20 November 2007

How not to look for a job

I usually don't talk about my day job, since I don't pretend to think that the average reader will want to know about it. This is mostly a writing-pop culture-liteature-travel-movie-philosophy blog, with bits of my personal life tossed in here and there where I deem it may have some relevance to the general reading population.

But today I just felt I had to share my thoughts on "How Not to Apply for a Job."

Our company right now is running an ad in a few Los Angeles newspapers looking for potential new commodities brokers. The ad gives them the main number to call, and Martha, our wonderful receptionist, gives them the information on where to send in their resume (fax or email). If Martha isn't available, such as late in the day, than either Julie or I take the call. We aren't supposed to give out any information about the job, since we aren't doing the hiring and don't know the details on what they're offering. We just tell them where to send the resume, and the boss will call them if it looks promising.

Now when I first heard that this was the system we would use to for applicants, I was a touch skeptical. Anyone out searching for a job knows the frustration of trying to contact a potential employer and not really knowing what it is the company does. However, after receiving numerous time-wasting calls, I can see why a company screens the applicants themselves before calling. Furthermore, after this one call I got today, I know exactly why we ask people to call in so we can give them the fax number/email address for them to send the resume, instead of placing it on the add: it's so the completely inappropriate people can weed themselves out.

Let us watch how one particular idiot weeded himself out:

I pick up the phone, and the man asks about the ad in the L.A. Times. He also mentions "Can Make $250,000/year" from the ad, the first time I've heard any caller bring that up. (This is no exaggeration, by the way. Some of our top brokers make $300,000 a year.) He then says, "Can you send me a check?"

Hah hah, the fellow is a real comedian. This guy must have learned from the Enron school of mark-to-market accounting: "If I work for your company, I might make $250,000 dollars a year, so can you pay me that now?"

So this is off to a roaring start. It will go down hill quickly.

I give him the usual info about sending in his resume, and he asks for more info about the job. I tell him that he will have to talk about that with the people hiring when they call him. He says something about, "Let me read you the ad so you know which one I'm talking about." Good one, act like the guy on the line doesn't know his own job. Racking up the point here, pal. I tell him that we're only running one ad, you can send in your resume and they will contact you.

Although I have done nothing but act calm and given the same response that has worked for the serious applicants, the man gets belligerent. "Well, why didn't you put the number in the ad?"

I answer, "They want people to contact us first by phone."

However, he answers the question himself: "That sounds real fu**ing stupid. I don't think I want to work for your company."

"Then goodbye sir," I say and hit the 'disconnect' button.

I really wanted to say, "Then good luck at finding any job, sir." But hey, I'm the polite one here. Nothing gets the jerks of the world more enraged than when you keep your cool.

No, the policy isn't "real fu**ing stupid." It's actually darn smart. It weeds out nasty, unhireable people from the process. Can you imagine this man trying to call up potential clients? Can you imagine how his interview might have gone?

Does he ever wonder why he is currently unemployed?