Monday, November 3, 2014

srs bsns tiem

So, as you might infer from the sanity meter over on the right, I'm unemployed, and I need to change that.  However, as soon as I start the process of looking for jobs and actually going out and applying for them, I reach a brick wall.  Mostly a psychological one.  My "fight-or-flight" instinct seems to be hardwired to "flight", to the extent that I will go somewhere with the intent of applying and end up leaving without applying.

Even if all the circumstances are correct, i.e. I know they're hiring (which is a chore to figure out these days), I'm dressed for it (discrimination based on the clothing I'm wearing, go!), I have my resume, and a pen.  If I forget even the smallest thing, for instance, a pen, the whole thing's a bust and I have to leave.

Recently I've heard a disturbing term pop up, and that would be "overqualified".  The notion that you can get turned down for a job because you're "overqualified" makes absolutely zero sense to me.  Any employer who does this is flat-out ignoring the reason why the person applied to work for them in the first place: they actually wanted to work for them.  Regardless of that person's qualifications, if they have the desire to work for you, you should consider them.  Having to revise one's resume for each individual employer one might apply to is an exhaustive process that wastes time, money, paper, and printer ink.

Then there's the issue of references.  Apparently, you can't get a job these days without them.  Also contributing to this is the trend of not accepting personal references, and instead requiring professional references.  How does one get started in a system like this when they have no professional references?  Even the simplest of job categories, food and retail, wants references these days.  What are they going to get?  "Oh yeah, he can push buttons and read numbers from a monitor like nobody's business"?  "His receipt-tearing skills are second to none"?  Anyone who can read and has fingers can use a cash register.  The rest of a food/retail job's proficiencies belong entirely in the new-hire training process.

I've had a lot of bad experiences with employment, which certainly doesn't help.  I consider even the jobs that I've had as bad experiences because I've never once gotten a job through the "standard" application and interview process.  Either I've been hired on the spot when I turned in an application (Giant), or I got the job because of someone else putting in the good word and it was guaranteed that I'd be working there (Sperry, Batesville Broadband, Silverchair).  Every time I've tried to go through the "standard" application and interview process has resulted in me not getting a job.  Plow and Hearth, an outdoorsy-style retail store, turned me down despite one of my friends working there and putting in the good word for me, sending me a cheeky postcard that said I wasn't qualified.  Not qualified for retail, are you serious?  Barnes and Noble gave me a phone interview and an in-person interview before deciding that no, they didn't need that extra person in receiving and then eliminating the position.

My actual on-the-job experiences have been extremely varied.  Giant was bad, they constantly pressed me to get faster and faster regardless of the quality of service, going so far as to give me printouts showing how slow I was, while not offering any actual usable advice on how to solve the problem.  Sperry, both times I worked there, was bad, because they flat-out ignored my resume.  My resume basically says "hey, this guy is right at home with servers, networking, and web design, he'd probably make a great helpdesk guy or general IT guy", but no, they noticed that my dad was an engineer and stuck me in engineering, where I knew absolutely nothing about the things I was working on.  Batesville Broadband was just a horrible company.  It went under shortly after I left, and not because I left, but because it was flawed from the core.  Silverchair was a good experience, I got to work with the same people for most of a year, but because I was contracted, as soon as I finished what they hired me to do, I was out.  With zero warning and zero opportunity to say goodbye to any of the team members that I'd spent that "most of a year" working with.

Don't even get me started about online applications.  You'd think they would be right up my alley, being that I largely prefer communications via the internet to communications over the phone or in-person.  However, I've never once had a single online application get off the ground.  The processes are exhaustive and far more time-consuming than applying in person, especially if they use Unicru.  Then, assuming you persevere and finish the application process, they just don't respond.  At all.  I could have easily gotten a job at our local Best Buy since I was applying while they were still building the thing, but I sent in several applications, none of which were responded to.  Long story short: if you tell me your job application process is online-only, I'm gone.  Sorry, not going through the headache.

Job fairs are no better.  You'd think that if you were meeting representatives from lots of different employers in person, that you'd have a better shot because they can actually see that there's a human out there who needs a job and can do the kinds of things that they need done.  But nope, haven't heard back from a single one of those jobs I've applied for either.  The most recent job fair I went to was a total joke, nobody was taking resumes and everyone said "apply online".  If you're going to take the time to show up at a local job fair, why don't you also take the time to allow people to apply in-person?  It makes going to a job fair completely worthless if all you really need to do is look at the list of employers in attendance and go to their websites.

I guess what I'm trying to say here is that I really, really want a job.  A nice secure one, that pays enough that I can get a decent apartment and move out of my parents' house for a second time.  However, I have to force myself to go out and actually do anything about it, and if even one thing goes wrong or is out of place, I'm out of there.  That's precisely what happened today.  I noticed an ad from a few days ago on Craigslist saying that Bodo's was hiring at all three locations, and I figured "what the heck, I'll go apply".  However, walking towards the office where I'd have to talk to the guy and say "hey, can I apply to work here?" it felt like there was just a wall of pressure that got too great to allow me to go any closer, and since my nagging fight-or-flight instinct was already going "flight flight flight", I bailed.  It probably didn't help that the door was closed.  I got a bagel, hoping it would calm me down, but it didn't.  Also, I'd forgotten my pen, and I know that employers are incredibly fickle about things like that.  "Oh, he can't even remember to bring a pen when he's applying for a job, he can't be all that serious, we'll just ignore his application and anything he has to say", or something similar.

My brain is wired with so much logic that I get extremely disappointed when the world doesn't operate with any consideration to logic whatsoever.  Can some aliens please come and take me to a world where logic is actually a thing that governs the actions of people, businesses, and governments?

No comments:

Post a Comment

I moderate comments because when Blogger originally implemented a spam filter it wouldn't work without comment moderation enabled. So if your comment doesn't show up right away, that would be why.