Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Snow Job

"Waaaake up! Wake up! Wake up! Wake up!
Up ya wake! Up ya wake! Up ya wake!
Here I am. Am I here? Y'know it. It ya know.
This is Mister SeƱor AKA, doing the nasty to ya eyes, ya eyes to the nasty.
And that’s the truth, Ruth!"

(With profound apologies to Spike Lee and Samuel L. Jackson)

I have decided that I am going to write at least one entry here every day for at least a month. Maybe longer. But not on weekends. No. I have to drop offline occasionally or the relentless chatter of The Interwebs will destroy my embattled mind.

Be forewarned: It is entirely possible that this will result in little more than inane babble about absolutely nothing of import whatsoever. Or I may irrevocably blind us all with words freighted with coruscating wit and blistering wisdom. It’s a crap shoot. Let’s see what happens together…

Today, gentle reader, a cautionary tale on why it is nigh on impossible for anyone anywhere to get a job. I present you with a Timeline Of Frustration:

September 2006 – I go to a job interview. There are no meeting rooms available, so my interview is conducted in the main body of an open-plan office, where I have to ignore the low-level buzz of phones ringing, background voices, keyboard hammering, mouse-clicking, etc. First, I have to spend half an hour doing a fucking psychometric test, followed by an interview with the I.T. Manager.

Feedback for the interview is positive. I await the next step. It never comes. The job gets put on indefinite hold and floats away to live in the Land of Jobs That Don’t Really Exist. I forget about it and get on with my life.

January 2007 – I continue to trawl through job ads, firing off CVs, tolerating the self-serving bullshit of recruitment consultants, and all the other attendant ephemera that cling like crusty barnacles to any protracted job search. I get a call from an agency. We start to talk about a vacancy that has just come up. As we talk, it becomes apparent to me that this is the job from last September. I tell the recruitment consultant about the positive feedback from the interview, and he goes back to the company who confirm that, yes, they remember me and would like to see me again. They’ll get back to me very soon to arrange an interview. They don’t.

April 2007
– The agent calls. They really do want to see me now. We arrange a time. I go for a second interview. This time, it’s just the Head of Human Resources. Also, a meeting room is available. But the heating is on the blink, and we both have to shout to be heard over the construction work that seems to be going on in the building. Fine powdery dust from all the drilling falls on our heads for the duration of the interview. Other than that, it seems to go well. At the end, I am informed that I will still need to meet the I.T. Manager again at a later date to refresh his memory. OK. More waiting.

Last week – Late on Tuesday evening, on my way home from work, the agent calls:
“I know it is very short notice, but can you go in to see them first thing tomorrow morning?”
“Not really. Can we make it a later time? I have to clear the decks at work so I can attend.”
“Can’t you invent a doctor’s appointment or something? This really is the last hurdle now. They promise to have a definitive answer within the next 24 to 48 hours if you see them soon.”
“OK, set it up and I’ll see what I can do.”
Massive inconvenience, but I’m not in a position to turn down opportunities. I talk to my boss and tell him that I will be late to work the next day. I go home and rush around in preparation: iron shirt, polish shoes, shave.

The next day, I go for my third interview. No meeting rooms available again. We use the CEO’s office. I don’t receive an apology for the short-notice of the interview. For the duration of the interview, the I.T. Manager is peeling and / or chewing an orange. It’s distracting. Once again, he reiterates the promise that I will definitely get a straight answer in the next 24 to 48 hours.

On that Wednesday, I hear nothing. On Thursday, I’m told that I will get a definite answer by the end of the day. I get the same promise on Friday. And Monday. I stopped chasing it up after that. I’m still waiting.

And I’m still stuck in my current hellish job. I’m writing this blog post because I’m trying to avoid reading the 6000 spam e-mails that I’ve just been asked to read through. I’m reminded of this line from Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy. Here is Marvin the Paranoid Android:

''Come on,'' he droned, ''I've been ordered to take you down to the bridge. Here I am, brain the size of a planet and they ask me to take you down to the bridge. Call that job satisfaction? ‘Cos I don't.''

This is just one snapshot of my experiences in trying to find a new job. Of course, it’s not a unique experience. Shit, it’s not even a unique experience for me.

Anyway, the spam beckons. More later.

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