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by RhodesTer on July 15, 2009

Yesterday, I visited with the lady who runs the human resources department for the hotel that laid me off a few months ago. I dropped by there because I don’t have a printer and she was nice enough to let me print out resumes.

She’s a very nice lady.

She’s kind of old fashioned too, in that she doesn’t use any of the newfangled wizardry to screen job applicants that so many companies are using these days, such as those little psych tests that make statements like “I am never late for work!”  and you have to choose from multiple selections as to whether you strongly agree, agree, are neutral, disagree or strongly disagree.

She and I strongly agree that those tests are utter crap.

job interview

She reminds me of the old days of job hunting, when you’d go in nicely dressed and hand them a resume if you had one, but if not, that’s okay.. you’d just fill out an application. Then they’d have someone talk to you and then MAYBE that someone’s boss, and then they’d excuse you from the room for a few minutes while they talked it over. Then either one of them would come out and thank you for coming in and tell you they’d keep your application on file for six months (in other words, you didn’t get the job) or they’d shake your hand and say “welcome aboard.”

She reminds me of that because that’s how it worked when I was originally hired by her and the big boss at the hotel.

These days, if you apply online, there are all kinds of fun things to fill out. You can apply in person too, by going to the place and filling out the same things on a little computer kiosk that has the same stuff you can get online, including the psych test. They may call and want to talk to you, in which case you go there (or go back there, if you already went to use the little kiosk) and they’ll ask you questions before thanking you for coming in. They won’t say “welcome aboard” though, because they don’t do that nowadays – so you really don’t know if you got the job or not.

No, they need to look everything over first, and call all of your previous employers after they’ve checked the score from the psych test. Then they need to Google your name and look over your Myspace, Facebook, blog(s) and any other online social activity you may have going, because they can never be too careful these days and they need to know for certain what kind of person you are. You could possibly be a bank robber, which would certainly be found out when they stumble across your blog on bank robbing tricks and tips.

A couple of days ago I was filling out an online application and I got to the dreaded psych test section. I’d never applied to that company before, but the computer said..

“We use ACME SERVICES for our evaluation and it appears that you have already completed this test. ACME firmly believes that people do not change very much over a long period of time, therefore we shall apply the results of your previous evaluation to this application.”

WHOA, wait.. what?

You’re going to use my answers from when I took it before? I don’t even remember what I said, let alone what company I applied for at the time.. or even when it was that I applied! I mean, I didn’t really want to take another one of those damn tests and I was glad to get off the hook, but..

If this is how we’re going to do it now, then why not just establish some kind of HUGE DATABASE that can have everything included? It can be the ultimate in shared information, which will save companies on labor-hours because all the HR people will need to do is consult this one database online for about ten minutes for each applicant! Can you imagine how much time would be saved if they don’t have to call all of the previous employers? It will all be right there in front of them..

“Rhodester worked for us from this date until this date, and no, we would not hire him again because he’s a complete idiot. He smells funny too.”

Of course there would just be ONE standard psych evaluation that each citizen only has to take one time, and the results would be cemented in the database for, oh.. ten years or more.. and available to all potential employers to access online at anytime.

I recommend ACME.

Best of all – and this is my favorite part – we can eliminate those pesky interviews! Not completely of course, because there has to be someone who will initially interview me in person and then put a video of it in the database with their notations..

“I interviewed Rhodester at 2:00pm on Wednesday, July 14th. He was five minutes late, he had a spot on his tie and he appeared kind of fidgety, but he seemed to have sufficient experience to fill the position we were hiring for. Unfortunately I was not compelled to offer him employment and I recommend that he be removed from consideration with your company too, because he made a wisecrack about my shoes that I didn’t appreciate. He also smelled funny.”

Yes, we have definitely ushered in a new age of technology, where information is shared at lightning speed and made available to anyone. Thanks to GPS and Google Maps, you can also find anyone no matter where they are, so it won’t take more than a few keystrokes to locate me as I wait in line for a ladle of soup with a sermon down at the mission.

Doggone it, they WERE funny looking shoes.

UPDATE - email received from the nice hotel HR lady today..

Hey Dave,
Swell observations–and I’m honored to have inspired you.
Rhodester has a witty and engaging style:

Strongly Agree X
Strongly Disagree

HAHA! Ain’t she sweet?

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I’m back..

by RhodesTer on January 23, 2009

..from my adventurous morning, where I had to go to the Employment Department and prove to them I’m a real person.


This necessitated showing up and producing identification, then listening intently to a verbal description of all of the benefits available to me . You know, the stuff that was in all the pamphlets they sent me, plus their website.  I suspect the “orientation” was just a cover to get me there in person, so that they could assure themselves the checks aren’t going to someone who is not me. Granted, that’s a lot of people, because I’ve noticed that pretty much anyone I meet or interact with or talk to on any given day isn’t me.

I really like the security guard who monitors the parking lot of the place. He’s quite diligent. When I stepped out front after everything was done, I put my notebook on a trashcan lid and pulled my sunglasses out of my pocket. I’d just put them on and was picking up my notebook when he came whizzing up to me in a security cart..

Sir, there’s no smoking here, even out in front of this building.. it’s a State building and therefore against State law.”

“Well that’s good then, because I wasn’t smoking.. I just came out.”

“Don’t give me that! I saw you put out your cigarette just now.. and I’m only doing you a courtesy by telling you not to smoke here so you don’t get fined when you get caught!”

He shook his finger at me. Never mind that there was no smoldering cigarette butt and, because it was a no-smoking area, no butt-kit, ashtray or anything like that. He must have thought I threw it in the trashcan.

“Seriously, dude.. I wasn’t smoking.. I haven’t had a cigarette in fifteen years. But it’s pointless anyway because I’m leaving, so if you’ll just get out of my way..”

This made him mad, so he stomped on the pedal and whipped the little cart around, before zooming off.

“I SAW YOU! Do NOT lie to me sir!!”

One hand steered while the other hand waved that pointy finger as he scolded me for such insolence and blatant disregard in the face of blind authority.

In retrospect, I’m not sure if he really thought he saw me put a butt out and was convinced I was lying, or if he just didn’t have the gonads to admit he was wrong when it became clear there was absolutely no evidence that I’d been smoking.

Either way it was fun and, as I was leaving, I enjoyed watching him scold a statue for loitering.

I’m home now, and writing stuff. Later I’m going to be reading this..


Yes, this is a shameless plug for James Chartrand and Mason Hipp’s new Ebook about becoming a Freelance Writer. Click the box, order your own copy and help me to avoid future trips to the employment center, no matter how diligently guarded it is.

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Precariously Pounding The Pavement

December 5, 2008

Coffeesister and I are officially victims of the recession.
Wednesday, I was laid off.
It was kind of cool that for once, it wasn’t something that I’d done.
I didn’t make off with a trunk full of office supplies, drink a six pack of beer an hour before shift or say something stupid to the Boss’ daughter.
They called [...]

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