Special to The Dagger
The trouble with people who have what is referred to as “principles” is that they do unimaginably stupid things if they think their lofty principles are being violated.
I walked away from a decent paying job seven months ago, at the height of a recession, because of my principles. Maybe I should have tried to get fired so I could at least have collected unemployment but then that would have violated my libertarian principles by taking a government hand-out. See what I mean? My principles have led me straight to the poorhouse and in real danger of being single, again.
One of the paramount reasons I left my job was that my boss was an obnoxious idiot. Case in point: at our organization, if there was a job opening, usually it was filled from “within.” Everyone knew who was getting the job and why (HR of course would deny that) but the job would be posted for 10 days on the Web site and in the newspaper, anyway. HR would accept applications and then go through the fraudulent practice of pointless interviews insinuating that the applicant had a fair chance of getting hired. Great fun for my boss. His special delight would be to parade the uncomfortably-dressed applicant through the building, giving him a personal tour, and introducing him to his possible coworkers. I always wanted to yell, “Dude!!! There is no chance in hell of you getting this job!!! It’s done!!! He’s playing with you!”
It was a disgusting practice and it totally sucked to think that there was a family behind this applicant offering encouragement, looking over the resume and giving advice on appropriate attire. The deluded applicant makes a dry run to the building, timing it and leaving exceptionally early on the interview day to allow for traffic tie-ups, natural disasters or car trouble. Afterwards family and friends dissect the interview, and the consensus is that the boss wouldn’t have wasted time with a personal tour, and would not have been so affable if it wasn’t a slam dunk. Then the unpleasantness of waiting for approx. two weeks to hear the decision, each day confidence ebbing away like sustained water boarding until the now “loser” learns through the U.S. postal service that “someone better suited for the job,” had been unearthed. Naturally, the better suited person was that idiot from accounting who the applicant had met on his phony tour.
But that is history. Now I am looking for a job and I found a great one a couple weeks ago in the paper, and on the Web site there was a convenient on-line application. This job was tailor-made for me and I was even thinking of all the creative ways I could be an asset to the organization, which I will refer to as the Harford County _________ ________. I had a killer resume, a killer cover letter, I was positive, confident but not cocky, and grateful for the interview. I even bought better shoes just to hit the perfect note of professionalism. I MapQuested the interview location just to be sure, even though I had been there before–just making sure they hadn’t moved the building.
The interview consisted of a three person panel with the HR director in the middle who was just as sweet and folksy as fresh honey-butter. Now, between the three of them they asked me 20 already prepared questions. I thought that was kind of cheesy because seriously, couldn’t a monkey, who could read and talk, ask me twenty questions? Does it take interview professionals to ask 20 questions? I like to think that the people hiring would exhibit a bit more insight, but that was just a fleeting negative, sarcastic thought, and I had been forewarned by my family not to let my real personality come through at the interview. I overlooked the ridiculousness of the 20 questions because they were easy and because I was perfect for this job. Right?
During the interviews I got smiles and nods of approvals and, on the way out, a recap of what hours I would be expected to be there.I was told that I would receive a phone call either way, so not to worry that I would get a rejection by snail mail. So week one went by with no phone call, but I had rationalizations; Easter week, spring break, Passover, kids home from school, in-service conferences. It is hard to make the decision in one week, especially due to the fact that they had to call all the sad people who now felt like losers because they did not get the job. By Tuesday of the second week, I knew I was one of those sad losers.
So now, I was just waiting to see what reason they would give for my not getting the job–messing up those idiotic twenty questions, I guessed. Of course they never called me “either way,” so I called them and was told…THEY HIRED FROM WITHIN!!!! It was brutal.