Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Long Journey Towards Employment

I'm beginning to think that the world is filled with idiots.

I used to think that there was just an unusually high concentration of idiots in the town where I live.  You see, it's a small metropolis in Minnesota; a growing city that does NOT pride itself on maturing with the times or being hip or contemporary.  It's a college town, so inevitably you have a bunch of flighty and annoying college students running around, boosting the economy with drug binges and trips to the bar.

I have now finally accepted that the majority of people one must interact with during the course of their lifetime, with the exception of my close friends, family, and bloggy friends of course, are idiots.  This cynical viewpoint is courtesy of the mind-blowingly dull and frustrating process known as the "job search", a process which has revealed the world's incredible lack of social skills and professionalism.  I don't know if I have ever encountered such profound stupidity in any other facet of my life, except maybe a shopping trip at Wal-Mart.

But at least you go into Wal-Mart expecting to want to pull your hair out in clumps, find the nearest corner, and curl up into a fetal position until the flood of Stupid passes.  You would think, however, that when dealing with companies who are looking to hire quality employees for an open position, you would at least find yourself among the company of professionals.

Nope, guess not.

As most of you know from several posts ago, I was recently offered a job at a rather large corporation in the Minneapolis-area.  Allow me to recount for you the journey of my FINALLY being offered a position at this company, which I'm hoping will convince you all that I am not just being a neurotic asshole.  No, people are just plain STUPID.  Allow me to use this popular childhood boardgame as an example:

What, you never played Stupid Land as a child?

Step 1) A routine online job search yields an interesting position, for which I am actually qualified!!!  But, sadly, it's through a temp agency.  Eeew.  But, as I have been unemployed for over a year, I can hardly be picky.  So I send in my resume.

Step 2) I learn that the position is over an hour and a half away from where I live, but I decide that it might be worth checking out anyway.  To make things as inconvenient as possible, the temp agency tells me that I have to interview with them before they will even submit my name to the company for consideration for the position, and that it needs to be done as soon as possible. Greeeeat.

Step 3) I cancel said interview, and apply directly with the company instead.  Who the hell wants to work through a temp agency when you can just get hired on directly?  I'll be damned if I'm taking a pay cut AND have to suffer through the demoralizing nature of temp-to-hire positions where you have to kiss ass for three months so they decide to hire you on permanently.  No, thank you.

The equivalent of temp-to-hire.
Step 4) I receive an e-mail telling me to schedule a "phone meeting" with the talent consultant or whatever the hell, which I proceed to do.  The "talent consultant" calls me ONLY four hours late, and the conversation is summarized as follows:

Him: "Sorry I am too rude to keep the appointment that I made you set but it's okay because you have no life anyway."
Me: "Yeah, no problem." (what I'm thinking: "Asshole.")
Him: "It's so tough when we have short work weeks!  Jeepers, I have so much work to do that it's hard to keep up!"
Me: "Yep."  (what I'm thinking: "I don't give a shit.")
Him: "I have nothing to say to you of importance, I'm sorry if you were under the impression that this was a phone interview.  Do you want to come interview with two completely different people in two weeks?  I promise, it will be a real interview this time."
Me: "Um, sure."  (what I'm thinking: "What is wrong with these people??!")
Him: "Okay, someone else will call you to set up the interview.  Things just aren't complicated enough, so we need to add a few dozen more people to the mix so that our communication will be all fucked up through this whole process.  Thanks!"

Step 5) I drive to the company and interview with two lovely individuals, thinking I am sooooooooo clever for going behind the temp agency's back and interviewing with them instead.

Miles logged on my vehicle at this point: 140

It should be noted that this interview inspired this post, featuring a good ol'-fashioned rant about how pointless job interviews are.  Ahem.
Step 6) I receive notification that they want to interview me again!  Hot damn!  I drive down a second time to do the exact same interview with two different people.

Total miles logged at this point: 280.

Step 7) Two weeks later, I receive a call that they don't have any permanent positions available, but they do have the dreaded "temp-to-hire" position available.  Oh yay, that means I get to work through a temp agency after all!

I always hated that damn card when I was a kid.
Which temp agency, you ask?  Of course the one I talked to earlier, who I rudely canceled on the day before the interview because I was trying to be so sneaky.  Oops.

Step 8) Drive to Minneapolis again to interview with the temp agency, even though I technically already have the job.

