Don’t believe the hype
By Catherine Sawers
I was half-way through an endless telephone call when it dawned on me: ‘My God, she’s reading from the script!’ Is there some chat room they all belong to?
Then she asked me: was I was comfortable forwarding calls, as well as answering calls and jotting down messages. Yes, I am comfortable with that, too, but thanks for assuming that I’m absurdly rigid. Did I forget to mention that I’m also completely insane?
Let’s see, describe my worst trait. Well, I am gullible enough to answer this question, as well as the one about everything I hate in bosses and coworkers.
Like the good-natured person I am, I take her antisocial questions seriously, like this classic: describe a conflict with a past co-worker, and how you resolved it.
Is – ‘I quit in a fit of nausea for the future of humanity’ – the wrong answer? Damn.
Ever get chastised for not sending a hand-written ‘thank you’ note after an interview? Ya, and I’ll have my carrier pigeon go tell the pony express to hurry the hell up, because I’ve got to prove to these people that I have ill skills with modern technology!
Ever been interviewed by a company that does interviewing for other companies? That’ll take the wind out of your sails. How can one be sure that the job really exists? Am I the pawn in some money laundering scheme? Are they going to sell my details to cybercriminals? I mean, why else did this temp agency ask for my credit card info? Jesus!
Ninety-nine percent of thousands of jobs that are posted every day in cities all over the country sound like the same job: different name. Ya sure, I’ll believe that every job in the country requires merely attention to detail, Word & Excel, and written and verbal communication skills – when there is a colony on the Moon.
Reader take note: if they sound like fake questions, it is because they are fake job listings. They focus on negative attributes so that when you haven’t heard from the interviewers in a while, you’ll think back about your answers and realize that you could’ve sounded more upbeat.
Who does she think she is, asking us which jobs are real and which are decoys? We hail from the new millennial philosophy of labor. Dead is the notion that people have a right to gainful employment. We hold that people have a right to look for gainful employment.
Our job is to make shareholders think that their interests are still solvent. It’s all legal—too petty to qualify as lying to shareholders, and it only affects the lumpen masses and labor economists. (Well, that’s redundant!)
Come on, don’t be a drag. Everyone is doing it: corporations, universities, arty troupes, non-profit organizations—hell, they invented underemployment. Look, all you have to do is repost the same cushy, attractive, but strangely lofty job description every six to eight months.
Do you really expect us to attend to 2,000 applications for the same Admin job? Let the machines collate the résumés and pick out, say, 10 candidates that get a telephone interview with antisocial questions. Then we forget about those, hire a friend of a friend of a former co-worker, and send the interviewees a form rejection from a do-no-reply e-mail address a few months later.
Who says we have to be interested in peoples’ credentials and background? If there were real jobs to fill, we wouldn’t be trawling in a muddy ditch full of eels for candidates!