but never ever checks to see if they work or not. Doesn't anyone notice that no more applications are coming in for jobs being posted? What in the tap-dancing fuck is happening here? And you know what, my job history is NOT all that complicated, and yet I run into implementation problems every time in this particular area.
And once again, never any notification of whether you are being considered or even if your application has been looked at. It's like yelling down a hole.
And I am beyond tired of the reindeer games that employers want you to play. It hasn't happened yet, but the very first time that a prospective employer requests my Facebook password, I am going to go up over high side. Ok, well maybe not, but I am damn sure going to walk out and accuse them of wasting my time. I am not working a job that requires a security clearance, and you are not entitled to dictate terms of my personal life. Shit, just The Fiddler Party writing alone will exclude me from a number of jobs.
Also: managers and hiring professionals, learn how to actually talk to human beings. DO NOT go get the same bunch of books on how to conduct job interviews with the same tedious and moronic questions for applicants. The only thing those questions do is penalize people who try to answer them honestly. Which means you only hire the people smart enough to lie to your fucking face.
*"How do you handle workplace stress?"
I scream and throw things. Occasionally I pick up something heavy and pointed and start laying about myself in a frothing, wall-punching berserker frenzy.
*"What would you say is your greatest strength?"
I've never been convicted.
*"What would you say is your greatest weakness?"
I dislike probing questions. A census taker once tried to ask me questions. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.
*"Sell me this pen."
I can't. It's crap compared to mine. I like my Zebra pens because of their all steel construction. Not only do they write well and last a long time, but you could kill a guy with one IF YOU CARED ENOUGH!
I once considered the idea of going on job interviews with a hidden camera and then blowing doofuses like that out of the water. You'd watch that right?