Total miles logged on my car at this point: 420

Step 9) I receive the official job offer, complete with a significant pay cut for the first three months and no benefits.  Plus, I get the added bonus of a guaranteed three month period of anxiety as I attempt to prove myself and get hired on permanently.  Great!

I subsequently receive a barrage of e-mails outlining all the shit I have to do before August 8th, my first day.  This includes a drug test that easily could be accomplished right down the street from me, but guess where I have to drive to do it?  Yep, you guessed it.  Minneapolis again.  Geez, wouldn't it have been nice had they told me that WHEN I WAS THERE TO INTERVIEW FOR THE THIIIIIIIIIIIIRD TIIIIIIIIIME!!!  (no bitterness from this girl.  nope, none at all.)

Step 10) Drive two hours, piss in a cup, and drive back.

The end is in sight!!
Total miles logged: 560.

Step 11) Two weeks later, I hear from my favorite "talent consultant" again.  He basically tells me that they are stupid for sending me to the temp agency, that no one knows what they are doing, and that they want to hire me on directly instead.  First day is August 15th.  Sorry for the inconvenience!

Pros: Yay, a normal salary and benefits right away! Not to mention I don't have to whore myself for the first three months!!!  AND I get an extra week to sit on my ass!

Cons: Do you mean to tell me that those last two trips to Minneapolis, not to mention the drug test that nearly killed my bladder as I drove along the highway for two hours, AND the annoyance of that meaningless third interview, WERE ALL FOR NOTHING??!??!

Step 12) Another barrage of e-mails, including yet another drug test I have to complete by the end of the week.  Fortunately, they had the decency to keep this one in town.  I guess the company is aware that there are facilities in other parts of the state that do look at urine samples.  Phew!!

And that, my loves, is where I am at right now.  I just finished my second drug test and I told them my whole life story so they can make sure I'm not lying, so hopefully this horrible saga can FINALLY END.

To conclude: No one knows what the hell they're doing.  The world is full of idiots.  And that is all.

Please, tell me something good that has happened to you.  I need something to distract me from my annoyance.  thanksbye.



Nikki said...

That is so incredibly... backwards. What the hell? I'm lost.

Except, I have nothing good to tell! That I can remember, anyway. I'm still in the first few squares of the game where it's "send resume, no reply, send resume, no reply, send resume, no reply, keep sending resumes, go freaking insane."

Congrats! I think?

Melbourne on my mind said...

I'm totally going to show my mum that picture from Pretty Woman - she keeps telling me I should sign up with a temp agency because it'll be extra spending money for my trip and it'll get me out of the house. Urm, no...

My history of seeking employment goes like this:
1. Company I'm working for runs out of money and tells me I have to leave
2. Spend weeks/months sending out CVs
3. Get many rejection letters
4. Send out more CVs
5. Get an interview
6. Fuck up interview in spectacular fashion
7. Receive letter telling me that I was in their top 3 but sadly they went for someone who can string a sentence together
8. Company I was working for finds more money and asks me back
9. Heave sigh of relief that I don't have to send out more CVs

Sadly, I don't think this scenario is going to be plausible this time :(

Bi said...

@Nikki: Haha, trust me, I know the drill with the resumes-no response BS. People are so rude!! Do they not realize how much work it is to put together a decent resume??!? BLARGH!!!

@Kirsti: You too?!? Holy shit, the only real job I ever got was a result of my boss being absolutely socially inept and incapable of conducting a normal interview himself, so I actually came out looking like the suave one. Imagine that! Next time you just need to target companies who have socially inept hiring managers. Ha!

Meri said...

Sweet mother of $*%()^! Note to self: do not, under any circumstances, quit job without another job lined up...
well at least you don't have to do the temp thing! (lone bright side to this).

Anonymous said...

Oh no, Bi is leaving the unemployed family. What am I to do all alone in this world. Please please no! Nothing good has happened to me. I posted about a pothead receiving a job offer that I was more qualified for. It's just messed up MAN MESSED UP! I start school on the 15th of August :) That's the good slicing on the cake.

Bi said...

@Meri: GOOD IDEA!! LOL, this has just been absolutely nuts!! But you're right, no temp is good. Higher salary, benefits right away, and I get to start being my weird self right away without fear of losing my job in three months. Ha!

@PBM: I know, right? I actually wish I wasn't, haha. Congratulations on returning to school!! What will you be going for?